Humanities Research Scholars Program

New York, ,
United States
Term: Summer

Offers rising CC juniors and seniors training in research methods, assistance in developing analytical and investigative skills, and support in the pursuit of an independent research project

The Humanities Research Scholars Program (HRSP) offers rising juniors and seniors in Columbia College the opportunity to pursue an independent research project in the humanities or humanistic social sciences, while receiving guidance from a faculty member in developing analytical and investigative skills. HRSP is designed to help students learn from one another and from leaders in the academic and professional world, and to support the Scholars in their intellectual growth and professional trajectory.

HRSP Scholars attend a six-week summer program that provides training in research methods and strategies, and that engages them in discussion of larger questions that emerge through the process of conducting research. Discussions are directly related to their research projects, and are supplemented by workshops, training sessions, and conversations with guest speakers that expose Scholars to a range of skills and resources that will enhance their current research and future professional pursuits. Students meet regularly with faculty mentors and supervisors at their relevant research institutions, and receive additional guidance from graduate students (and, in the future, alumni of this program), which will allow scholars to benefit from ‘near-peer’ mentoring and networking.

Through this program, HRSP expects Scholars to discover exciting and meaningful ways to better understand a specific topic in the humanities, and also the reasons why the lessons found in the works of the humanities are crucial to our understanding of the world and our place within it.

This program will coincide with Summer Session I.


The six-week summer program will consist of a combination of being trained in research fundamentals and conducting individual research (disciplinary or interdisciplinary). Proposed research projects should in some way consider questions and problems of today—existential, ethical, political, disciplinary —and the way(s) in which material resources (historical, cultural, literary, archival—to name but a few) give students the resources to grapple with these questions.

Individual research may take place at the variety of libraries and archives and laboratories at Columbia University (including, for example, the “September 11, 2001 Oral History” archive or the Columbia University and Slavery Project), but may also take place at cultural institutions in the New York City area (for example, the New York Historical Society, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Urban Democracy Lab, New York Public Library, etc.). (If you are not located in New York, and would like to take advantage of local resources in your current location, that is also possible.)

Prior to the beginning of the program, students will meet with supervisors to solidify the research project and to make connections with a main site of research.

The first week of the program will bring together the cohort of students to meet with one another and to work intensively with librarians and faculty at Columbia to develop an understanding of research approaches. During the remaining five weeks of the program, students will pursue their individual research projects under the mentorship of faculty members, as well as supervisors at the relevant research institutions, while continuing to receive training in research skills and approaches.


Scholars will present their research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in the following fall semester, in the form of a poster presentation. The event (which coincides with Family Weekend) is open to the entire Columbia community, including faculty.

In addition to the Research Symposium, students are encouraged to make their research available to the broader community. They will have the opportunity to make podcasts, to write up their research for journals, to develop academic articles, and to produce e‑portfolios and blogs and other digital projects. These formats will help students develop ways to translate their research for various communities, sparking opportunities for discussion, debate, and dialogue. Furthermore, Scholars will consider and convey the relevance and significance of humanistic expression in the challenges of our day.


Candidates for the Humanities Research Scholars Program should meet the following criteria:

  • Current sophomores or juniors in Columbia College (at time of application);
    • Given HRSP's cancellation in 2020 due to the pandemic, current juniors are welcome to apply for the HRSP program in 2021 (only).
    • Given current public health considerations, remote research/participation is eligible for consideration.
  • In good academic and disciplinary standing, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3;
  • Willing to commit to performing research for the first six-week summer session for approximately 25-35 hours per week and to attending seminars, training sessions, advising sessions, and other meetings (this year's program will run from May 3 - June 15, 2021);
  • ​Committed to participating in a College-wide symposium to present their research findings and to share their research with the broader community, as described above.

To apply, click "Start Your Application" above and complete and submit all required application materials no later than the deadline provide. The letter of recommendation should be submitted directly to by your recommender no later than the internal deadline as well.

Fact Sheet

Arts and Architecture, Humanities, Social Sciences
CC students only, Junior, Not U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, Sophomore, U.S. Citizen, U.S. Permanent Resident
Fellowship Type:
Experiential, Summer Opportunity
New York, ,
United States

Dates & Deadlines

Application Deadline: 
Monday, February 8, 2021