Keck Undergraduate Humanities Research Fellows Program

The USD Humanities Center welcomes proposals for the Keck Undergraduate Humanities Research Fellows Program. Keck Humanities Fellows work under the close guidance of a faculty advisor to conduct original, substantial research, scholarly activities and/or creative work advancing the interdisciplinary humanities over both the Fall and Spring semesters. Students interested in being Keck Humanities Fellows should identify a faculty member and topic of interest, and develop the project proposal in collaboration with the faculty mentor.



Keck Fellowship benefits include:

  • Stipend of $2,800 per semester ($5,600 total)
  • Research materials funds totaling $1,000 for the year
  • Conference travel funds totaling $1,000 for the year
  • Enrollment in 496 or 499 within the Fellow’s major or minor, or HUMS 499, for 1-unit of research or independent study in both the Fall and Spring 


  • Undergraduate students in all disciplines and academic units are welcome to apply, and the project should directly engage the humanities.
  • The entire proposal should be written by the student.
  • Note also that some (or even all) reviewers of the proposal will not be experts in the area of research proposed. Students should seek to make the proposal as accessible as possible to a wide range of faculty members.


The following proposal elements will aid you in completing the online application.


Research Proposal Guidelines

  • 1,000 words or less (~2 single-spaced pages, 1 inch margins).
  • Include your research question or topic and two-semester timeline of activities. 
  • Is this project part of a larger project, a capstone or honors thesis?
  • Explain the project’s overall significance and how it will relate to identified texts and materials in the proposal.
  • How will you communicate the knowledge from your original scholarly project?  Keck Humanities Fellows are expected to present their results at Creative Collaborations in April, but other venues for dissemination of the results should be considered.
  • Describe why you are applying for a Keck Humanities Fellowship and why you are motivated to do the proposed project.

Part of the proposal but NOT included in the word count 

  • Figures or Illustrations
  • References/Citations
  • Research Materials Budget, up to $1,000, and must include a brief justification for each expenditure requested.  Research materials funds cannot generally pay for books or other items available through interlibrary loan, or personal expenses. Keck Humanities Fellows funds also do not generally pay for permanent equipment. The budget can be flexible, but individual purchases must be approved by the research mentor and Keck Humanities Fellows program coordinator.
  • Outline of planned activities (What do you plan to accomplish each semester?)


One letter of support is needed. Please provide a letter written by the faculty member who will serve as your mentor for this project. The letter should document her or his support of your application, describe your preparedness for the project, and specify plans for collaboration/mentorship. Please submit letters of support to Jesse Mills ( 


Review Procedures

The review committee is composed of the Humanities Center leadership and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.  Due to the considerable work of evaluating proposals, no feedback regarding proposals will be provided by the review committee. All decisions are final. 

Reviewers will be using a rubric to evaluate applications.

 Application Process

Complete the online application.

Due Date

Proposals are due Friday, April 30, 2021.

Contact Information

For questions or further information about the Keck Undergraduate Humanities Research Fellows Program, please contact:

Dr. Jesse Mills, Humanities Center at Extension 7740 or

  • Current Keck Humanities Fellows
  • Former Keck Humanities Fellows