College of Liberal Arts

UT Austin Receives $2 Million Grant for Interdisciplinary Training of Future Humanities Scholars

Thu, Apr 13, 2017
Richard Flores and Esther Raizen.
Richard Flores and Esther Raizen.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded The University of Texas at Austin a $2 million, 4½-year grant to support a program that will provide specialized training and research skills to doctoral students in the humanities. 

Housed in the College of Liberal Arts, The Engaged Scholar Initiative: A Texas Model, will bring together doctoral students seeking interdisciplinary training beyond their specific areas of interest to work within collaborative clusters involving faculty, doctoral students, undergraduate students, and where applicable, representatives of regional public agencies or private organizations.

The Engaged Scholar Initiative encourages a timelier completion of Ph.D. coursework and reshapes the training of scholars in the humanities by providing tools, research experiences and funding that allow students to broaden their career options to include a range of academic and non-academic, training-related careers.

The program will be led by Richard Flores, senior associate dean and professor in the Department of Anthropology, and Esther Raizen, senior associate dean and associate professor in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies.

“We are excited and honored by the opportunity to enhance the training efforts in the humanities and steer the creative energies of our doctoral students in new and innovative directions,” said Flores. “We are acutely aware of the increased demand in the work force for highly-skilled employees educated in the humanities, and our hope is to have a long-term impact on the public and private sectors, as well as on academe, as we broaden dissertation research and writing beyond the traditional format.”

The program will work with 14 doctoral fellows, 14 post-doctoral fellows and approximately 14 to 20 undergraduate research fellows.   

“Throughout its history, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has been a steadfast supporter of the humanities and the arts,” said Maurie McInnis, executive vice president and provost. “We are enormously grateful for the foundation’s generous support of The Engaged Scholar Initiative and UT Austin’s efforts to provide interdisciplinary opportunities for our doctoral students.”

The first cohort of graduate fellows will begin the summer of 2017.  

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