HRI Director’s Fellows

The Humanities Research Institute seeks two Director’s Fellows for the 2023–24 academic year. The purpose of the Fellows program is to offer professional development opportunities for tenured faculty in the humanities and to cultivate new ways of thinking and doing humanities-based work on campus and beyond.

The hope is that a combination of scholarly, administrative, and publicly engaged experiences over the fellowship year will expand our collective sense of what is possible at HRI.

Each Fellow will spend the academic year

  • participating in the intellectual life of HRI, including attendance at the bi-weekly Campus Fellows Seminar and regular events and programs;
  • learning about everyday operations and grant management, including programming and budget planning; and
  • exploring the role of the institute across campus and in the community, including via other Institutes and the Office of Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation.

In addition, each Fellow will develop a project (research-, teaching- and/or community-based) aimed at supporting or expanding HRI’s commitments to inclusive, anti-racist practices and strategies for diversifying both the humanities and HRI—a project rooted in content, practices, and critiques from the humanities and related fields.

The expectation is that the Fellows will present the results of their work in a public forum in Fall 2024 (that is, after their fellowship year is complete).

Application Deadline Date


Fellows must be full-time tenure-line faculty in the humanities or related fields at the associate rank or higher. They must secure the permission of their department chair(s) or head(s) for the course release as part of the application process.


Each Fellow will receive a two-course release for which the appropriate department(s) will be compensated ($8K per course to the department where the released course is held, $16K total), $2,000 in research funds deposited to their departmental research account, and a programming budget of up to $4,000 for their Fall 2024 event. Director’s Fellows are required to maintain residency on the Illinois campus during the award year and to attend the (roughly) bi-weekly Fellows Seminar for the whole of the 2023–24 academic year. On-premises HRI workspace will be available to the Fellows. The Fellows will present the results of their work in a public forum in Fall 2024. A preliminary report will be due to the Director by June 1, 2024 and a final report, once the Fall 2024 event has concluded.

Application Guidelines

Applicants must submit their applications online at the application portal.

In addition to answering the questions on the web form, applicants must also upload:

Application Deadline Details

The deadline for applications is October 14, 2022 by 5 p.m. The application can be found at No emailed applications will be accepted.

Selection Criteria

Successful applications will make a strong, intentional case for why now is the time for this opportunity in the scholar’s career; for what their vision is of and for the humanities in the coming decade; and for how the project proposed relates to strategies for developing and sustaining a more socially just and racially inclusive HRI and broader humanities community.

The applications will be read by a selection committee comprised of members of the HRI Advisory Committee and the HRI Director, with the Deputy Director serving in an ex officio capacity.


All applications will be acknowledged via email, and all applicants will be notified by the close of the fall 2022 semester, when the selection process is concluded.


Questions about these fellowships may be addressed to Nancy Castro at or (217) 244-7913.