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Graduate Internships

U-M History sponsors and supports a variety of internship programs that allow students to apply their skills as historians in professional settings. Graduate students benefit from these hands-on practicums that not only introduce them to workplace dynamics, but also expand their portfolios for a broad range of careers.

The History Department regards internships as a valuable pursuit of practical experience; they are an integral part of our graduate training. Compensated internship opportunities are available both as a part of the academic term and during the summer. For example, positions coordinated by the department offer students a professionalization opportunity as an alternative to GSI assignments (for post-candidacy students). Alternatively, Rackham's Public Scholarship Program provides students with summer fellowships to work at a variety of humanities-related institutions. Click below for more information regarding each program.

Clements-History Graduate Student Internship (History Department)

The William L. Clements Library, in collaboration with the History Department, has developed an internship opportunity for graduate students to develop research, communication, collaborative, organizational, programming, and outreach skills. The Clements Library collects, preserves, and makes available historical resources about the Americas, with particular strengths in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American history. The work at the Clements will be dependent in part on the intern’s particular interest and determined in conversation with Clements Director Paul Erickson and curatorial staff. More broadly, the work will likely focus on one or more of the following areas: outreach and communications, collection description, and program development.

The Clements-History internship is a semester-long GSRA appointmentfor Fall 2020, followed by a temporary position in Winter 2021 (10 hours/week), with the possibility of expanding to a two-semester GSRA appointment, pending funding. Compensation: GSRA salary with tuition, stipend, and Grad-Care in fall 2020; $22/hours for 10 hours per week in winter 2021. 

Application Process: The application process is currently closed. 

Public Engagement and Professionalization Coordinator (History Department)

The Public Engagement and Professionalization Coordinator (PEPC) internship provides the opportunity for a History or joint-History graduate student to maintain and expand the department's professionalization and public engagement efforts. This is a year-long temporary position compensated at a rate of $22/hour with an estimated weekly workload of 10 hours.

The PEPC works with the department's Public Engagement and Career Development faculty coordinator, professional staff, and other graduate students on initiatives such as:

  • coordinating the department’s monthly professionalization news bulletin
  • leading workshops on career development and professionalization
  • supporting U-M HistoryLabs, including recruiting applications from graduate student-faculty teams and working with funded teams to build the infrastructure of new projects
  • collecting and sharing resources and opportunities for professionalization
  • reaching out to new business and non-profit partners for potential internships
  • animating the U-M History alumni network
  • updating the PhD alumni database
  • working with faculty to incorporate professionalization assignments into courses
  • serving on the Reverb Effect editorial team

Application Process: The call for applications takes place in February for a September-May internship.

Gerald Saxon Brown Digital Skills Internship (History Department)

The Gerald Saxon Brown Digital Skills Internship provides a History or joint-History graduate student the opportunity to develop their digital, collaborative, and communication skills while working on public engagement projects that make historical research relevant and accessible. This program is available as an alternative to a GSI assignment.

Working with the Department of History's Career Diversity and Public Engagement Team, this intern will create and carry out a work plan designed to build demonstrable digital skill sets that will augment training for a wide variety of careers. Prior interns have served as executive producer of Reverb Effect, a U-M History podcast that presents historical scholarship to wider public audiences. The internship is funded by a generous gift from Catherine and Gary Andrejak, commemorating Catherine’s father and former History faculty member Gerald Saxon Brown (1911-1999). 

Application Process: The call for applications takes place in March or April for a September-May internship.

ProQuest Internship Partnership (Rackham)

In 2019 U-M History Career partnered with ProQuest to develop paid, in-term interships for graduate students. Interns work virtually from Ann Arbor for 20 hours per week and receive compensation at the current GSRA/GSI rate, plus tuition and GradCare. These internship opportunities are intended to offer graduate students practical experience in a professional setting beyond their regular academic work. Beginning in 2020, this program was open to all Rackahm graduate students.

About ProQuest: The last decade has seen an explosion of digitization in archives of all kinds, creating new issues around accession and access to archival sources. While some scholarly institutions have pursued their own digital platforms, the movement toward digitization has opened a new space for commercial enterprise. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, ProQuest is one of the largest entrants into this field, and it is now a ubiquitous presence in the digital research landscape affecting researchers of all stripes. Research institutions like U-M routinely contract with these commercial database companies to feed the demand for primary sources that are just a click away. This internship partnership with ProQuest presents the opportunity for U-M graduate students to experience and learn from what goes on behind the scenes in a commercial database company.

In winter 2019, the inaugural UM-ProQuest interns worked on two projects. Meg Showalter helped develop ProQuest's Trends and Policy product line, which covers primary source materials relating to immigration from 1790 to 2019. David Spreen contributed to the Global Issues Library, a program at ProQuest that focuses primarily on international sources.

Application Process: Coordinated by Rackham Graduate School and open to Rackham graduate students. Link for details

Rackham Program in Public Scholarship (Rackham)

The Rackham Program in Public Scholarship features programming related to pedagogy, internships, and publicly engaged scholarship. Its Rackham Public Engagement Fellowship is a competitive program that places graduate students in an organization or institution dedicated to various types of work in the humanities. Fellows work no more than 20 hours a week for three to four months during the summer; compensation rates vary. 

Previous institutional partners include the Hatcher Library, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, The Henry Ford, Clements Library, University of Michigan Press, Bentley Historical Library, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and others. For the Humanities PhD Project, recent U-M History graduate students Allison KemmerleAna M. Silva, and Shana Melnysyn have shared their thoughts on the value of their participation in the Program in Public Scholarship.

Application Process: Link for details.