Call for Applications: PhD Lab Scholars in Digital Knowledge 2018-19


2017-2018 PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge Scholar Application Deadline: July 15, 2018

The PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge seeks PhD Lab Scholars for 2018-19. The purpose of the PhD Lab is to foster innovative new digital research and teaching practices in the humanities and interpretive social sciences. This program is targeted at PhD students at Duke who are interested in sustained engagement in this topic through practice, critique, and collaboration.

In 2018-2019, PhD Lab Scholars will be expected to be enter the program with a digital project at any stage of development, attend semi-monthly luncheon workshops (tentatively on Thursdays from 12:00 to 1:30 pm) for PhD Lab Scholars  and invited faculty to present and get feedback on their work, and engage in a larger campus conversation about the future of digital research at Duke particularly in the humanities. Scholars will take turns formally presenting their projects, and offer feedback to one another. They will share their progress in a public-facing blog, and be expected to participate actively in the PhD Lab community. They are also encouraged to form small working groups amongst themselves, and with other partners outside the lab, on areas of mutual interest.

The PhD Lab will also host a number of seminars and workshops on professional development topics: student-centered teaching methods, how and why to build an online professional presence, how to build a professional website, CV workshops, and practice job talks. For 2018-19 we will also be engaging closely with the Versatile Humanist initiative, which explores enhanced understandings of what constitutes humanities-based scholarship and outcomes, and with efforts to explore the future of scholarly publishing. Additional events around these topics are not mandatory, but highly recommended for PhD Lab Scholars to attend. The PhD Lab will strive to connect Scholars to a variety of programs already on the Duke campus and in the Triangle. Special events may be held on other days of the week besides Thursdays.

The PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge is part of the Duke Digital Humanities Initiative, and is based in the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Smith Warehouse. It partners with many existing programs on campus. It was founded by Professor Cathy Davidson. Next year, the PhD Lab will be in its seventh year, and will be Co-Directed by Professors Philip Stern and Victoria Szabo.

What do PhD Lab Scholars get?

  • $1500 annual research fund to be used for conferences, software, and related activities
  • Shared  workspace in the PhD Lab and the opportunity to use the space for working groups and projects
  • Opportunity to seek feedback on work from invited faculty and other PhD Lab Scholars
  • Workshops and learning opportunities around digital research, pedagogy, presentation, and outreach
  • Opportunities to organize and/or attend other relevant professional development workshops, symposia, or related experiences
  • Access to resources and contacts through the Duke Digital Humanities Initiative
  • Potential sponsorship as HASTAC Scholars

What are PhD Lab Scholars expected to do?

  • Actively work on a digital project and invite feedback and collaboration where useful
  • Attend luncheon workshops (usually two per month, with additional optional opportunities), on Thursdays from 12:00 to 1:30 pm, where PhD Lab Scholars and invited faculty will present their work and seek critical feedback
  • Use lab as co-working and collider space, to whatever extent possible
  • Engage in a larger campus conversation about the future of digital research at Duke particularly in the humanities
  • Blog about and/or present their work at conferences

Who is eligible to be a PhD Lab Fellow?

To participate as a PhD Lab Fellow, you must:

  • Be a doctoral student in a humanities or social science department at Duke University OR in a Duke PhD program with a “digital knowledge” component that will benefit from a humanistic perspective
  • Have an interest in enhancing one’s skills, ideas, and research using digital tools and new ideas of online collaboration, community, and networks
  • Have a set of skills and interests that can actively contribute to the community of the PhD Lab

If you are interested in applying, please fill out the application. For additional details about the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge visit or email

Note: Past Scholars are eligible to apply, but generally preference will be given to new Scholars. Students at Duke not selected for this appointment, and PhD students from other universities in the Research Triangle who meet these criteria, are welcome attend all of the public workshops and events, but are not eligible for financial support.


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