Simons Public Humanities Fellowship

Award Amount: $20,000

Deadline: October 15th, 2019

This innovative program brings one Simons Fellow to the Hall Center and KU to participate in the intellectual life of the university for a period ranging from one month to one semester.  Made possible by a gift from the Simons Family of Lawrence with matching funds from a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant, the Fellowship gives individuals of experience and accomplishment from outside the university the time and freedom to re-engage with humanities-based learning for a short period before returning to their occupations. At the same time, the Hall Center and the University benefit from the presence of an accomplished leader from beyond the academy. In line with the wishes of the donor, applicants cannot hold an academic position or otherwise work at an institution of higher education.

In consultation with the Hall Center Director and appropriate faculty, the Simons Fellow will formulate an individualized course of self-study and/or research prior to their arrival in Lawrence.  The Fellow is invited to participate in all Hall Center activities, including lectures, colloquia, the resident fellows seminar, and the ongoing faculty seminars, and will be asked to share his or her experience in a variety of settings, including a public lecture at the end of the fellowship period.

To facilitate their course of study and research, and to assist with housing and other expenses, the Simons Fellow will receive a stipend of up to $20,000.  The Fellow’s employer is encouraged to bridge any difference between stipend and salary and to continue health care and other benefits.

Individuals interested in applying for 2020 should submit their applications by October 15th, 2019 to Hall Center Associate Director Sarah Bishop at

Eligible applicants are:

  • Currently employed or self-employed professionals who do not hold a higher education position at the time of application
  • Able to pursue a residency of at least one month at the Hall Center during the academic year
  • Able to demonstrate a genuine interest in bringing the humanities to bear on a project they are qualified to undertake

Application materials consist of:

  • A CV, including current position and contact information
  • A cover letter detailing your proposed dates of residence, a description of the proposed project, the name(s) of faculty with whom the applicant would like to work, and the KU resources the applicant will consult while a Simons Fellow

If you have questions, please contact the Hall Center's Associate Director Sarah Bishop at or 785-864-4798.

Next Available Fellowship will be in residence for the Winter/Spring 2020. Applications due October 2019.

Previous Simons Public Humanities Fellows

Tiffany Midge--Poet
Nancy Jackson--Nonprofit Organizer
David Balakrishnan--Composer and Performer, Turtle Island Quartet
Karole Armitage--Choreographer
Angela Elam--Radio Producer and Host
Henry Fortunato--Public Affairs, Kansas City Public Library
Bill Lattanzi--Science writer 
Randy Klein--Composer and Pianist 
Shirley Christian – Journalist 
Ann Hagedorn – Journalist, Author 
David Balakrishnan – Composer, Musician 
Katja Esson – Filmmaker Update: Katja released a documentary, Poetry of Resilience, in 2011, which was nominated for the most prestigious Cinema and Peace Award at the Berlin Film Festival. This is one of the biggest human rights awards in the world. Learn more about Katja.
Von Hardesty -- Author, Curator 
Derek Schmidt – Lawyer, Politician

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