Call for Applications: Summer Public Research Interns (EXTENDED DEADLINE)

The Penn Program in Environmental Humanities (PPEH) at the University of Pennsylvania invites applications for undergraduate public humanities research interns for the summer of 2020. We seek to build a vibrant cohort of three interns to support the ongoing public research initiative, Futures Beyond Refining, focused on gathering, documenting, and sharing diverse Philadelphians’ visions for the future of the 1300-acre refinery site along the lower Schuylkill River, an area experiencing and especially prone to the local impacts of global climate change. 

PPEH Public Research Interns will meet twice weekly as a cohort and individually with faculty. This collaborative work will be permanently archived and exhibited digitally in PPEH’s living archives ( Interns will work to conduct interviews, collect oral histories, research the region’s history and ecology, develop interactive interpretive materials, including a digital neighborhood tour, environmental health literacy materials, and other digital exhibits and creative installations. 

Application materials should include a cover letter that clearly explains the candidate’s qualifications and reasons for application (maximum of 750 words), an unofficial academic transcript, and one reference letter from a Penn faculty member. All applicants will be reviewed for academic excellence, potential or proven experience in public-facing projects, and the applicants’ alignment with PPEH’s four core commitments:

  1. broadly interdisciplinary, collaborative research on the environment across the arts and sciences
  2. arts-driven inquiry into place, particularly our campus and the City of Philadelphia as well as urban ecology in other global contexts
  3. public engagement, particularly in and with environmental justice communities and concerns
  4. the creation and growth of living archives via practices of urgent collection

Applicants with research and/or creative interests in the following areas are particularly encouraged to apply: documentary research, digital exhibit production, community science, public art, photography, public research with youth and elders, graphic design, web design, sound/video editing, social media, and/or journalism.

Each Fellowship carries a summer stipend of $4,500. Fellows will work from June 1 through August 15 and will be based in Philadelphia.

Application Instructions:

Requirements for this application:

  • Cover Letter addressing qualifications and purpose
  • Unofficial Academic Transcript
  • Letter of Reference from a Faculty Member

Questions may be addressed to

Submission Instructions:

Cover letter and transcript must be collated into a single PDF and emailed to with a subject line to read “PPEH Public Research Intern Application.”

Letters of Reference may be emailed directly by faculty members to with a subject line including the applicant's name. 


Application Window