Center for the Teaching of History

Fellowships

The Center for the Teaching of History is proud to offer three fellowships for K-12 teachers and high school students to explore the Massachusetts Historical Society's archives.  Explore details of each fellowship and apply below!

Swensrud Teacher Fellowship

Each summer, the Swensrud Teacher Fellowship program offers educators the opportunity to research and create educational materials using documents and artifacts from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS).  We are seeking applications that identify an area of need in your curriculum and propose ideas for developing primary source lesson materials that address that need.

The MHS will offer three Swensrud fellowships during the summer of 2021.  The fellowships carry a stipend of $4,000 for four weeks of research and for the creation of at least 3 document sets (see details below).  Applications are welcome from any K-12 teacher or library media specialist who who wishes to use the collections at the MHS to prepare primary-source resource sets in the fields of American history, world history, or English language arts.  

Due to Covid-19 concerns, onsite research is limited for the foreseeable future.  Therefore, we will be asking our 2021 Fellows to work primarily with materials that have already been digitized and made available on our website.  Fellows will have the option to work entirely remotely or to perform research onsite as well, if safe to do so by summer 2021. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to browse the Society's online resources to get a sense of the MHS collections that might support your research. 

After completing the 20 days of research, Swensrud Fellows will be asked to produce at least 3 document sets and associated materials for other educators to use.  These document sets should include at least 15 documents or artifacts in total across all of your sets. Each document set should include the following:

  • A short overview of the topic and its significance (3-4 paragraphs)
  • List of applicable standards from MA History and Social Studies or ELA/Literacy framework
  • Several essential questions that relate to the document set
  • Document list (i.e. list of items with links to citation) of at least 3 documents, document excerpts, or artifacts.  Each item should have the following: 
    • A one-paragraph description of each item's significance/educational value
    • An image or photograph of each item, or links to images on our website
    • A transcript of any written excerpts for use in the classroom
  • 2-3 sample classroom activities based on the document set

Research must be completed and document sets submitted by January 15th, 2022.  The resources developed by Swensrud fellows will be made available through our website for other educators to use.

Swensrud Fellowship Application Process

 

Swensrud Fellowship applications should be submitted via our online application form by midnight on February 25, 2021. Applicants should provide the following materials:

  • A current resume
  • A letter of intent (no longer than two pages, single spaced) that identifies an area of need in your curriculum and ideas for developing primary source lesson materials that address that need.
  • 3-5 collections, exhibits, or specific items from the MHS’ digitized collections that you are interested in exploring as part of your research.  These may be from our online collections or independent items that have been digitized on our website.  Prospective applicants are encouraged to consult with MHS Education  and Library Reader Services via email or virtual chat prior to submitting their proposals. 
  • A letter of support from your school principal or department head
  • A sample lesson plan or classroom activity that you have developed.  It may be on any topic and does not have to be the same as the subject of your application.

The fellowship process is competitive. Awards will be made on the strength of 1) project design; 2) the plan for using MHS collections; 3) the creativity of the proposed classroom activities; 4) usability of the proposed research in other classrooms; 5) recommendations; 6) the sample classroom materials.

All Swensrud applications must be received via our online application form by midnight on February 25, 2021. Please direct questions to the Center for the Teaching of History at education@masshist.org

Kass Teacher Fellowships

Each summer, the Kass Teacher Fellowship program gives educators the chance to perform 20 days of research at the Massachusetts Historical Society on a topic of their choice. Kass Fellowships are designed to offer K-12 teachers the opportunity to focus on historical research that will fill a knowledge gap or address a need in their curriculum.  This fellowship will carry a stipend of $2,000 for four weeks of research with MHS collections, and teachers will complete a 3-page report on their findings at the end of the fellowship.

The MHS will offer one Kass Fellowship during the summer of 2021.  Applications are welcome from any K-12 teacher or library media specialist who wishes to use the collections at the MHS to explore a topic in the fields of American history, world history, or English language arts.  

Due to Covid-19 concerns, onsite research is limited for the foreseeable future.  Therefore, we will be asking our 2021 Fellows to work primarily with materials that have already been digitized on our website.  Fellows will have the option to work entirely remotely or to perform research onsite as well, if safe to do so by summer 2021. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to browse the Society's online resources to get a sense of the MHS collections that might support your research. 

After completing the 20 days of research, Kass Fellows will be asked to produce a report of approximately 3 pages or 1,500 words on their research process and findings.  They will also be asked to submit a list of highlights among the sources they used during their research.  The resources developed by Kass Fellows will be made available through our website and MHS blog for other educators to use.  Research must be completed and the report submitted by January 15th, 2022. 

Kass Fellowship Application Process

 

Kass Fellowship applications should be submitted via our online application form by midnight on February 25, 2021. Applicants should provide the following materials:

  • A current resume
  • A letter of intent (no longer than two pages, single spaced) that identifies a content knowledge gap or address an area of need in your curriculum that you hope to address through your research
  • 3-5 collections, exhibits, or specific items from the MHS’ digitized collections that you are interested in exploring as part of your research.  These may be from our online collections or independent items that have been digitized on our website.  Prospective applicants are encouraged to consult with MHS Education  and Library Reader Services via email or virtual chat prior to submitting their proposals. 
  • A letter of support from your school principal or department head

The fellowship process is competitive. Awards will be made on the strength of 1) project design; 2) the plan for using MHS collections; 3) the creativity of the proposed classroom activities; 4) usability of the proposed research in other classrooms; 5) recommendations letters.

All Kass applications must be received via our online application form by midnight on February 25, 2021.  Please direct questions to the Center for the Teaching of History at education@masshist.org.

 

John Winthrop Student Fellowship

This award encourages high school students to make use of the nationally significant documents of the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) in a research project of their choosing and with the support of a teacher mentor.

The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) will offer one John Winthrop Student Fellowship to an individual student or a group of up to five students and their teacher advisor during the spring of 2021.  John Winthrop Student Fellow(s) and their teacher will each receive a $350 stipend to complete their project using materials from the MHS archival collections.

Due to Covid-19 concerns onsite research is limited for the foreseeable future.  Therefore, we will be asking our 2021 Student Fellows to work primarily with materials that have already been digitized on our website.  Student fellows will be able to do their entire fellowship remotely. We recommend that students explore the Society’s online resources to get a sense of the MHS collections that might support your research. 

After receiving the fellowship, student fellows must complete their project to their teacher-advisor’s satisfaction and write a blog entry about their experiences for the MHS website.  This report is due on July 1st, 2021.  The teacher-advisor will notify the MHS when they are satisfied with the Fellow's work.

John Winthrop Student Fellowship Application Process

 

Students should decide on a research project in consultation with a teacher-advisor at your school (a current or past History or English teacher, a member of the Library/Media staff, or other)  This can be a project already assigned in class

Fellowship applications should be submitted via our online application form by midnight on February 25, 2021.  The application should include the following:

  • a proposal of no more than 500 words that explores the following:
    • What is your topic and what you are hoping to discover in your research? What questions do you have about your topic?
    • What kind of project are you planning to do? (Examples: An essay, a podcast, an exhibit or poster board, a website, etc.)
  • 3 collections, exhibits, or specific items from the MHS’ digitized collections that you are interested in exploring as part of your research.  These may be from our online collections or independent items that have been digitized on our website.  Students thinking of applying are encouraged to consult with MHS Education  and Library Reader Services via email or virtual chat prior to submitting their proposals. 
  • A recommendation letter from your teacher-advisor for the fellowship project

All John Winthrop Fellowship applications must be received via our application form by midnight on February 25, 2021. If you have any questions, please email the Center for the Teaching of History at education@masshist.org.

Our 2020 Fellowship Winners!

We are proud to announce our 2020 Teacher and Student Fellowship Winners:

Swensrud Teacher Fellowship:

Stephanie Freitas of Somerset Berkley Regional High School, Somerset MA will be researching civil rights activism in the northern United States.

Stephen Guerriero of High Rock Middle School, Needham MA will be researching how the ancient Greek and Roman world was viewed by the Founders and how these views influenced our Constitution and other fundamental documents of the US government.

Kass Teacher Fellowship:

Brian Sheehy of North Andover High School, North Andover MA will be exploring primary sources of World War I through the lens of local history.

John Winthrop Student Fellowship:

Caroline Johnson and Olivia Chickering of Marblehead High School, Marblehead MA will be exploring Boston's response to pandemics and epidemics through history with the support of their teacher Dan Ritchie.

Ishan Narra of Concord Academy, Concord MA will be researching the history of the French and Indian War, focusing on the experiences of Indigenous experiences of war and resistance, with the support of his teacher Ed Rafferty.

Congratulations to our 2020 Teacher and Student Fellows, and we look forward to learning from your research at the MHS this year!