GSU’s Student Innovation Fellowship program and the departments of English and History were awarded a Next Generation Humanities PhD grant for the academic year 2016/17 from the NEH designed to transform the culture of graduate education in the humanities and substantially broaden the career prospects of PhD recipients in the humanities. Project co-directors Brennan Collins (Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning), Denise Davidson (Dept. of History), and Dylan Ruediger (Dept. of History) coordinated a year of intensive planning involving GSU alumni, faculty, staff, and administrators, as well as representatives from Atlanta’s arts & business communities to re-imagine the purpose, scope, and outcomes of GSU’s PhD programs in the humanities.

The grant helped fund a total of eight workshops that focused on the wide variety of professional career paths available to humanities PhDs. In addition, the planning committee developed numerous complementary initiatives in departments, at the university level, and outside of academia. Initiatives included: the creation of a Career Diversity Advisory Board of alumni to help guide and network matriculating PhDs into the non-academic job market; the creation of dedicated internship opportunities in non-academic work settings; the implementation of a Digital Humanities certificate program that help graduate students acquire both soft and hard skills that are needed inside and outside academia; and a committed expansion of Career Services to assist graduate students on the job market.

Find out more: Promising Practices in Humanities PhD Professional Development.

SIF fellows who worked on the project gained competence in grant writing and workshop organization. They were also instrumental in putting together the required white paper at the end of the funding period.

Please follow the links below to access the project website:



Brennan Collins

Program Co-Director

Ashley Cheyemi McNeil

Multi-Ethnic Literature

Thomas Breideband

Rhetoric & Digital Media