2017 Digital Naval History Graduate Fellowship

(Open to all disciplines, including math, sciences and engineering)

Envisioning History (EH) and the Naval Order of the United States are pleased to offer a $2,000 Fellowship for individuals or teams of pre-doctoral graduate students to produce digital research supported by a scholarly paper on topics related to Naval History. The papers should cover topics during the inter-war and World War II eras (1918-1950) to include impacts in political, social, technological or economic arenas.

The Fellowship is NOT limited to history students.  We encourage graduate students or teams, including mathematicians, economists, engineers, scientists, geographers, political scientists, etc., to apply. Digital history opens up possibilities for research and analysis in all fields and allows all disciplines to develop imaginative ways to analyze and explain history, as well as to examine the histories of their respective disciplines.

Proposals are due by February 28th, 2017 and notification of the award will be made by March 15th, 2017. The final product will be due by September 30th, 2017. Prospective applicants should register their interest with Envisioning History via e-mail at info@envisioninghistory.org to receive published clarifications and updates. The proposals will be reviewed by an independent panel of naval officers and historians and selected based on the proposal that best promotes maritime history and use of the digital tools for storytelling.

The purpose of the Fellowship is to create a study of a topic on the inter-war and World War II eras that can be represented geospatially in digital formats.  Important points about the study objectives are:

·         The study should be written as a standard scholarly paper with full sourcing, footnotes, etc. The awardee is also expected to produce a video (about 25 minute duration) telling the story. Envisioning History will make the video recording technology available to the awardee.

·         The study will be peer-reviewed by a panel of recognized historians familiar with the topic; the author is encouraged to list this study on their CV.

·         The peer-reviewed study will be imported into Envisioning History’s database, which already includes tens of thousands of events, people, places and things. The full content of the database is available to the awardee to build upon.

·         The agreement between the author and EH and the NOUS is that EH and the NOUS have non-exclusive right to use the intellectual property contained within the paper; the author is given full credit. The author retains the right to publish part or all of the work elsewhere as long as that publication allows EH/NOUS’s continued use. Presentation of the paper at conferences is encouraged.

·         The study is intended primarily as comprehensive guides to the subject for undergraduate students.  We place the highest premium on telling the story well to those unfamiliar with the subject. 

·         Because undergraduates will use the paper with their accompanying digital information, the paper should include hints on how to extract the information and use the sources. These may be included as “boxes,” appendices, separate helper documents, etc. EH will provide full assistance in their preparation.

·         Digital history requires a significant degree of precision and certainty–especially geographic locations, times, time zones, etc. The precision required may be included in attachments or integrated into the paper. The data included should be in a format that allows easy importing into Google Earth, Carto or equivalent geospatial platforms. 

·         The EH database is constantly being expanded and will continue to grow after the case study is published into the database. The study should be written with that in mind.

·         The fellowship is about history, not technology, although respondents are encouraged to use or create a variety of applets and technical enhancements to storytelling.

Envisioning History has tutorials and a technical team available to assist applicants with various available technologies to include in their proposals. Please feel free to ask. 

Further Details on Writing a Study for the Database

The baseline material available in the Envisioning History database comes directly from the official chronologies of the three U.S. Armed Services (Army, Navy, Army Air Forces) plus other official histories and public domain sources.

The first task is to review the entries in the database for accuracy and completeness, to suggest corrections and to finish any that may be incomplete. Most baseline work is done by undergraduate interns, and the Fellowship recipient may be able to task designated interns to serve as research assistants for their fellowship work.

The next step is to perform research required to fill in additional and relevant details from primary and secondary sources while observing all fair use, attribution and other intellectual property rules. Assistance in digitizing archival sources may be available, as appropriate.

Finished studies should be approximately 12,000 to 15,000 words plus any tables, charts and spreadsheets for direct data entry. In addition to telling the story in an unbiased way, Studies should:

·         Without endorsing a position, point out significant disputes in the topic’s historiography. The study is for educational purposes, so it should guide students with regard to evaluating sources, arguments, etc.

·         Propose a series of questions and exercises for students to investigate or perform in their own research.

·         Produce an instructional video or other digital plug-ins to enhance the story. (Envisioning History has the resources to produce videos and will assist as needed.)

Please feel free to contact the Envisioning History staff to ask questions at info@envisioninghistory.org. The award panel will be independent, and the staff wants promote the best possible projects.