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Research Assistants

The Call for Applications for 2020-21 Undergraduate Research Assistants at the Stanford Humanities Center is now open.

Each year, pending funding from the Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE), the Stanford Humanities Center hires undergraduate Research Assistants (RAs) to assist Humanities Center faculty fellows with research projects over the winter and spring quarters (2020). Undergraduate RAs work eight to ten hours a week, and are paid the undergraduate rate of $15/hr, for a total of $1500 per quarter (paid in one lump sum at the end of the quarter). The faculty leader of each project provides guidance and mentorship (e.g., weekly meetings and reviews) as the research progresses. RAs are also invited to participate in specially-tailored events at the Humanities Center during their two quarters of research.

For forty years, the Stanford Humanities Center has been a hub for advanced research in the humanities. With over fifty scholars in residencies of various lengths, the Humanities Center supports inquiry into major questions and problems in philosophy, art, literature, music, history, and religion. Research Assistants at the Center have worked with faculty fellows (from Stanford and visiting from outside universities) on a wide range of scholarly topics and research methods, including data management, network analysis, digital humanities, archival documentation, and more. RAs bring their own expertise to the faculty projects and expand their skills through working with their mentors, developing their understanding of humanities research and how it might play a role in their future studies and professional paths.

How To Apply:

  1. Read the Project Descriptions listed below and determine which project(s) you are interested in applying to.
  2. Reach out directly to the faculty leader at the email provided in order to indicate your interest and discuss next steps in the application/interview process.


List of Project Titles for which RAs are sought. 

Full descriptions of the projects, including research assistant qualifications, follow below.

  1. The Rise of Off-Site Environmental Mitigation (ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES)




Project title: The Rise of Off-Site Environmental Mitigation

Faculty leader: Laura Martin/ ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES, Williams College/ 

Project description: This project focuses on an article to be included in an edited volume on the rise of big-box retail in the latter part of the twentieth century and the radical ways in which industry retailers reshaped our global and local environments. It concerns the history of off-site wetland mitigation in the United States under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Off-site wetland mitigation is the practice of creating, restoring, or enhancing a wetland in one place in order to “compensate for” damage in another place – say, the filling of a wetland in order to create a shopping mall. The project will engage archival material like Army Corps of Engineering permits to understand the geospatial relationship between construction sites and wetland mitigation sites. Key questions include: When and how did wetland mitigation sites come to be separated from construction sites? How did the practice of mitigation banking arise? And how did the practice of off-site wetland mitigation pave the way for carbon offsetting?

RA responsibilities and learning outcomes: The RA will locate primary and secondary sources at Stanford Libraries (remotely, if necessary) and online, as well as consult with the faculty mentor on where these sources fit into the project. The RA will be responsible for creating local- and regional-scale maps. They will deepen their knowledge about U.S. environmental policy and management, and through guided practice and meetings with the faculty mentor, the RA will gain a more nuanced understanding of how to conduct original historical research.

Proficiency with ArcGIS required. Experience with archival research or with civil engineering plans is preferred.