The Transferable PhD (2016): Converting Academic Skills into Broad Career Paths

April 2, 2016 — The National Humanities Center

This conference, organized by graduate students from UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University, focuses on alternative career options for people with a PhD. in Humanities.

The speakers we have invited this year all hold a PhD. in Humanities and now work in a variety of different fields, ranging from the non-profit world, to government positions, publishing, the business world and teaching positions outside of academia. We have further put together a panel that will talk about the future of the field of humanities, and a panel that will discuss the options for popularizing your academic knowledge.

The conference will be concluded by a 45 minute keynote delivered by Leonard Cassuto, author of “The Graduate School Mess”.

The conference is free, and involved participants from a wide range of humanities backgrounds. PhD students and candidates looking to broaden their career paths are encouraged to attend and engage in the vibrant discussions about their futures and the future of graduate training.

For more information, see the event’s official website,

Hard, But Important Advice for Those Thinking about Grad School in History

Unfortunately, that market is only getting tighter. The current issue of Perspectives, the newsletter of the American Historical Association, features an article on that topic. The whole article is worth a read if you’re thinking about continuing your studies at the doctoral level. But this graph alone speaks volumes:

Number of new History PhDs and Advertised Openings, 1974-2015
Number of new History PhDs and Advertised Openings, 1974-2015

Read more, “Hard, But Important Advice for Those Thinking about Grad School in History”

Resources for an Expansive Job Search: Humanities & Social Sciences

Compiled by Anne Mitchell Whisnant, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Resources for an Expansive Job Search: Humanities & Social Sciences includes a mix of sites that discuss larger issues involved in converting graduate training in the humanities or social sciences to a nonacademic career, and sites that include job listings. Because individuals’ career trajectories can be so varied, a big part of successfully transitioning from graduate school to satisfying employment involves plugging into the broader conversation about the wide range of careers actually pursued by those with this training. While many of these resources are specifically geared to some of the problems faced by those with Ph.D.s, much of their advance is relevant and valuable to those with master’s degrees who either seek employment, or who are considering continuing to the Ph.D.

Graduate Career Talk: Careers Beyond Faculty in Academia for Humanities & Social Sciences PhDs

January 15, 2016. Registration required! Interested in keeping your post-graduate options open? What career options are available beyond faculty in academia? Are you applying for jobs but just don’t know where to start? Come join Career Center staff and your fellow graduate students as we explore the many career options beyond faculty in higher ed available to Humanities and Social Science graduate students. We will discuss resumes, networking, online resources, transferrable skills and much more. Get informed, get connected and get prepared to find the job that is right for you.

Read more about the event, Careers Beyond Faculty in Academia for Humanities & Social Sciences PhDs.

An Introduction to TeacherServe

The History Professional Development Committee invites you to a discussion with Richard Schramm and his colleagues from the National Humanities Center about their online pedagogical resource, TeacherServe, on Thursday, November 12 from 10:00 – 11:00 am, to be held in Friedl 225.

TeacherServe is a collection of both instructional guides and individual lesson plans that are written by academic professionals for high school instructors and students. Contributing to TeacherServe offers a valuable opportunity for current graduate students to practice writing about their historical time period for non-academic audiences and to develop pedagogical materials geared towards online learning environments.

In the workshop, Richard Schramm will offer an overview of the platform and outline specific ways that graduate students might be able to contribute to this project.


An Introduction to TeacherServe, with Richard Schramm, National Humanities Center

Hosted by the History Professional Development Committee

Thursday, Nov. 12 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Friedl 225

Coffee and donuts will be provided. Please RSVP by Wednesday, Nov. 11.

This workshop is open to graduate students and faculty members from any discipline in the humanities.

Doctoral Education in the Altac Age: Altacs in Academe

October 22, 2015, 5-7pm. At Hyde Hall, UNC. This seminar meeting provides attendees with the opportunity to discuss ways in which doctoral education can reshape its requirements, rethink its purpose, and creatively train its students for an array of career options and a diversity of possible futures. We will engage in discussions of the professionalization of a traditionally research-oriented profession and the implications of this for contemporary doctoral education at public universities. Professor Bernard Herman, chair of the Department of American Studies, will provide examples of aspects of the department’s newly minted doctoral program, including the requirement of a professional portfolio, a shortened time-to-degree, and flexibility in the approach to the dissertation, as a case study. Graduate students and Directors of Graduate Studies are especially encouraged to attend. (more…)

SSRI Workshop for History Grad Students

You are invited to a special session for history graduate students with the Duke Social Science Research Institute (SSRI). SSRI staff will provide background on the institute, explain how it can further your research objectives (particularly regarding quantitative research), and show you where you can always find free coffee on campus.

Lunch will be provided for the event.

The History Professional Development Committee has arranged for the SSRI staff to be available to discuss specific research questions related to your projects, the beginning of what we hope are many collaborations between history and SSRI. This is an especially great opportunity for pre-ABD students to think about project design, though it will also serve ABD students seeking new datasets or parsing small mountains of archival documentation.


Room 230E, Gross Hall (map link)
Tuesday, October 6th
12pm – 1:30pm
Lunch provided

Please RSVP using this link by 4pm, Friday, October 2—and please let Will Goldsmith know if you have questions.

Versatile PhD 2015-2016 Forum Events

Every year, Versatile PhD does a series of panel discussions in the asynchronous discussion forums on the site. Each discussion focuses on a specific non-academic career that is open to PhDs, and features 4-6 PhDs or ABDs currently working in that career. Panel discussions coming up this academic year:

Sept. 14-18: “Careers in Technology Transfer” in the STEM forum (more information)

Oct. 19-23: “Careers in Publishing” in the Humanities/Social Science forum

Nov. 16-20: “University Administration for STEM” in the STEM forum

Jan. 25-29: “Careers in Business” in the Humanities/Social Science forum

Feb. 22-26: “Careers in Software Engineering” in the STEM forum

Mar. 14-18: “Careers in Technical Writing” in the Humanities/Social Science forum

Mark your calendars for the topics that interest you and plan to visit the site a lot those weeks!

If you know anyone who would make a good panelist on any of these topics, great, shoot me an email with their name and ideally their LinkedIn profile so I can look at their background. All panelists must be either PhD or ABD in one of the “research disciplines” (humanities, social science or STEM), employed outside the academy, and have a generally helpful nature. Self-nominations are welcome.

If you know someone who would be great but who is not working in any of the careers listed above, send me their name anyway so they can be considered in the future.

We hope this year will be a time of great progress towards all of your goals. Hopefully we can help with some of them.

Internship Opportunity in RTI University Collaborations Office

RTI International has a long history of collaboration with research universities, extending our capabilities through collaborative project work with faculty, staff, and students to better serve our clients and contribute to scientific scholarship. In 2014, RTI created the University Collaborations Office. Guided by an advisory committee comprised of our executive leadership and university representatives drawn from our Board of Governors, the University Collaborations Office develops and manages partnerships with leading academic institutions and promotes awareness of our services and capabilities on university campuses.

For more information, see the RTI Internship Flier

Duke University Press Call for Editorial/World Reader Interns

Duke University Press produces 120 books a year on subjects such as Latin American studies, literary theory and criticism, history, cultural studies, Asian studies, film and television studies, and anthropology. Duke Press is known for publishing cutting-edge, interdisciplinary scholarship. Our primary audience is academic: professors in the field; graduate students; and freelance scholars. However, some of our books are part of the trade market and end up displayed prominently at bookstores. (more…)