Sawyer Fellowship Program
Undergraduate Student Application Guidelines

The Medical Humanities Research Institute (MHRI) will award two fellowships in AY2024-25 to Rice University undergraduate students. Fellows will be active participants in the “Reimagining Technologies of Care: Racial Health Equity and Data Justice” Sawyer research group, which encompasses a range of research and collaborative activities throughout the year, and involves Rice faculty, TMC clinicians, and external experts we will invite to campus. Candidates will ideally be in their senior year during AY2024-25, although we will consider extremely strong sophomore and junior candidates. Fellows will receive a stipend of $2,000 for participation in the research group during the entire academic year (students who can only participate for half of the year are not eligible). The time commitment for fellowship activities is approximately 3-4 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semesters. Interested students who are not selected for the fellowships may participate in the Sawyer research activities by attending programmed events throughout the year. These activities are funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Sawyer grant program.

“Reimagining Technologies of Care” aims to intervene in the perpetuation of inequitable healthcare by bringing key insights and methodologies of the humanities into the analysis, creation and use of healthcare technologies and the collection and use of health data from these technologies. Building on the strength of Rice University’s faculty working in Medical Humanities, Science and Technology Studies, and the Creative Arts, this research group will expand upon our existing connections with clinicians, biomedical researchers, engineers, and data scientists to imagine new approaches to healthcare that place anti-racism, ethics, patient experiences, artistic expression, and historical and narrative analysis at the center of medical innovation.

During the year, fellows will attend events and have the opportunity to interact with invited speakers and participate in the research group. They will also write social media posts and blogs on research topics, update the website, take photos and minutes during events, publicize events amongst students, interface with The Thresher and other sources of publicity for the programmed events, and present a poster at the end of the year at an undergraduate research symposium or conference. The organizers will provide multidisciplinary mentoring opportunities to the students. 

The fellows will be selected based on their demonstrated interest in the seminar topic, their experience conducting humanities, social science, or arts-based research, their communication skills, and their ability to describe (in their cover letter) how the seminar will contribute to their post-baccalaureate education and/or professional development plans.

To apply, upload as a single PDF on the webform by Tuesday, April 30:

  • A cover letter indicating your research experience and interest in the research topic and how your future career goals would benefit from participation in this research group
  • A resumé
  • An unofficial transcript
  • A writing sample (5-15 double-spaced pages long)
  • Names of two Rice faculty references who could provide an assessment of your humanities, social science, or arts-based research experience and qualifications

Please direct questions to: Melissa Bailar, Executive Director, Medical Humanities Research Institute