About Us

UGrow began in August 2014 as an initiative led by Tim Watson (English Department) while on an internship in the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. UGrow builds on a successful, ongoing series of events focused on alternatives to academic careers for graduate students, sponsored by the Center for the Humanities.

The program was developed by Tim Watson in the College of Arts & Sciences in partnership with The Graduate School at the University of Miami. Each year a group of graduate students gets the chance to pursue nine-month placements as UGrow Fellows in non-teaching units at the university or in off-campus organizations, in place of their regular teaching assistantship assignments. The placements provide training and experience in fields that will appeal to future employers both inside and outside academia, including librarianship and archive management; museum curation and collection development; university communications; university and nonprofit fundraising; data analysis and digital humanities; professional development and graduate program administration.

In 2016, for the first time, UGrow expanded off campus, in partnership with HistoryMiami Museum, offering a placement in museum collections research. On-campus partners include the University of Miami Libraries, the Graduate School, the Division of Continuing and International Education, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the Center for Computational Science.

An open meeting for humanities PhD students in September 2014 established the clear and strong interest of many graduate students in this initiative. This was confirmed by a survey of all University of Miami humanities PhD students in November 2014, which found that 78% were likely or certain to apply for yearlong internships in non-teaching positions if they were to be offered by the university.

In the spring semester of 2015, The Graduate School and the College of Arts & Sciences jointly supported a current PhD student, Brad Rittenhouse (English), to assist in developing the program.

In March 2015, the first call for applications was distributed to PhD students, with the expectation that our first cohort of UGrow Fellows will begin work in August 2015. An advisory committee of faculty will be appointed to select fellows, oversee internships, and help develop the program.

Thank you to all the people and units who have helped make UGrow a reality. If you would like to give in support of UGrow, please visit our Giving page.

If you have questions about UGrow, please contact Tim Watson: watsont@miami.edu.

News of the launch of the UGrow program can be found here.

The Modern Language Association covered UGrow on its Connected Academics web site in October 2015.

If you are interested in offering an internship that would be appropriate and valuable for PhD students in the humanities or social sciences, around 15 hours per week during the academic year, either on campus or off campus, please contact us at watsont@miami.edu.