Quick Guide to Humanities Resources

A quick Guide to resources most helpful in particular to humanities  and social sciences doctoral students and graduates:

ImaginePhD - use this tool to discover the many career possibilities, take self-assessments to hone in on your super-strengths and discover where you can apply your talents

O*NET - a search tool to discover jobs based on your knowledge, skills, abilities and values, according to the job family of most interest to you

Beyond the Professoriate - chock full of tips and tricks to translate your dissertation skills into the language of your future employer

Non-Academic Career Options for PhDs in the Humanities and Social Sciences - a great overview of many roles where you can put your skills to work, compiled by Columbia University's Center for Career Education

Five truths about leaving academia with a PhD by Roostervane

Philosophers in Industry - an informal directory with the purpose of helping academic philosophers network outside of academia.

Soxiology curates vacancies in schools of sociology, politics, history and philosophy

CogDevSoc is a listserv that compiles job announcements, conference and meeting announcements, grant announcements, and general queries

Resource for Career Planning from the Modern Language Association. 

Cornell Center for Social Sciences - Workshops on a variety of data related tools and topics.

Cornell Library Immersion Program and Resources for Humanities and Social Science Graduate Students

Humanities Societies

Databases & Directories of Think Tanks & N.G.O.s

See the Directory of Associations to find local, regional, national, and international associations compiled by state and categories. Use keywords from your research with "association" or "society" to find more.

  • CIAO Database- - Full text of conference proceedings, think tank articles, some journals, and working papers on international affairs
  • Columbia University Lehman Social Sciences Library
  • OxResearch - multidiciplinary articles on political developments worldwide
  • "Pishu 皮书": China Economy, Public Policy, and Security Database
  • PolicyArchive Database - an innovative, new digital archive of global, non-partisan public policy research
  • U.S. Department of State - lists policy issues
  • World Press Review Library of International Affairs - an index of international think tanks and non-governmental research organizations with hyperlinks

Mentors with Humanities Backgrounds

Inform yourself by reading about and reaching out to humanities grads who have made their way to successful careers outside of academia.

Eric Acree; Cornell University Library, Director, John Henrik Clarke Africana Library; Coordinator of Fine Arts and Music Libraries

Derek Attig (they/them), a History PhD

Liz Murice Alexander

Oumar Ba, editor at the online magazine Africa Is a Country

Malcom Bare

Michelle Boyd (Inkwell Academic Writing Retreats)

Leonard Cassuto

Christopher Caterine

Rebecca ColesworthyPhD '09 (English)

Chris Cornthwaite 

Mariano-Florentino (Tino) Cuéllar, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Kiley M. Foster PhD'20 (Near Eastern Studies)

Grace Catherine Greiner PhD '21 (English)

Stephanie J. Hull, PhD, President & CEO, Girls, Inc.

Vicki Johnson PhD, BA'01 Government, Founder and Director of ProFellow

Virginia Kennedy, PhD ’12 (English)

Stephen Kidd, PhD, Executive Director, National Humanities Alliance

Stephen Kim, PhD'20 (English), minor fields in FGSS and American Studies

Emily Levitt, PhD '18, (Cultural Anthropology) UX Researcher, Google

Andrew Mahlstedt, United World Colleges

Eilis Monahan PhD'19 (Near and Middle Eastern Studies) BCG 

Sabrina Papazian UX researcher, Lyft (Cornell postdoctoral alumna)

Laura Payne-Bourcy, Owner/Partner Laura Payne-Bourcy Consulting Services

Charles Petersen, senior editor at n+1 magazine

Ashley Ruba, UX Researcher, Meta Reality Labs (U of Washington PhD, Psychology, 2019)

Dylan Ruediger, Program Manager, The Research Enterprise at Ithaka S+R

Cameron Scott, PhD '02 (Comparative Literature)

Anna Shechtman, senior humanities editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB)

Lynne Stahl, PhD '15 (English), Humanities Librarian at West Virginia University

Emily Swafford from the American Historical Association

Mia Tootill, MA ’13, PhD’17 (Musicology)

Jennifer Urban, MA ’06, PhD ’08 (Human Development), Author of “Building a Career Outside Academia: A Guide for Doctoral Students in the Behavioral and Social Sciences”, and Professor of Family Science and Human Development, Montclair State University

Janine Utell from the Modern Language Association

Robert Weisbuch

Lina Žigelytė, Senior UX Researcher, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (U of Rochester PhD, Visual & Cultural Studies, 2017)

Roles for PhDs

Take advantage of Imagine PhD to explore roles you might not have considered.

UX (User Experience) Researcher -

Careers in Higher Education

Many PhD graduates from the humanities seek fulfilling careers in higher education. Some resources to consider:

Search for jobs in Higher Ed (faculty and administrative roles): HERC (Higher Education Recruitment Consortium)

Consult this database of relevant journals and conferences: Higher Education Journals and Conferences has direct links to author guidelines and conference homepages, includes impact factors, acceptance rates, and a separate tab for K-12 journals.

Fund your work through fellowships organized in these databases targeted toward all disciplines:


Examples of Humanities Fellowships

Cornell University Rural Humanities student microgrants

Einhorn Center for Community Engagement for Cornell postdocs

Cornell Atkinson Center for  Sustainability opportunities for postdocs and graduate students whose research touches on thematic priority areas: Accelerating Energy Transitions (AET), Reducing Climate Risk (RCR), Increasing Food Security (IFS), and Advancing One Health (AOH)

PhD Pathways Program fellowship at UT Austin led by Melanie Pearce. The program was developed by borrowing heavily from Laura at Michigan, ACLS public fellows and University of Illinois Humanities Without Walls academics without walls programs 
Pathways Candidate Evaluation Rubric a really amazing selection process that was developed by our two graduate assistants (one studies the role of AI and equity in application processes, the other advertising)

ProFellow is a Cornell alumna initiated searchable database of fellowships for graduate study and professional development