Public Scholars Group

Aerial View of KU's Strong Hall and Jayhawk Blvd

The Public Scholars Group is launched its second year beginning in February 2022. This calendar-year project has come together through a partnership between the Center for Faculty Development and Mentoring, the Hall Center for the Humanities, and the Office of Research. The Public Scholars program is a valuable professional development opportunity for faculty to make the relevance of their scholarly research visible beyond academia.

The Project

In its second year, the program brought together a new inter-disciplinary and diverse cohort of 20 faculty and provided them with training and peer support to use public scholarship platforms for accessible yet research-based communication that enrich public discourse. During the 2021 pilot year, participants published writings with Scientific American, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and other publications. Both tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty are encouraged to apply.

Each new participant received $500 (as summer stipend) and was enrolled in a training with the nationally recognized Op-Ed Project (“Write to Change the World” workshop), which helps aspiring public scholars learn to communicate broadly and persuasively, with an emphasis on promoting diverse voices. After this initial training, the group meets bi-weekly during the calendar year (with a pause for the summer). Once a month we meet as a whole group for a training, and once with a mini group of 10-12 colleagues to workshop writings, pitches, and ideas. During the past year, participants received professional trainings on different forms of public scholarship, from opinion pieces to science writing, by nationally recognized writers and editors including Dr. Jennifer Wilson (The Nation, New York Times), Dr. Adam Rutherford (The Guardian), Brian Rosenwald and Kathryn Brownell (“Made by History,” The Washington Post), and others.

We invited past participants to continue to be part of the project for an additional year as associates (without compensation) and avail themselves of new trainings. Our hope is to have a mix of more and less experienced public writers to foster peer mentorship. We ask participants to commit to writing and pitching 2 pieces of public writing (or equivalent public scholarly activities such as a media appearances or podcasts) in the course of the calendar year.

If you would like to participate in this important and exciting initiative, please submit the following:

  • Your CV
  • Project proposal in which you discuss, in no more than 500 words, how your scholarly expertise can productively address broad questions of current public concern.
  • 2-3 working titles for public scholarship that you can see yourself writing/ creating