We invite curious people with expertise across disciplines, practices, and modalities within the humanities to apply for a 2024-2025 Watershed Fellowship with the Public Humanities Collaboratory. The Public Humanities Collaboratory convenes scholars, creatives, cultural practitioners, and nonprofit and community leaders to engage in collective inquiry with the aim of discovering new approaches to enduring or emerging challenges.


Four fellows will be selected to participate in the one-year Collaboratory experience that involves two components:

1) A series of facilitated interdisciplinary discussions intended to explore thematic issues from diverse perspectives, build connections through active listening and reflection, and inspire new trajectories of thought, work, and purpose. Fellows will be in conversation with activists, scientists, and artists working to create or revive the knowledge and perspectives that can guide us through this critical time of social and ecological crisis.

2) Development of a public humanities project relevant to the Collaboratory theme that enables the public or a community to see connections, understand challenges, or invent opportunities.


For 2024–2025 Watershed Fellowships, we welcome applications from philosophers, writers, historians, activists, teachers, storytellers, theologians, and community leaders whose work engages human connections with water


Water flows around and through us, connecting us to land, people, other life forms, histories, and futures. Whether we fish nearby riffles for dinner, irrigate thirsty crops, or birdwatch at the local reservoir, our watersheds deeply influence our values and shape our lives. Watersheds both sustain us and are part of who we are as humans. Yet, from the intensifying effects of the climate emergency to degradation from development and polluting industries, the watersheds we rely on are changing in unpredictable and unprecedented ways. Faced with these urgent threats to our ecosystems, livelihoods, traditions, and wellbeing, we are called on to reimagine our relationships with water. 

During this one-year fellowship, we invite you to harness the reality-shifting, imaginative power of the humanities to explore a central question: What ideas, ethics, wisdoms, stories, and efforts might help us build more mindful and just relationships with our watersheds?  

For the full year, fellows will engage in research and projects beyond the channeled banks of expertise to find places of confluence with others in a larger thinking community. We are committed to fostering dialogue across disciplines and will facilitate opportunities for fellows to connect with each other's work and ideas. 


These fellowships are open to scholars, researchers, writers, and community or nonprofit leaders whose work is grounded in the humanities. That is, we welcome applications from those who employ interpretive, discursive, and creative methods to approach questions and issues involving the human experience and human impacts. This includes those working in traditional humanities disciplines (philosophy & ethics, history, religious studies, writing, etc.) and beyond.

Those with interest or experience in collaborative interdisciplinary work and the public humanities are encouraged to apply. Applicants from historically under-represented groups are encouraged to apply. Applicants from the Pacific Northwest are also encouraged to apply—we are especially interested in supporting public humanities projects that focus on Oregon or the PNW and that converge with issues of environmental or ecological justice.

For more information about the relevance of your work and ideas to this opportunity, please see the FAQ or contact Joy Jensen.


  • A one-year commitment. 
  • Create intellectual community and continuity by:
    • Attending a virtual orientation meeting in early February 2024.
    • Attending an in-person gathering in March 2024 in Oregon. 
    • Participating in virtual meetings once a month from February through December 2024. Meetings will be facilitated using the council method, which encourages attentive listening, compassionate expression, and cultivation of insight and understanding. 
    • Completing two to four weeks in residence at one of four PRAx residency locations in Oregon (a cabin in the Oregon Coast Range, onsite lodging at H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, or a cottage along the McKenzie River). Residency stays may be split into multiple blocks. 
  • Develop to completion a public humanities project that engages questions about water or watersheds. See the FAQ for examples of project approaches and outcomes. All projects should be developed for a public audience of non-specialists. 
  • Present on your project during a public event near the end of the fellowship. We will work with you to host public events at Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts (PRAx) in winter or spring 2025. Events can be solo (e.g., a reading or lecture) or collaborative (e.g., a public conversation or performance). While on campus, fellows will engage with students or a student group for one hour (e.g., via a lecture, conversation, or workshop). 
  • Participate with other fellows in a virtual, public round-table discussion at the end of the fellowship.
  • Submit a mid-year progress report (2 pages), a final reflection on your project and fellowship experience (2-4 pages), and programmatic feedback at the end of the year. 


The review committee will select four fellows with diverse and complementary perspectives and methods of approach. Each fellow will receive: 

  • $4,000 stipend ($2,000 awarded at the beginning of the fellowship and $2,000 awarded after a mid-year progress report).
  • Up to $2,000 in travel expenses.
  • A residency of up to four weeks at one of our locations in Oregon.
  • The opportunity to engage in deep listening, creative reflection, and idea-building within a diverse and welcoming interdisciplinary thinking community. 
  • Support coordinating and promoting a presentation or event connected with their public humanities project near the end of the fellowship.



  • January 8, 2024: Application deadline.
  • January 26, 2024: Applicants notified of status.
  • Early February 2024: Schedule residency time, complete paperwork, and attend an online orientation.  
  • February 2024: Fellowship begins with a first virtual meeting. Meetings will be held monthly through December 2024. 
  • March 2024: A three-day, in-person gathering in Corvallis, Oregon. Fellows will come together to share ideas, ask questions, and build community. 
  • November 2024: Participate in a virtual public round-table discussion.  
  • Winter/Spring 2025: Public humanities event featuring your project at PRAx. 


Applications are due January 8, 2024 via Submittable. All applications will be evaluated by a diverse review committee composed of scholars and cultural practitioners working in relevant fields. Applicants will be notified of status by January 26, 2024. Apply here.

If you have questions about any of the above, see the FAQ or contact Joy Jensen at joy.jensen@oregonstate.edu.



The Public Humanities Collaboratory Watershed Fellowships are supported by an alliance of organizations at Oregon State University: The Center for the Humanities, the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts (PRAx), and the Spring Creek Project.