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Undergraduate Program

Research Opportunities: HOUR Program

The Department of History offers the HOUR program for undergraduate students interested in research. In this program, students collaborate with department faculty on their scholarly work.

Each semester, students can apply to assist members of the history faculty who would like help on their research projects. Students in this program will gain valuable research experience working with a variety of historic documents and evidence.

Students can receive either credit or an hourly wage through this program:

  • Hourly rate is $12.50. Students who are being paid with department funds, instead of out of an individual professor’s research account, will be limited to payment of up to $375.00 (30 hours) a semester or during the summer (to be determined with a professor). Students may apply for additional research hours pending availability of funds.
  • Credit is for HIST 395: Independent Research, providing the student completes a substantial writing assignment based on their research. If you choose this option you must:
    • Devise a syllabus with the professor with whom you will be working with
    • Register for the course online (please make sure you complete this before the University deadline)

Remote work options are limited to students residing in New York, California, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia as these are states the University is registered for employment purposes. Please contact Jacquilyn Rizzo with any questions, jacquilyn.rizzo@rochester.edu.

Apply

Students can apply online through the online hour application.

If you want to work for a professor that you have not taken a course with, you must also submit a letter of recommendation from a faculty member who has taught you. Letters of recommendations can be sent to the Department of History office or emailed to history.department@rochester.edu.

Opportunities

Diaries of Horace Waller (Professor Elias Mandala)

This project focusing on transcribing the diaries of Horace Waller, who worked in Malawi, 1861-63. Professor Mandala is editing the diaries for publication. If the applicant assists on this project for credit, they would be required to write a short paper, summarizing the diaries' portrayal of local society at the time.

Kormantin/ Fort Amsterdam (Professor Jarvis)

Professor Michael Jarvis is looking for a skilled history student to independently research the history of Kormantin/Fort Amsterdam, a gold- and slave-trade post/fort in modern-day Ghana, from circa 1600 to the present. The project involves creating a timeline of events and transcribing primary source material documenting the location. Previous primary-source research experience (HIS 200 and/or other history research seminars) required. Background in African/Atlantic/British Imperial history and Dutch language skills strongly preferred.  Must be reliable, accurate, self-disciplined, and able to think and work independently and steadily over the course of the fall semester.  

Program Testimonies

“I think I have likely had at least one HOUR student working with me every year since the program began. Since I have always put students right into the trenches of research I think it is surely one of the best ways for students to learn what we really do with our professional lives when not at the lectern or seminar table and the work has been of immense value to me as a scholar." -Richard Kaeuper                                         

"While I was unaware of what a Research Assistant entails, the HOUR program was a great way for me to gain research skills. I received excellent mentoring and regular feedback regarding my work during my research. These experiences have greatly improved my confidence and competence in writing and researching." -Mohammed Bah

"I had a great HOUR program experience under Professor Mandala. I had the privilege of editing a transcription of Horace Waller's diaries, a 19th century Englishman who travelled to Malawi. I learned a lot about the experience of a white man in Africa at the time, especially when disease, tribal conflict, slavery, and colonialism were prevalent at the time, and it was a great snapshot into the period and place. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Professor Mandala, who gave me constant direction and feedback, and I'm glad I got the opportunity."-Rohat Chari

"The HOUR program was the perfect way to learn how to conduct research. Within a month of entering school, I was learning and practicing skills directly from a professional historian; it is without a doubt that the HOUR program set the foundation for much of my future success." -Brandon Pachman