Data Visualization Fellowship

Work on an individual research project that would benefit from a visual component as part of the U-M Library Data Visualization Fellowship.

This summer-long, paid opportunity is open to current undergraduate and graduate U-M students. It is intended to serve first-generation students, low-income students, or students in financially precarious situations.

Applications for summer 2023 are now closed.

About the fellowship

During the fellowship, you’ll partner with library mentors, including the Data Visualization Librarian, Social Sciences Resident Librarian, and other experts as appropriate, to help guide work on your individual project. 

Through regular meetings, you’ll work among a cohort to share knowledge and expertise. We’ll also connect you to resources across campus as needed. 

Hours: The number of hours and total weeks is flexible depending on your availability, the scope of your project, and total budget for the summer.

Pay rate: $22.00/hour. 

Two different fellowship pathways are available. We’re recruiting 3 to 5 fellows for summer 2023, but only one will be accepted for the Bentley Historical Library Pathway.

Student guided pathway

This pathway will be based on a research project proposed by you, the recipient. Appropriate projects would benefit from a visual component. The component could be an interactive map, a series of graphs, network diagrams, etc. 

Research can be at any stage from just beginning to nearly complete. We welcome research at any level, from undergraduate projects to dissertations. 

Bentley Historical Library pathway

This pathway is part of the African American Student Project hosted at the Bentley Historical Library. With overall fellowship support, you’ll work closely with archivists at the Bentley to design and produce visualizations and maps, building on the database they are creating of African American students. 

You’ll update and continue development on a map of Ann Arbor showing where African American students have lived, create historical maps and visualizations of students’ hometowns, and work with the Bentley archivists to design and implement additional visualizations.

Comfort with at least some programming is necessary for this pathway, but specific languages and libraries can be learned over the course of the summer. There will be significant support for programming from the library. If you’re excited about this type of work and want to learn more, please apply.


Fellows from both pathways are expected to dedicate at least 8 hours per month to check-in meetings, cohort meetings, and workshops, including:

  • Weekly check-in meetings with library mentors (30 minutes)
  • Weekly cohort meetings (1 hour)
  • Biweekly workshops provided by library mentors (1 hour)

In-person meeting attendance is preferred, but we understand students may not have the ability or flexibility to do so. Ongoing work can be done remotely. Additional meetings with library mentors are at the discretion of the fellow and can occur in-person or remotely. 

The exact schedule and portion of the summer which fellows will work is flexible. Library mentors will work with each fellow to develop a schedule.

End of fellowship requirements

There are 2 end of fellowship requirements for fellows from both pathways:

  1. Prepare and give a presentation providing an overview of the project and visualization. 
  2. Provide a workshop based on the technical or methodical work done over the summer to teach others the skills learned.

Library mentors will help fellows prepare the presentation and work closely with them to design the workshop. Mentors can also be available to co-teach the workshop, if desired. Both will be hosted by the library and open to the university community.

The preparation, presentation, and workshop time will be paid at the hourly rate.

Important dates

  • Call for applications: May 10–24, 2023
  • Applicants receive notifications: June 2, 2023
  • Earliest date for fellowship start: June 5, 2023
  • Latest date for fellows to complete summer hours: August 18, 2023

This fellowship is made possible with funds from Roger and Esther Heyns.

Questions? Contact Tal Ness at or Justin Joque at