John Crerar Foundation History of Science and Medicine Fellowship

Title: John Crerar Foundation History of Science and Medicine Fellow

Division/Department: Sciences/Social Sciences and Digital Scholarship

Fellowship coordinators: Robert Shepard, GIS Librarian and Cecilia Smith, Director, Center for Digital Scholarship

General Summary:

John Crerar Foundation History of Science Fellowship will contribute to the NEH funded Mapping Chicagoland project by enriching maps of Chicago from the late 19th and early 20th century with spatial data. The project brings together historical cartographic representations from the UChicago Library, Newberry Library, and the Chicago History Museum. The fellow will draw upon established best practices in consultation with the project team to georeference high resolution images of maps before they are made publicly available. The fellow will research the uses for historical maps in digital projects and be part of the decision making for how to apply georeferencing techniques. Activities will include identifying projections presented on historical maps, using geospatial software to add spatial data, and recording accuracy information. The fellow will have opportunities to present the learnings from their experience through Library communication channels, such as a digital exhibit and news posts.

The fellow will write a short reflection on their experience and make a presentation to Library staff about their activities/project near or following the completion of their fellowship experience.

While initial appointment is for a single academic quarter, reappointment for an additional term will be considered.

Specific activities include:

Georeferencing Historical Maps of Chicago focus

  • Georeferencing historical maps according to established best practices, ongoing consultation with project team, and research on projections and uses of digitized maps
  • Participating in technical trainings and project meetings
  • Communicating regularly with project team
  • Contributing to an online exhibit or News post showcasing the maps and georeferencing workflow
  • Presentations, events, or other outreach resources to further disseminate information about the project


  • Enrolled in a UChicago graduate program and in good academic standing during the period of the fellowship
  • Ability to develop technical skills using geographic information systems (GIS) software
  • Ability to work both collaboratively and independently to accomplish project goals
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to details
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Interest or experience/background in GIS and georeferencing preferred
  • Coursework or experience in geography and maps preferred

Hours and Schedule:

Fall, Winter or Spring academic year quarter appointment, approximately 15 hours per week

Summer quarter appointment, approximately 20 hours per week


$3300 per academic quarter (Fall, Winter or Spring)

$4000 per summer quarter

Start Date: ASAP

To Apply:

Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter highlighting interest in the fellowship and relevant background experience to Robert Shepard, GIS Librarian at The opportunity will remain open until filled. Applications submitted by October 13, 2023 receive assured consideration.

Previous recipients:

Summer 2019 - Zachary Barr, Ph.D. candidate in History

Fall 2019 - Krithika Mohan, Ph.D. candidate in Neuroscience

Winter 2020 - Reese Fulgenzi, Ph.D. student in the Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science

Summer 2020 - Clara del Junco, Ph.D. student in Chemistry

Winter 2021 - Biying Ling, Ph.D. student in the Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science

Winter 2022, Spring 2022 - Kris Palmieri, Ph.D. in the Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science