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Call for Applications: Vanderbilt Institute for Digital Learning (VIDL) Graduate Fellowships

Posted by on Thursday, August 8, 2013 in News.

from Doug Fisher, Director of Vanderbilt’s new Institute for Digital Learning:

The Vanderbilt Institute for Digital Learning (VIDL) invites applications for graduate student fellowships for the 2013-2014 academic year. Fellowships ranging from 10 to 20 hours per week, for one or both semesters, will be considered, with health insurance if desired. Because VIDL’s operations are just starting and we anticipate that many qualified students have support for the coming year already, we intend to focus on fellowships at the level of 10 hours per week (read this as 9.5 hours weekly for those with an existing 20 hour weekly commitment). We anticipate that VIDL will select 2-4 fellowships each semester of this year; VIDL prefers that a student be a fellow both semesters. Stipends will range from approximately $5,500 per semester for a 10-hour weekly commitment, to approximately $10,000 per semester for a 20-hour commitment (tuition coverage will be considered for a 20-hour fellow).


To be considered for a VIDL Graduate Fellowship, a candidate (you!) must be in good academic standing in a graduate program (with preference to PhD students as one factor in selection), and submit an application by email to the VIDL Director (

The body of the email application should include:

  1. Your name, email address, phone (phone is optional)
  2. Statement of support that you are requesting (10 or 20 hours weekly? Tuition in the latter case? Both Fall and Spring semester, or one semester only?)
  3. The name and email address of a faculty member who will recommend you, and confirmation that a request of the faculty member has been made for recommendation to be emailed (to
  4. The name and email address of your department’s Director of Graduate Studies, who may be contacted (your DGS can also be your recommender given in 3)

In addition, the email application should include attached PDF files for

  1. A curriculum vitae (<your-last-name>-CV.pdf), and
  2. A statement that includes an overview of your background, interests in digital learning, and what you would hope to achieve as a graduate fellow (<your-last-name>-Statement.pdf)

Application Processing begins August 9, 2013 (and continues until positions filled).


VIDL has several missions, to include (a) exploring and supporting the use of online and other digital learning technologies to enhance the on-campus learning experience; (b) supporting and tracking campus research on learning with digital technologies, in areas such as educational data mining and human computer interactions; and (c) supporting the production of educational content by our faculty and students, to include flagship projects, such as COURSERA online courses. VIDL will interface with existing offices on campus, such as the Center for Teaching, the Faculty Senate, the Library, the many academic units, and News and Public Affairs.

Graduate Fellows of VIDL will learn about the many aspects of creating and evaluating digital learning content, and to the extent that their own research and education interests align with VIDL’s needs and mission, fellows can advance these efforts as well. Examples of possible projects include data mining of online student behavior; studies of student motivation with online environments; tracking organizational changes at Vanderbilt as a result of the Institute itself; researching a history of selected digital learning technologies such as mobile devices, and investigating societal implications of the technology; preparing, posting, and evaluating original educational online material on a selected topic, and placing it in the web of existing material in that area; characterizing and researching worst-case analyses of peer assessment strategies, rather than (simply) average-case analyses.

In all cases, VIDL Graduate Fellows will document their workflows and other activities for the benefit of others — on blogs and as documents and multimedia posted the VIDL Web site, Youtube, and elsewhere.

Image: “up!“, Ryan Heaney, Flickr (CC)

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