Student and Academic Life

Gaines Center Taking 2021 Fellowship Applications Now

photo of 2019 or 2020 Gaines Fellows
Gaines Fellows enjoy unique research opportunities, specialized seminars, and academic and professional development opportunities with faculty mentors.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 27, 2021) The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities is searching for highly motivated undergraduate students across all majors for its fellowship program. Only a few weeks remain to apply for this prestigious program that provides Wildcats with unique research opportunities, specialized seminars, and academic and professional development opportunities with faculty mentors. Applications for the Gaines Fellowship will be taken through Feb. 8.

The Gaines Fellowship is an intensive two-year program awarded to 12 outstanding undergraduate students each year. Selected fellows take a four-credit hour seminar course as a small cohort focused on the humanities with outstanding UK faculty both semesters of their junior year.

During their senior year, fellows carry out an independent thesis project under the guidance of the Gaines Center director and a small faculty committee. The thesis project allows fellows to conduct passionate, faculty-mentored research and to demonstrate in-depth understanding of their research upon defense.

All Gaines Fellows are awarded a stipend of $2,000 their junior year and $3,000 their senior year. 

In addition to the study and research opportunities above, Gaines Fellows are active in ongoing community engagement initiatives including discussions with community leaders, visits to local landmarks, dinners, trivia nights and more. The fellows also are provided access to the Gaines Center facilities, including a student lounge, and can access financial support for travel and research opportunities.

Undergraduate students from all majors and academic colleges are given equal consideration for the Gaines Fellowship. Students must have two academic years remaining at UK in order to be eligible. The fellowship is best suited for students who have demonstrated intellectual curiosity and active engagement in their curricular and co-curricular obligations.

Gaines Fellowship applications will be accepted through Feb. 8, 2021. To view the application, click here.

Devoted to refining an appreciation for the humanities in students and faculty, the Gaines Center embraces varied paths of knowledge, and particularly strives to integrate creative work with traditional academic learning. The Gaines Fellowship was designed to enrich the undergraduate experience in the humanities at a time when science and technology are dominant. Fellows receive an enhanced understanding of human condition through the humanities while developing an interest in the public issues of their immediate community and world.       

For more information, call the Gaines Center at 859-257-1537 or email Associate Director Chelsea Brislin at

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.