Digital Scholarship Services Graduate Student Assistant (GSA)


Digital Scholarship Graduate Student Assistants are placed within the University Library System’s Digital Scholarship Services (DSS) during the fall and spring terms of an academic year. In this position, GSAs gain experience in the skills of contemporary digital scholarship, are embedded in the work of the unit, contribute to digital projects hosted by or affiliated with the library, and provide support to faculty and students as a part of the library’s Digital Scholarship Services. As time permits, GSAs will also have opportunities to work on their own digital scholarship projects with support from DSS librarians and staff.

Emphasizing professional development, the ULS Digital Scholarship GSA is intended to prepare students for success in digitally-inflected scholarly careers, both in the academy and beyond. This two-term GSA position builds on our ULS Summer Digital Scholarship Graduate Internship program by providing an opportunity for more sustained and in-depth contributions to digital scholarship practice.


The appointment requires a commitment of effort up to but not exceeding 20 hours a week. This appointment will be conducted primarily on-site in the Digital Scholarship offices within Hillman Library.

Tasks include assisting DSS staff and librarians with consults, project work, unit tasks and projects, and training sessions. Additionally, the GSA will work on a cooperatively-designed digital scholarship project. This project will emphasize one or more of the following:

  • Use of library collections in digital scholarship
  • Contribution to a digital project hosted by or affiliated with the library
  • Further development of library support in digital scholarship

The nature of this work will vary, but it is intended to allow the GSA to make a robust connection to the team and work on an ongoing project.

The ULS is committed to proper credit and attribution for all who work on its projects. At a minimum, GSAs will receive public credit and recognition as contributors to digital scholarship projects. Where GSA contributions are more specialized and/or independent, the GSA will receive public credit and recognition as team-member and/or (co-)author.

For new GSAs, and as needed, DSS staff will provide individual or small-group training on foundational digital scholarship skills:

  • Digital project management and collaboration tools 
  • Coding and Computational Methods 
  • Data Acquisition, Manipulation, Analysis, and Visualization
  • Digital Storytelling 
  • Digitization and Digital Creation 
  • Mapping, Geographic Information Systems, and Spatial Analysis
  • Multimedia and Web-based Scholarship
  • Research Data Management   
  • Text Mining and Analysis 
  • Scholarly publishing: basics of copyright and licensing, principles of open scholarship
  • Critical and ethical perspectives on Digital Scholarship

Supporting Resources and Projects

On-campus resources

  • The Open Lab @ Hillman provides support and resources to anyone in the Pitt community interested in incorporating emerging technology into their teaching or directly engaging in hands-on exploratory learning. Technologies in the Open Lab include 2D scanning, 3D scanning, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), 3D printing, vinyl cutting, laser cutting and engraving, virtual reality, and more. The Open Lab @ Hillman is a collaboration with the Center for Teaching and Learning.
  • ULS Distinctive Collections including Archives and Special Collections, Frick Fine Arts Library, Finney Music Library, Center for American Music, and other collections of archival, unique, and/or specialized materials.

Online resources

  • ULS Digital Collections and Repositories include Historic Pittsburgh, D-Scholarship@Pitt (the university’s institutional repository), the Archive of European Integration, and the PhilSci Archive, and the Contemporary Chinese Village Gazetteer Data (CCVGD 数字村庄) project.


  • PhD students in the humanities or humanistic social sciences in the University of Pittsburgh’s Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
  • Completed at least two full semesters of graduate coursework
  • Must be able to commit up to but not exceeding 20 hours of effort a week during the fall and spring terms
  • No prior digital scholarship experience required


The GSA stipend is at the current level of a Teaching Fellow.

Application Instructions


  • Current CV
  • Please answer the following questions (250-500 words each) in an application letter:
    • Describe your research interests, including topics, methods, and approaches.
    • Describe how you interact with and use digital tools or methods as a scholar or hobbyist. Alternatively, you can describe what you’d like to learn about using digital tools or methods.
    • What library collection, project, or service would you like to investigate? You don’t need to have a fully conceptualized project but include some specifics of your interest, identify one or more digital methods that you might focus on, and explain why you made those selections.
    • Describe how you might apply what you learn as a Digital Scholarship GSA to your own research.
  • Any other relevant materials (e.g., prior digital scholarship work; current digital projects), if applicable

Application Submission

Send your application materials via email, with the subject line “Digital Scholarship GSA”, to The same email may be used for any questions about this GSA opportunity or the application process.

Priority will be given to applications received before Friday, March 31, 2023. 

Applications open: late spring/early summer

Please see descriptions of our regular student opportunities and check back accordingly. You can also sign up for our newsletter for notifications of upcoming application periods.