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The Advancing Digital Health Humanities Institute

What is digital health humanities?

Digital health humanities is an emerging, interdisciplinary field that leverages digital methods and tools to critically analyze health sciences materials in the pursuit of humanistic research. This research community provides unique methodological and theoretical approaches to contemporary exigencies regarding access, ethics, and discrimination in our health systems. It does this by entwining the digital humanities’ critical use and reappraisal of emerging digital technologies with the health humanities’ interest in health, wellness, and equity in care. Digital health humanities research uses computational methods, digital platforms, and the critical design of unique digital tools to pursue research questions around the human experience of health, illness, ability, and cultures of care.

Digital health humanities is an allied discipline to the digital humanities, using the same methods to address problems in health and healthcare. Described as a “big tent”, the digital humanities is unified by the use of digital and computational tools, but not by any specific method. Digital humanists make digital maps, create digital artworks, analyze textual data, collect web scrapings, critique code, and design new digital tools. Most of these digital projects rely on data—including, but not limited to, numerical representations, text, images, metadata, and ethnographic interviews—and these projects use that data to ask questions, make arguments, or produce new research objects.

For further readings, see our Zotero collection of digital humanities and digital health humanities readings.

About the Institute

The Advancing Digital Health Humanities Institute (ADHHI), hosted by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and funded through the National Endowment for the Humanities Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities, gathers a cross-disciplinary cohort of scholars, community organizers, and practicing physicians to participate in a two-year program designed to introduce and orient researchers with humanistic and computational methods used by the digital health humanities.

The goal of the Institute is to foster new conversations and connections with participants from a range of disciplines and career levels. We especially encourage non-tenure track faculty, independent researchers, graduate students, practicing physicians, and community organizers to apply. The ADHHI is also interested in applications from scholars who have yet to train in digital humanities methods, as the curriculum of the Institute is designed to onboard participants in computational approaches to humanistic inquiry.


While not necessary for acceptance into the program, the review committee will give special attention to projects using UCSF archival data resources. Please visit the Archives as Data Research Guide for more information.

Due to the time and expense of digital projects and the project support offered through the Advancing Digital Health Humanities Institute, we are interested in supporting applicants new to digital health humanities research; we are especially interested in researchers proposing early-phase digital projects and prototyping projects.

Expectations for participants

The selected applicants for this two-year program will be required to attend an intensive, week-long digital research practicum in Fall 2024, and share their research in person at UCSF in Summer 2025. The tentative Advancing Digital Health Humanities Institute schedule follows.


See all the details and apply by June 28, 2024

Schedule of Events

  • September 4 – September 6, 2024: Virtual Plenary Session
  • November 4 – November 8, 2024: In-Person Practicum at UCSF
  • April 2025 (specific dates TBD): Three-Day Virtual Session
  • November 2025 (specific dates TBD): One-day In-Person Cohort Presentations at UCSF

Participant support

The ADHHI is designed to foster scholarship over two years and will provide research assistance, technical help, and conceptual guidance to participants for their respective projects. In addition to this support, participants will be awarded a small research stipend of $1,000 and a travel stipend to attend in-person Institute events.


Please contact the Digital Health Humanities Program Coordinator.