Fellowships at the Cullman Center
The competition for the 2017-2018 fellowship is now closed. The deadline for submitting applications was 5PM EST, September 30, 2016.
"You walk the corridors of the Library with the acute sensation that what has been bestowed upon you, amongst all these books, is a sense of what matters. You enter a silence that requires humility, grace, and the deepest thanks.
—Colum McCann, Fellow 2004-2005
The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers offers fellowships to people whose work will benefit directly from access to the research collections at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Renowned for the extraordinary comprehensiveness of its collections, the Library is one of the world's preeminent resources for study in anthropology, art, geography, history, languages and literature, philosophy, politics, popular culture, psychology, religion, sociology, and sports.
"Can I come back???"
—Colson Whitehead, Fellow 2007-2008
Criteria and Terms
The Cullman Center’s Selection Committee awards up to 15 fellowships a year to outstanding scholars and writers—academics, independent scholars, journalists, and creative writers. Foreign nationals conversant in English are welcome to apply. Candidates who need to work primarily in The New York Public Library's other research libraries—the Library for the Performing Arts, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Science, Industry and Business Library—are not eligible for this fellowship, nor are people seeking funding for research leading directly to a degree.
The Cullman Center looks for top-quality writing from academics as well as from creative writers and independent scholars. It aims to promote dynamic communication about literature and scholarship at the very highest level—within the Center, in public forums throughout the Library, and in the Fellows’ published work.
A Cullman Center Fellow receives a stipend of up to $70,000, an office, a computer, and full access to the Library's physical and electronic resources. Fellows work at the Center for the duration of the fellowship term, which runs from September through May. Each Fellow gives a talk over lunch on current work-in-progress to the other Fellows and to a wide range of invited guests, and may be asked to take part in other programs at The New York Public Library.
"It was one of the best and most productive years of my life. Whether the work is any good is of course another matter."
—Ian Buruma, Fellow 2011-2012
The New York Public Library/American Council of Learned Societies Fellowships
The Center may give up to five fellowships a year in conjunction with the American Council of Learned Societies. Candidates for joint fellowships must submit separate applications to The New York Public Library and to the American Council of Learned Societies.
"This year was the most productive of my 15-year career as a professor. … Being a Cullman Center Fellow has changed my life in all kinds of wonderful ways. I’m grateful beyond words."
—Victoria Johnson, Fellow 2015-2016
The Cullman Center is made possible by a generous endowment from Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman in honor of Brooke Russell Astor, with major support provided by Mrs. John L. Weinberg, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Estate of Charles J. Liebman, John and Constance Birkelund, The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, and additional gifts from The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Helen and Roger Alcaly, The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, The Rona Jaffe Foundation, William W. Karatz, Mary Ellen von der Heyden, Merilee and Roy Bostock, The Arts and Letters Foundation, Lybess Sweezy and Ken Miller, and Cullman Center Fellows.