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Scholars-in-Residence Program Fellowship 2018-19


The Schomburg Center's  residency program assists scholars and professionals whose research on the black experience can benefit from extended access to the Center's resources. Fellowships funded by the Center will allow recipients to spend six months in residence with access to resources at the Schomburg Center and other research units of The New York Public Library.

The application process opens September 1, 2017.  Fill out an application here.


The Scholars-in-Residence Program is designed to (1) encourage research and writing on the history, literature, and cultures of the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora, (2) to promote and facilitate interaction among the participants including fellows funded by other sources, and (3) to facilitate the dissemination of the researchers' findings through lectures, publications, and the ongoing Schomburg Center Colloquium and Seminar Series. Applicants must indicate in their proposal how they propose to use the resources of the Schomburg Center as well as those of other research units of The New York Public Library to further their research. For access to the catalogs of the Schomburg Center and The New York Public Library, go here. For assistance from a reference librarian, email


The Fellowship Program is open to scholars studying the history, literature, and culture of peoples of African descent from a humanistic perspective and to professionals in fields related to the SchomburgCenter's collections and program activities. Projects in the social sciences, science and technology, psychology, education, and religion are eligible if they utilize a humanistic approach and contribute to humanistic knowledge. Creative writing (works of poetry and fiction) and projects that result in a performance are not eligible.

Those seeking support for research leading to degrees are not eligible under this program. Candidates for advanced degrees must have received the degree by  December 1 of this year.

Only US citizens, permanent residents and foreign nationals who have been resident in the United States for the three years by December 1 may apply.

Selection Criteria

Applications for the Scholars-in-Residence program will be reviewed by a Selection Committee consisting of the Residency Program Director and external reviewers chosen from scholars in the humanities and the social sciences. Fellows will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Relationship of the project to the resources of the Schomburg Center.
  • Qualifications of the applicant.
  • Quality and feasibility of the project plan.
  • Importance of the proposed project to the applicant's field and to the humanities.
  • Relationship of the project to the humanities.
  • Likelihood that the project will be completed successfully.
  • The provisions for making the results of the project available to scholars and to the public at large.

Stipends and Residency

Fellowships are awarded for continuous periods of six months at the Schomburg Center with maximum stipends of $30,000. Fellows must devote full time to their research projects. They are expected to be in continuous residence at the Schomburg Center and to participate in the intellectual life of the Program. They may not be employed during the period in residence except sabbaticals from their own institutions. Those selected as Scholars-in-Residence may supplement their stipends with support from their own institution or small outside grants if the requisite approval is received from the Schomburg Center. Fellows may begin residence at the Center after September 1. This program is made possible in part through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation.

Application Instructions

A complete application must include:

  • The Schomburg Center Scholars-in-Residence Application
  • A 1500 word description of the proposed study
  • Curriculum vitae (limit to 3 pages)
  • Three letters of reference

The application process opens September 1, 2017. Deadline is December 1. Fill out an application here.

Description of Study

In no more than 1,500 words the applicant should provide a detailed description of the proposed study, including but by no means restricted to the following elements:

  • A statement of the topic under consideration with specific reference to the major questions, problems, and theses being investigated.
  • An outline of the plan for carrying out the study or project.
  • Discussion of the sources in the Schomburg Center and other research units of The New York Public Library for the study and plans for examining them.
  • Description of research methods.
  • Applicant's competence in the use of any foreign languages needed to complete the study.
  • The place of the study in the applicant's overall research and writing program.
  • The significance of the study for the applicant's field and for the humanities in general.
  • The final objective and expected products of the study. Plans for publications, lectures, exhibitions, teaching, and other vehicles of dissemination should be detailed. Fellows will be expected to share their findings through these means and as participants in the Schomburg Center Colloquium and Seminar Series during their residency.
  • Notification will be made in Mid-March.
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