Folger Shakespeare Library Scholarly Short-Term Fellowships
Please note, for the 2024-25 fellowship year, short-term fellows will have the option to take short-term fellowships fully onsite, fully virtual, or a combination of the two. Applicants may propose any research schedule that best fits their project’s needs.
Short-term fellowships support scholars whose work would benefit from significant primary research for one, two, or three months, with a monthly stipend of $4,000. These fellowships are designed to support a concentrated period of full-time work on research projects that draw on the strengths of the Folger’s collections and programs. Additionally, these on-site, virtual, or hybrid fellowships provide researchers with the opportunity to engage in collections-based research within an interdisciplinary community as well as informal opportunities to discuss their research with and receive feedback from this community regularly.
Applications open: October 1, 2023
Applications due: January 15, 2024, by 11:59 pm (ET)
The option to take a short-term scholarly fellowship fully or partially virtual was designed for individuals who cannot, for a variety of reasons, travel or commit to an extended residential research period, but whose projects will be significantly advanced by the funding of access to primary sources online, dedicated time to work, and the validations of a fellowship award. By alleviating financial, professional, and personal barriers to fellowship participation, full and hybrid virtual opportunities provide greater access to research fellowships while simultaneously allowing scholars to take advantage of the increasing multitude of digital resources accessible to them at home. We also recognize that, in addition to working with archival materials, time to think, write, and revise are all equally important aspects of research. As such, our virtual fellowships allow researchers to “buy time,” or use their fellowship funds to offset personal and professional expenses such as caregiving and summer or adjunct teaching releases.
In their applications, scholars must make their own best cases for how they will utilize their onsite and/or virtual portions of their fellowship. Scholars may propose virtual fellowship time to cover any combination of the following full-time:
- A researcher requests dedicated time to review and evaluate archival notes and images or time to revise and finalize an article or manuscript and will fund childcare in order to do so.
- A researcher requests dedicated time to research and write the final chapter of their manuscript without summer teaching obligations.
- A researcher requests time to conduct remote research with digitized materials available through the Folger and other online collections.
- An independent researcher needs to fund access to online databases.
- A researcher plans to create and/or curate digital resources for use in undergraduate classrooms.
- A researcher, working with a Folger digitized collection, requests time to examine these sources in detail, but must supplement adjunct teaching in order to do so.
- A researcher, unable to take up a residential research fellowship because they have children or care-giver responsibilities, requests funds to pay for the digitization of or the reproduction and permission fees for images of rare materials so they might access them from home.
Short-term fellowships are open to scholars with a terminal degree as well as ABD PhD candidates, or an international equivalent. To evaluate these applications each year, the Fellowships Program assembles an external committee of respected scholars, aiming for disciplinary, methodological, and geographical diversity. Committee membership changes annually. The committee is charged with evaluating applications based on the proposed topic’s impact, its relevance to the field, the originality and sophistication of the scholar’s approach, the feasibility of the scholar’s research objectives, and their expected use of Folger collections. Particular weight is accorded to the project’s impact, relevance, and approach. Furthermore, the Institute is committed to supporting work across fields of study in the early modern humanities that address inequities or marginalized subjects, and that point to richer and more inclusive histories.
Information Regarding Reopening, Housing, and COVID Policies
In 2024, the Folger will begin reopening. While the reading room will be open and ready to welcome researchers, it is important to note that it remains unclear when all Folger properties will become available to researchers once more. Please note that fellowship stipends have been increased to offset the additional cost of securing off-site housing in DC.
Residential fellows are expected to inform themselves about, and follow, the most up-to-date public health guidelines in both their place of origin and Washington, DC.
Please see the Folger’s COVID-19 Safety Protocols for more information. Please note that the COVID-19 policies may shift as the pandemic continues to evolve. Please check back prior to travelling to the Folger for the most recent information. Qualifying COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as details on exceptions and on applying for humanitarian waivers to this requirement, can be found on the CDC website.
The application portal for short-term scholarly fellowships is now open. All applications must be completed and submitted through our online portal.
Please be sure to review the Fellowships FAQs page before applying.
To apply for a 2024–2025 Folger Short-term Scholarly Fellowship, please submit the following:
- 250-word abstract of your project.
- 1,500-word description of your project and the part of the project you plan to work on while in residence at the Folger as well as how this part of the project relates to the overall project. Please emphasize your proposed topic’s importance, its relevance to the field, and the originality and sophistication of your approach. Please be sure to indicate how many months of research you are applying for (1, 2, or 3 months), why that is an appropriate length of time, and how you will utilize each month (virtually and/or on site).
- Two-page CV.
- One-page list of relevant primary sources, rare materials, and/or digital assets you wish to consult during your fellowship.
- One letter of recommendation. You will identify your recommender in the online application portal. Your recommender will be contacted directly via the online portal and will be given guidance on how to upload their letter. Anyone is eligible to act as a recommender: artists, scholars, teachers, colleagues. We recognize that, due to continuing contractions in the humanities, we are all under unique and significant pressures. Letters of recommendation are very helpful to interdisciplinary selection committees as they work to understand how a project fits within its field. Applications may be disadvantaged, but they are not rendered ineligible or formally penalized if they are missing a letter of recommendation.
It is helpful to start your online application early. You can revise your application at any point in the process right up to the deadline. You must hit the “submit” button for your application to be complete.
Please note, our ability to offer a residential component for our 2023-24 long-term and short-term fellowships is dependent upon the status of Covid 19 and the completion of our building renovation. Unforeseen complications could alter or delay fellows’ ability to be on-site and could affect the period of residency.