Kentucky Historical Society fellowships
The Kentucky Historical Society offers short-term fellowships (one to four weeks) to promote scholarship on any facet of Kentucky’s rich history.
Fellowships are available in two award cycles (September 1 and March 1 each year).
Using KHS’s rich archival holdings that span Kentucky, Southern, and American history, fellows have completed projects on such diverse topics as frontier land distribution and law, growth of river-borne commerce in the 19th century, Civil War medicine and wartime trauma, and Kentucky’s nuclear energy industry.
Kentucky Historical Society fellowships follow these guidelines:
Ranges from $500 (for one week) to $2,000 (for four weeks)
To assist researchers with travel and living expenses while using KHS collections.
- Independent scholars
- College and university teachers*
- Graduate students
- Scholars working in disciplines related to an aspect of Kentucky history
* State regulation prohibits Kentucky state employees – with the exception of school teachers and university employees – from applying.
KHS reserves the right not to award certain fellowships should extenuating circumstances arise.
A panel of leading historians reviews all applications. Fellows are selected based on the significance of the proposed research and on the anticipated time that research will require in KHS collections.
- Make an informal presentation on their research during their stay at KHS.
- Submit a final narrative report of three to five pages outlining the work they accomplished at KHS within one month of the fellowship’s end.
- Provide KHS with a copy of any publications that result from or are aided by the fellowship.
KHS strongly encourages fellows to submit an article-length manuscript for possible publication in The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society.
Scholarly Research Fellowship Application Instructions
The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) awards short-term research fellowships to visiting scholars for one to four weeks of residency. Fellowships are awarded in two cycles each year, in the spring and fall. Applications for the spring cycle are due at KHS by March 1; applications for the fall cycle are due at KHS by September 1. Grantees are typically notified within six weeks. Grantees will be required to provide their Social Security numbers for tax purposes. Because of state regulations, Kentucky state employees are not eligible for these fellowships. (Kentucky public school teachers and state university employees are eligible, however.) Awardees must use funds within the calendar year from the date of the award. Awardees can apply for research support as needed, but awards will not be given to the same recipient in consecutive years. KHS encourages fellows to submit an article-length manuscript, drawn from research conducted while a fellow, for possible publication in the state history journal, the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society.
Applications should be emailed (as a single Word or PDF document) to KHSFellowships@ky.gov . If you have any questions, please contact KHS at the above email address or at 502-564-1792.
Applicants must submit a cover page, curriculum vitae, and prospectus.
The cover page should state the applicant’s name, address, daytime phone, email address, title of project, and anticipated dates of visit. The title page should also include institutional affiliation, field(s) of study, and classification (MA, ABD, PhD, etc.). Scholars without institutional affiliation will also be considered for funding. Graduate students must include two letters of recommendation (preferably under the same cover) from faculty members familiar with the student’s work and with the project being proposed.
The three- to five-page prospectus should describe your current project and emphasize how it would benefit from research at KHS. Include a project overview, theoretical perspectives, sources, methods, work completed to date, necessity of KHS collections research, significance of the project, and a budget. The prospectus must also include an annotated bibliography of the KHS collections you wish to consult. KHS supports research on all aspects of Kentucky, including work which occurs at other regional repositories. If you wish to also visit other archives in Kentucky, you must identify the repositories you intend to visit and include those visits in your proposed residency timeline. The budget should estimate how you would use your fellowship to maximize your research time. Applicants should consult our website, history.ky.gov, for up-to-date information about Schmidt Library hours of operation (Note, the library is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
In the prospectus, make sure to cover the following points:
- What is the end product of your project?
- What KHS collections or resources will aid you?
- How will these resources contribute to your project?
- How much time do you intend to spend at KHS?
- What is the estimated timetable for your project?
- What are your proposed dates of residency?
Relevant materials can be found in the Library Collections Catalog, Library Digital Collections, Pass the Word oral history portal, and Museum Collections Object Catalog. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Research Experience team director Louise Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org, 502-564-1792, ext. 4407, or the KHS library reference desk, KHSrefdesk@ky.gov, 502-564-1792, ext. 4460, with any questions they may have about KHS collections and access.
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