Schomburg Center Scholars-in-Residence Program 2018-19, New York Public Library, USA

Publish Date: May 30, 2017

Deadline: Dec 01, 2017

The Schomburg Center Scholars-in-Residence Program assists those scholars and professionals whose research in 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 centers of The New York Public Library. The program encourages research and writing on black history and culture, facilitates interaction among participating scholars, and provides widespread dissemination of findings through lectures, publications, and colloquia and seminars. It encompasses projects in African, Afro-American, and Afro-Caribbean history and culture.

Established in 1983, as of 2016-2017 the residency program has provided direct funding support for 159 fellows, and additional residency opportunities for 26 independently funded humanities scholars. Funding support for the program has been provided by the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Aaron Diamond Foundation, the Irene Diamond Foundation, the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


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. 

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.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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