RFP: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Scholars-in-Residence Fellowship

Scholars In Residence
Academic Year 2012-2013

THE SCHOMBURG CENTER 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 or a year in residence with access to resources at the Schomburg Center and other research units of The New York Public Library.


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 the other research units of The New York Pubic Library to further their research. For access to the Schomburg Center and The New York Public Library catalogs, see our website: www.nypl.org. For more information call 212-491-2218.


The Fellowship Program is open to scholars studying the history, literature, and culture of the peoples of African descent from a humanistic perspective and to professionals in fields related to the Schomburg Center’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.

Persons 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.

Foreign nationals are not eligible unless they will have resided in the United States three years immediately preceding the application deadline.


Applications for the Scholars-in-Residence program will be reviewed by a seven member 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 or twelve months at the Schomburg Center with maximum stipends of $30,000 for six months and $60,000 for twelve months. 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 10 copies of each item listed below and a self-addressed, stamped post card to acknowledge receipt of the application package:


• The Schomburg Center Scholars-in-Residence Application Form (original)
• A 1500 word description of the proposed study
• Curriculum vitae
• Three (3) reference letters should be mailed directly to the Scholars-in-Residence Program and received no later than December 1st.

Description of Study

In no more than 1500 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 the 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 2012.

Submission of Application

Application can be downloaded at:

Completed applications must be postmarked no later than December 1 and mailed to:

Scholars-in-Residence Program
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
New York, New York 10037-1801

Email address: sir@nypl.org



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