Short- and Long-Term Fellowships at the JCB

The John Carter Brown Library will award approximately forty residential research fellowships for the year July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017. Sponsorship of research at the John Carter Brown Library is reserved exclusively for scholars whose work is centered on the colonial history of the Americas, North and South, including all aspects of the European, African, and Native American engagement.

Fellowships are of two types:

Short-Term Fellowships

Short-term John Carter Brown Library Fellowships are available for periods of two to four months and carry a stipend of $2,100 per month. These fellowships are open to citizens of the United States and foreign nationals who are engaged in pre- or post-doctoral, or independent, research. Graduate students must have passed their preliminary or general examinations at the time of application.

The stipends of many of the fellows each year are paid out of restricted funds generously donated to the Library for this purpose:

  • The Paul W. McQuillen Memorial Fellowship, the Alice E. Adams Fellowship, the Charles H. Watts Memorial Fellowship, the Barbara S. Mosbacher Fellowship, the Helen Watson Buckner Memorial Fellowship, the Norman Fiering Fund, and the Library Associates Fellowship are open to scholars in any area of research related to the Library’s holdings.

  • The Jeannette D. Black Memorial Fellowship is for research in the history of cartography or a closely related area.

  • The William Reese Company Fellowship is for research in bibliography and the history of printing.

  • The Ruth and Lincoln Ekstrom Fellowship is for research on the history of women and the family in the Americas prior to 1825, including the question of cultural influences on gender formation.

  • The Alexander O. Vietor Memorial Fellowship is for research in early maritime history.

  • The Marie L. and William R. Hartland Fellowship funds research related to eighteenth-century maritime social history.
  • Center for New World Comparative Studies Fellowships are available for scholars engaged in research in the comparative history of the colonial Americas.

  • Maria Elena Cassiet Fellowships are restricted to scholars who are permanent residents of countries in Spanish America.

  • The Maury A. Bromsen Fellowship is focused on colonial Spanish American history.

  • The Touro National Heritage Trust Fellowship is for research on some aspect of the Jewish experience in the New World before 1825.

  • The J. R. Bockstoce Fund supports research in Pacific Ocean Studies, including Russian America.

The foregoing list is intended to suggest areas of research on colonial America that may benefit from the use of JCB materials. Applicants should not, however, apply for a grant in a specific fellowship category. All short-term applications are reviewed as a group without reference to these categories.

Long-Term Fellowships

The Library also offers long-term fellowships, several of which are funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), an independent agency of the U.S. Federal government. Additional long-term fellowships have been made possible by Donald L. Saunders; R. David Parsons (for the study of the history of exploration and discovery); and The Reed Foundation, which has endowed the InterAmericas Fellowship (for research on the history of the British West Indies and the Caribbean basin).

Long-Term Fellowships are for five to ten months with a monthly stipend of $4,200. These include NEH Fellowships, for which an applicant must be a citizen of the United States of America or have lived in the U.S. for the three years preceding the application deadline. For other long-term fellowships, all nationalities are eligible. Graduate students may not hold JCB Long-Term Fellowships. PhD candidates are welcome to apply for long-term fellowships if all degree requirements, including the successful defense of their dissertation, have been met by the December 15 deadline.

Thematic and Cluster Fellowships

Alongside our regular fellowship program, this year we will be encouraging applications in three special areas, as part of a set of pilot initiatives the Library is sponsoring. These emphases enhance our regular fellowship program. That is, given equally strong applications, the fellowship committee may give preference to applications in one of the following areas:

Environmental Studies: The JCB is keen to welcome applications whose projects have thematic resonance with the study of the environment and its history, lato sensu. In coming years, as part of a multi-year project on “The Four Elements in the History of the Americas,” the Library will explore the cultural significance of earth, air, fire, and water to the diverse populations of the Americas, from the continents’ earliest indigenous inhabitants to the last waves of European scientific explorers at the end of the colonial period. This project will begin in 2014-15 with an exhibit and related programming on “Subterranean Worlds” and will continue in 2015-16 with a focus on air and climate.

Indigenous Studies: This two to four-month fellowship is designed for a junior or senior scholar working on the history and/or anthropology of native peoples of the Americas who could benefit from an extended stay and privileged access to the JCB’s collection in this field. Tribal historians with non-traditional academic backgrounds are also eligible to apply. The inaugural John M. Monteiro Memorial Fellow in Indigenous Studies may also help to develop symposia and/or lectures and will be able to access additional funds to bring in speakers and activities to the Library.

Interdisciplinary Cluster Fellows (ICFs): As part of an effort to expand the disciplinary scope of research at the Library, and to emphasize the role of the JCB as a laboratory for new research methods, the fellowship committee encourages applications from small interdisciplinary groups of between two and four scholars who would be in simultaneous residence for periods of up to one month to work in collaboration on a particular theme, object, or scholarly project. Each scholar would receive a one-month fellowship and priority access to stay at the Fiering House Fellows’ residence. ICF applications are collective applications – one per cluster – and will be due to the Library on January 15, 2016

Recipients of all fellowships are expected to relocate to Providence and to be in continuous residence at the John Carter Brown Library for the entire term of the award. Those living within commuting distance of the Library (approximately 45 miles distant) are ordinarily not eligible for JCB Fellowships.

Applications for all fellowships will be evaluated by independent academic committees. Fellowships will be awarded on the basis of the applicant’s scholarly qualifications, the merits and significance of the project, and the particular need that the holdings of the John Carter Brown Library will fill in the development of the project. A good guide to the spectrum of research supported by the JCB is the list of “Publications by Fellows.”

Application procedure may be seen here.

The deadline for submission of application materials is December 1, 2015Interdisciplinary Cluster Fellowship applications are due on January 15, 2016. All materials must be emailed or postmarked no later than these respective dates. Announcements of fellowship awards will be made in late March 2015.