Application Tips | Newberry

Application Tips

Please see below for more information that will be useful in assembling your application materials.

Application Review

Applications are reviewed by an interdisciplinary committee of scholars who will evaluate projects from a broad spectrum of fields and periods. Due to the wide range of the Newberry’s collection, this committee might not include a scholar familiar with any particular applicant’s field. Therefore, the most successful applicants are those that articulate their project in terms that are clear to nonspecialists, including why their project may be significant to those outside their field.

The Newberry considers three primary criteria for fellowship applications:
1. The significance of the proposed project
2. The applicant’s ability to complete the proposed project
3.The appropriateness of the proposed project to the Newberry’s collection

For Short-Term Awards, criterion #3 takes on an added significance. The Newberry’s collection must be necessary to a Short-Term Fellowship project since these fellowships are intended to provide researchers with access to the materials in our collections.

The Newberry Library Collection

Newberry Fellowships are intended to support research in our collections. We strongly suggest that applicants consult our catalog and collection guides before preparing application materials. The Newberry’s Core Collection concerns the civilizations of Western Europe and the Americas from the late Middle Ages to the twenty-first century. Particular collection strengths include:

For further information about specific collections or how one might pursue a particular topic in the collection, contact the Reference Desk at or (312) 255-3506. Reference requests are filled in the order in which they are received. Responses may take four to six weeks, depending on the number of requests pending and the nature of the request.

Life at the Newberry

With the exception of the exchange fellowships and the NCAIS Graduate Student Fellowships, all Newberry Library Fellowships are offered for work in continuous residence at the Newberry. Fellows must be in residence at the Newberry throughout the tenure of their fellowship without any major interruptions or absences.

Fellows are provided with a variety of opportunities to engage in the Newberry’s scholarly community, which include, but are not limited to, biweekly seminars, weekly colloquia, and weekly fellows’ lunches.

Fellows are expected to arrange their own housing during their residency. For more information regarding neighborhood apartment, hotels, and other housing and Newberry discounts, see Accommodations and Dining.

Foreign Fellows

The Newberry is authorized by the Department of State to issue DS-2019 forms that can be used by foreign scholars to secure J-1 visas for the period of their research. The Newberry cannot provide any additional funding for visa fees.