Graduate Scholar-in-Residence Program | Newberry

Graduate Scholar-in-Residence Program

A Newberry scholar examining Kiowa artist Silver Horn’s watercolors in the Ayer Collection

The Graduate Scholar-in-Residence Program provides support for local PhD candidates conducting research in the humanities. Advanced PhD candidates are invited to apply; preference will be given to applicants whose dissertation projects are well advanced. Although the Newberry cannot offer remuneration to Graduate Scholars-in-Residence, participants have access to the Newberry during extended hours, personal research space, and opportunities to present work-in-progress to local scholarly communities. The experience of the Newberry’s fellows, staff, and readers is much enhanced by the contributions that Graduate Scholars-in-Residence make to the Newberry’s shared intellectual life each year.

Graduate Scholars-in-Residence at the Newberry are expected to be “in residence” at the Newberry at least 10 hours per week from September to May and participate in the Newberry’s community. Further, they are expected to participate in the Newberry Community through regular attendance of the Fellows’ Seminar (periodic Tuesdays at 4 pm), Fellows’ Lunch (weekly Thursdays at 12:30 pm) and Colloquium (weekly Wednesdays at 4 pm).

Applications for the program are accepted each year starting in the spring. The deadline for the 2020-21 academic year is July 1, 2020. Applicants will be notified of their status in July or early August.

Please read the application guidelines on this page carefully before submitting your application.

If you have any questions about the SlideRoom, application materials, or the Graduate Scholars-in-Residence program, please email

For more information about current participants and their projects, please visit Current Graduate Scholars-in-Residence.

Apply to Be a Graduate Scholar-in-Residence

Application Guidelines

  • Applicants must submit all materials, including letters of recommendation, through the Newberry’s SlideRoom Applicant Portal: There is no cost to register for a SlideRoom account or to submit a Newberry Graduate Scholar-in-Residence application

Required Materials

Fellowship applicants are required to submit the following material:

  • A project abstract of no more than 300 words (approximately 2000 characters) that communicates the significance of the project.
  • A project description of no more than 1500 words. This document should address:
    • In approximately 1000 words, the applicant’s project and its significance, referencing specific published scholarship in the field that will be influenced, revised, or supplanted by the proposed project.
    • In approximately 500 words, the relevance of the Newberry’s collections to the applicant’s project, including key archival holdings, and an outline of the applicant’s plan of work.
      • Please note that candidates’ need for and intensive use of the Newberry’s collections is a crucial factor in our consideration of applications. Thus, please be as specific as possible about the Newberry materials you would like to use. For information about the Newberry’s collection, see our Core Collections and consult the Online Catalog.
      • Please describe any other ways that being in residence at the Newberry will help advance your dissertation.
      • Bibliographies and works cited pages are not required. Applicants who wish to include such material should limit it to one page at the end of their project description.
  • A current Curriculum Vitae (CV) of no more than 5 pages. Please use the following commonly accepted terms to describe any forthcoming publications:
    • “in progress” - not yet completed or submitted
    • “submitted” - currently under review at a journal or press
    • “accepted” - contracted for publication; currently under revision
    • “in press” - in the hands of a copy editor, typesetter, or printer
  • Two letter(s) of recommendation, in English, that speak to the scholarly contribution of the proposed project, the value of a Newberry residency to the applicant, and the qualifications of the applicant.
    • Additional Information about Letters of Reference:
      • Graduate Scholar-in-Residence applicants must have their dissertation advisor submit one of their letters of reference.
      • Each letter should speak to the proposed project, the value to the applicant of a residency at the Newberry as well as to the qualifications of the applicant. Letters that speak to the applicant’s project in specific terms are more effective than general letters from a dossier.
      • The Newberry prefers to receive letters on institutional letterhead, with a signature (either electronic or manual).
      • The letters must be written in English.
      • References can submit their letters before the applicant has submitted their application.
  • Applications will be submitted electronically using SlideRoom, the Newberry’s online submission system. Basic applicant information and the project abstract must be typed or copied directly into a form in SlideRoom. The project description and curriculum vitae will be uploaded directly into SlideRoom via PDF or Microsoft Word files (.doc and .docx). For more information on SlideRoom, see Submit Application.

Excessive Materials

  • At this time, the Newberry will not accept applications which include any materials in excess of the required materials. Excessive materials include, but are not limited to:
    • Images (either embedded or in appendices)
    • Abstract or project description exceeding the word limit
    • Appendices/bibliography exceeding the word limit
    • CVs longer than the five-page limit
    • Personal cover letter
    • Audio-visual materials
    • More than two letters of reference