American Philosophical Society Library Resident Research Fellowship

The APS Library offers short-term residential fellowships for conducting research in its collections. We are a leading international center for research in the history of American science and technology and its European roots, as well as early American history and culture.

The Library houses over 11 million manuscript items, 350,000 volumes of printed materials, thousands of maps and prints, and more than a thousand hours of audio recordings of Native American languages. Collections are renowned for their depth and interdisciplinary strengths in diverse fields, including Early American History and Culture to 1840; Atlantic History; Intellectual History; Travel, Exploration and Expeditions; History of Science, Technology and Medicine; History of Biochemistry, Physiology and Biophysics including 20th-Century Medical Research; History of Eugenics and Genetics; History of Physics, especially Quantum Physics; History of Natural History in the 18th and 19th Centuries; Anthropology, particularly Native American History, Culture and Languages; and Caribbean and Slavery Studies. The Library does not hold materials on philosophy in the modern sense.

Application Guidelines

Applicants in any relevant field of scholarship may apply. Candidates who live 75 or more miles from Philadelphia receive some preference. The duration of award is requested by the candidate, but the final decision is made by the Fellowship Committee.

Each year a special two-month fellowship, sponsored by the Jack Miller Center, is also awarded “to advance scholarship in those fields of study that will contribute a deeper understanding of America’s founding principles and history and the wider traditions that influenced its development.” The Committee shall select the awardee for this fellowship, and all applications that are pertinent to these criteria will be considered for it. However, applicants who are especially interested in this two-month fellowship should state this in their application materials.

Fellowships may be taken beginning any day not earlier than June 1, 2018 and must be completed by May 31, 2019. Fellows are required to be in residence at the Library for four to twelve consecutive weeks, depending upon the length of the award.

Stipend: $3,000

All application materials will be submitted online. All Applicants must submit:

  • A cover letter that discusses the current status of the dissertation and description of the work proposed to be completed on the fellowship
  • Curriculum vitae
  • A research proposal, no longer than three pages, that outlines the status of your work and what you will research at the American Philosophical Society Library.  Special attention must be made to specific collections that will be of use during your fellowship
  • Contact information for three people who will submit confidential letters of reference

Deadline and Notification

February 2, 2018; notifications in late April.

Pre-doctoral fellowships

The American Philosophical Society Library in Philadelphia seeks applicants for one-year residential fellowships to assist in the completion of doctoral dissertation research. One fellowship will be awarded in the following areas of study.

Friends of the APS Fellowship in Early American History (to 1840)

Applicants’ research must pertain to topics in early American history (to 1840).

The successful applicant will receive an appointment as a Research Associate at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, which will provide library and computer privileges at the University of Pennsylvania to those who agree to participate regularly in the McNeil Center’s seminars and other programming.

John C. Slater Fellowship in History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Applicants’ research must pertain to topics in the history of science, technology, or medicine.

The successful applicant will be affiliated with the Consortium for History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, which is hosted by the APS. The Consortium comprises 24 cultural, educational, and scientific organizations promoting public and academic understanding of the history of science, technology, and medicine. Society fellows will be welcome to participate in Consortium activities and events alongside Consortium fellows, including ten topical working groups discussing works-in-progress and important publications.

Long-Term Fellowships in Native American and Indigenous Studies

For more information on opportunities in Native American history and studies, see the Andrew W. Mellon Native American Scholars Initiative (NASI) Fellowships page.

Application Guidelines

These 12-month fellowships are intended for advanced Ph.D. students working toward the completion of the dissertation. The caliber of the project, and evidence that the project will be completed in a timely manner, are the two most important criteria for selection. The selection committee will also take into consideration the need to be at the APS Library and other research institutions in the Philadelphia area. Applicants whose research overlaps any of the three categories listed above may submit applications to all pertinent programs.

In addition to affiliations mentioned with each of the fellowships, all applicants will also have the opportunity to participate in APS programming and affairs.

Stipend: $25,000 for 12 months will be awarded to all successful applicants, paid in two installments after arrival in the Library.

All application materials will be submitted online. Applicants must submit:

  • A cover letter that discusses the current status of the dissertation and description of the work proposed to be completed on the fellowship
  • Curriculum vitae
  • A dissertation proposal
  • A sample chapter from their dissertation not to exceed 25 double-spaced pages
  • Contact information for three people who will submit confidential letters of reference

Application Deadline

February 2, 2018. Notifications will be sent by April 15.

Application date
2 Feb 2018
1-3 months
America United States Mid-Atlantic
Humanities Anthropology & Ethnology Architecture Art & Art History Digital Humanities History Linguistics Literature Media Studies Music & Musicology Philosophy Religion & Theology
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 99 years
Award granted
US$ 3.000/month