Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry Fellowships

With dozens of scholars in residence each year, the Science History Institute is home to the largest private fellowship program in the history and social study of science in the United States. Researchers travel from all over the world to use our collections and take part in a vibrant scholarly community. Here are the fellowships we offer.

Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry

The Beckman Center offers fellowships on an annual cycle for scholars doing research in the history and social studies of chemistry and related sciences, technologies, and industries. Fellows are expected to participate in biweekly informal writing groups and give at least one lunchtime lecture. They also have the opportunity to take part in a variety of outreach activities while in residence at the Institute. About 20 fellowships are given out annually, making the Beckman Center the largest private fellowship program in the history of science in the United States.

The Beckman Center offers a number of fellowship types:

Two-Year 80/20 Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Institute is pleased to announce the launch of its 80/20 postdoctoral fellowship program in the 2018–2019 academic year. These new fellowships reflect the Beckman Center’s commitment to providing career-launching fellowships for recent PhDs and its support for the career diversity initiatives of the American Historical Association and affiliated scholarly societies. The 80/20 postdoctoral fellowship program will allow the Beckman Center’s postdoctoral fellows to build skills that enhance their opportunities outside the academy or their work within it. Fellows will spend one day a week (20% of their time) working closely with an Institute staff member from the library, museum, publications, Center for Applied History, outreach, Center for Oral History, archives, or digital collections team on developing skills in one of two areas: collections and curation, or outreach and exhibitions. The other four days each week (80% of their time), postdoctoral fellows will have access to the Institute’s considerable resources and ample time to develop and publish their own research. Applicants for postdoctoral fellowships must have their PhD in hand before the July prior to the start of the fellowship and must have earned that degree within the last five years. Postdoctoral fellowship stipends are $45,000 per year, paid in monthly installments.

Nine-Month Dissertation Fellowships

Applicants for dissertation fellowships must be graduate students whose PhD dissertation proposals have been accepted by their respective university departments. Fellows are in residence at the Institute for the entire academic year (September–May). Dissertation fellowship stipends are $26,000, paid in monthly installments.

Short-Term Fellowships

Short-term fellowships are available to researchers whose work requires use of collections housed at the Institute. Stipends are $3,000 per month. Short-term fellowships can last from 1 to 4 months.

The Beckman Center begins accepting fellowship applications the fall before the start of the fellowship. They are usually due in January.


Library Travel Grants

The Othmer Library offers travel grants for periods of up to two weeks for research using the primary research materials. Applicants must currently reside more than 75 miles from Philadelphia in order to be eligible. Travel grants will be awarded on a rolling basis starting at the beginning of each fiscal year until all available funding has been distributed.

Travel grants are $750 per week and are intended to help defray the costs of travel and accommodation.


Institute for Research

The Institute for Research periodically seeks postdoctoral fellows working in fields related to the history and social study of science for subject-specific or directed long-term (1–3 years) projects. Fellows form research groups around particular topics of interest, pilot new areas of research, and connect research with the collections and outreach. Research topics draw upon the department’s strengths in oral history, public history, digital humanities, science studies, and history of science. Research fellows collaborate to coordinate workshops, reading groups, and research reports that provide critical perspectives on emerging areas of study.


Application date
2 Jan 2019
Post-doc: 2 years; short-term: 1-4 months
America United States Mid-Atlantic
Humanities History Social sciences Economics Environmental Sciences Pedagogic & Education Research Social Anthropology Sociology Other Chemistry Engineering
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 99 years
Award granted
Post-doc: US$ 45.000/year; short-term: US$ 3.000/month