Folger Shakespeare Library Short-Term Fellowships

Each year, the Folger Institute awards five long-term and several dozen short-term fellowships. Residential fellowships are supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, endowments from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and additional named endowments. The criteria for eligibility are explained below for each category of fellowship. In addition to the annual competitions, the Folger Institute may use its discretion to make additional awards and to supplement stipends. In a new initiative, we invite applications for short-term fellowships from creative artists whose work will benefit from engagement with the Folger collections.  

Short-term fellowships

Short-term fellowships support scholars in residence for one to three months with a monthly stipend of $2,500. In addition to scholars already holding the PhD, eligible applicants also include librarians and other researchers holding appropriate terminal degrees. We do not have fellowships to offer graduate students, who may instead look for research opportunities in other Folger Institute programs.

Chaired by the Folger Institute Executive Director, a review committee of Folger professional staff and invited scholars will evaluate the applications based on the following criteria: the proposed topic’s importance, the originality and sophistication of the approach, the feasibility of the research objectives, and the use of our collections. Applications for short-term fellowships should focus on the work to be accomplished in the period of residence.  The deadline for application is March 1, 2017 for a period of residence from June 2017 through June 2018. Please note that the addition of June at the beginning of the fellowship year allows for a three-month, summer fellowship.


Folger fellowships support research that advances new scholarly agendas and makes use of our collections of rare books, manuscripts, and art from and about the early modern period. Please take a look at the list of current fellows to see the types of projects that have been funded. You can find additional lists of past fellows on Folgerpedia.

Applicants for both long- and short-term fellowships should have the PhD in hand at the time of application. Librarians and other researchers holding appropriate terminal degrees are also eligible to apply. Folger fellowships do not support work towards any degree. We welcome submissions for first books, including revised dissertations.

Applicants for long-term NEH fellowships must either be US citizens or foreign nationals who have been in the US for the three years preceding application. All other fellowships are open to scholars of any nationality.

International scholars awarded a long-term fellowship will need to apply for an exchange visitor visa. International short-term fellows will need to consult with the fellowships program manager to determine the need for an exchange visitor visa. The Folger maintains an exchange visitor program through the United States Department of State.


Fellows are expected to be in continuous residence. In rare circumstances, and in cases of special need, we will consider a request to divide the months awarded, as long as they are taken during the same fellowship year. Requests should be made as soon as possible after receipt of the award letter. If your schedule changes so that you cannot take the full amount of time you applied for, you should also be prepared to accept a reduced award.

The Folger fellowship year follows its fiscal year. It begins any July 1st and ends the following June 30th. We recognize that this makes it hard to take a full, three-month, short-term fellowship in a summer. To allow for a summer fellowship of June through August, the Folger will extend the beginning of the short-term fellowship year to include the June immediately following the March 1st application deadline. In other words, those seeking a fellowship in June through August of 2016 should apply at the March 1, 2016 deadline. Those seeking a fellowship in June through August of 2017 should apply at the March 1, 2017 deadline. N.B. payment of the stipend may still need to commence with the new fiscal year.

We have a limited supply of housing, for which fellows have priority in booking reservations.

Review process

Applicants for the 2015-2016 long-term fellowship competition had a 10% chance of being awarded a fellowship, while applicants for short-term fellowships had a 43% chance of success. These odds will shift depending on the number of applications and awards in a given year.

Short-term fellowship awards are determined by a committee made up of members of the professional staff of the Folger and one or two invited scholars.

Deliberations are confidential; we do not share reviewers’ comments.

Application date
1 Mar 2017
1-3 months
America United States Mid-Atlantic
Humanities Literature
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 99 years
Grants available
Several dozen
Award granted
US$ 2.500/month