Folger Shakespeare Library Short-Term Fellowships

Each year, the Folger Institute awards approximately seven long-term and forty-five short-term fellowships. Residential fellowships are supported by grants and endowments from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; partner organizations such as the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, the Renaissance Society of America, the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women; and the Folger’s many generous private supporters, who have created lasting legacies via our named endowments.

Short-term Fellowships

Short-term fellowships support scholars in residence for one to three months with a monthly stipend of $2,500.  Scholars must hold a terminal degree in their field in order to be eligible for a short-term fellowship.  To evaluate our applications each year, the Fellowships Program assembles external and internal committees of respected scholars, aiming for disciplinary, methodological, and geographical diversity.  Committee membership changes annually.  The committee is charged with evaluating applications based on the proposed topic’s impact, its relevance to the field, the originality and sophistication of the scholar’s approach, the feasibility of the scholar’s research objectives, and their expected use of Folger collections.  Particular weight is accorded to the scholar’s stated plan of work, and how their efforts will be concentrated in the Folger’s collections.  The Folger Institute’s Assistant Director for Fellowships, Dr. Amanda Herbert, chairs the committee meeting and reviews the committee’s recommendations with the Executive Director, Dr. Kathleen Lynch, in light of the Folger’s standards of professional ethics, priorities, and policies about conflicts of interest (all of which are described to the committee members in advance).  At its discretion, the Folger may supplement committee recommendations.

The Folger has now opened its short-term fellowships to members of the performing arts community, as well as scholars working at archives, museums, and libraries. We welcome applications from archivists, creative artists, curators, librarians, performers, and playwrights whose research will benefit from focused engagement with the Folger collections. 

The next deadline for application is March 1, 2018 for a period of residence from June 2018 through June 2019, which offers scholars an opportunity to undertake a three-month fellowship during the summer months.  The short-term fellowship application portal will open December 15, 2017.

Rules and Requirements for Fellowships

  • Citizenship. Folger fellowships are open to scholars of any nationality. Awards for long-term NEH fellowships are restricted to US citizens or foreign nationals who have been in the US for the three years preceding application.
  • Degrees and training.  Applicants for long-term fellowships should have the Ph.D. by the time they begin their residency. Some short-term fellowships require the Ph.D. and others do not.  Artists, archivists, curators, independent scholars, and librarians should hold appropriate terminal degrees in their field. 
  • Deliberations.  For long-term fellowships, an external committee of five scholars serves as a review committee. 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. Membership on both committees changes each year. We seek to establish committees that reflect the disciplinary, geographic, gender, and status diversity of the applicant pool. All committee discussions are confidential.  We do not share reviewers’ comments.
  • Exclusions.  Folger staff, current consultants, and members of the Folger Shakespeare Library Board of Governors are not eligible to apply for Folger fellowships. Folger Staff members should direct inquiries about research leave and professional opportunities to their supervisors and/or to Folger Human Resources.
  • Reapplication.  Applicants who are unsuccessful in the long-term fellowship competition may participate in the short-term fellowship competition.  Applicants will need to go through the online application process again and should be prepared to revise their proposal narratives to fit the circumstances of a short-term residency.
  • Projects.  The Folger will only award two fellowships per project.  These may be two short-term fellowships or one short-term and one long-term fellowship.  The Folger will not award two long-term fellowships for the same project.  Each application process is separate and each competition stands on its own.
Application date
1 Mar 2018
1-3 months
America United States Mid-Atlantic
Humanities Literature
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 99 years
Grants available
Award granted
US$ 2.500/month