New England Regional Fellowship

The new england regional fellowship consortium, a collaboration of 22 major cultural agencies, will offer at least 18 awards in 2017–2018. Each grant will provide a stipend of $5,000 for a minimum of eight weeks of research at participating institutions. Awards are open to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals who hold the necessary U.S. government documents. Grants are designed to encourage projects that draw on the resources of several agencies.

The New England Regional Fellowship Consortium includes 16 repositories, and a learned society. Collections at the participating institutions are broadly representative of the New England region and span the period from pre-contact to the present day. They include personal papers, organizational records, and printed works (both primary and secondary) as well as paintings, engravings, furniture, maps, photographs, architectural drawings, and materials in many other areas of collecting. Many of the organizations own and exhibit important historic houses.

NERFC expects fellows to visit all the repositories they list in their proposals for the length of time they specify. The Consortium’s policy is to ensure that each member with collections hosts fellows every year. An applicant’s proposed itinerary may be a factor in the decision whether to award a fellowship. In keeping with NERFC’s regional interests, the Consortium may also favor applications that draw on institutions from more than one metropolitan area. Grants in this cycle are for the year June 1, 2017–May 31, 2018.

IMPORTANT NOTE: On January 17, we learned that the Boston Public Library’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Department will be closed to researchers beginning in February while the department undergoes an inventory of its entire collection. Since an end date for the inventory has not been determined, fellowship applicants for 2017-2018 should not plan to access the department in this fellowship year. Other BPL departments, including Prints and Photographs, Fine Arts, Music, and the map collection remain accessible, and the NERFC fellowship supports work in these. If you have prepared an application that includes Rare Books and Manuscripts in your itinerary, you have several options. You may (1) replace the BPL visit with a visit to another institution; (2) replace BPL Rare Book and Manuscript research days by increasing stays at other NERFC institutions (minimum of three sites still required); (3) if you do not have time to revise your itinerary before February 1, you may plan to do so if you receive an award. Please note: The Boston Public Library is the ONLY site that may be dropped from a submitted application, and the final itinerary must adhere to all of the fellowship’s terms regarding the minimum length of the fellowship, the number of institutions that fellows must visit, and the minimum length of each visit.

NERFC strongly encourages applicants to discuss their projects with the staffs of the repositories they plan to visit before submitting their proposals; online catalogs, while useful, cannot replace talking to a knowledgeable curator. Candidates will be notified of the outcome of the competition approximately eight weeks after the application deadline.

  • Each itinerary must: be a minimum of eight weeks; include at least three different member institutions; and include at least two weeks at each of these institutions.
  • Applicants who have not completed their professional training, ordinarily including an earned doctorate, must provide a letter of recommendation from a faculty member familiar with the project.
  • Applicants who do not reside in the U.S. must indicate their citizenship. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or already hold the J-1 visa or equivalent documents that will allow them to accept the stipend. Foreign nationals must consult with MHS staff about eligibility to receive a stipend before submitting an application.