New England Regional Fellowship

THE NEW ENGLAND REGIONAL FELLOWSHIP CONSORTIUM, a collaboration of 27 major cultural agencies, will offer at least two dozen awards in 2019–2020. 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.

NERFC grants support work in a broad array of fields, including but not limited to: history, literature, art history, African American studies, American studies, women’s and gender studies, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, religious studies, environmental studies, oceanography, and the histories of law, medicine, and technology. Member institutions hold collections that offer a historical perspective on topics in all of these fields and more. For information on each member's resources, see its listing in “Participants” and contact the institution.

Each NERFC 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.

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 the upcoming cycle are for the year June 1, 2019–May 31, 2020.

COLLECTIONS UNAVAILABLE FOR 2018-2019 FELLOWSHIP YEAR: The Boston Public Library’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Department will remain closed to researchers while the department undergoes an inventory of its entire collection. Fellowship applicants for 2018-2019 should not plan to access collections in this department. Itineraries with these collections will not be considered. Other BPL departments, including Prints and Photographs, Fine Arts, and the map collection remain accessible, and they are excited to host NERFC fellowship work in these, and look forward to reopening all of their collections late in 2019.

Special Awards

THE COLONIAL SOCIETY OF MASSACHUSETTS will underwrite a project on the history of New England before the American Revolution.

Application Process

Candidates must apply online. The NERFC is managed by the Massachusetts Historical Society. Online applications links will bring you to the MHS website.

How to Apply for a Consortium Fellowship

Candidates should apply online or contact Alexis Buckley at the Massachusetts Historical Society, 617-646-0577, fellowships@masshist.org, to receive application information. For the next fellowship cycle, the submission deadline is February 1, 2019.

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.

Requirements

  • A cover letter.
  • A current, short curriculum vitae, (no more than 3 pages).
  • A project proposal approximately 1,000 words in length. The proposal should include:
    • a description of the project; 
    • a statement explaining the historiographical significance of the project; 
    • an indication of the specific collections at each institution the applicant wishes to consult.
  • A short schedule of the institutions to be visited along with the collections to be studied at each. NOTE: PROPOSALS THAT ARE VAGUE ABOUT MATERIALS TO BE USED ARE RARELY FUNDED.
  • 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.