Visiting Research Fellowships

The next CFP for the Visiting Research Fellowships will be announced in March 2018

Call for applications

The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies (SIMS) Visiting Research Fellowship program seeks applications for the 2016-2017 academic year. The program was established to encourage research relating to the pre-modern manuscript collections at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, including the Schoenberg Collection. Affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, located near other manuscript-rich research collections (the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and the Rosenbach Museum and Library, among many others), and linked to the local and international scholarly communities, SIMS offers fellows a network of resources and opportunities for collaboration. Fellows will be encouraged to interact with SIMS staff, Penn faculty, and other medieval and early modern scholars in the Philadelphia area. Fellows will also be expected to present their research at Penn Libraries either during the term of the fellowship or on a selected date following the completion of the term.

Applicants can apply to spend 1, 2, or 3 months at SIMS. Project proposals should demonstrate that the Libraries’ pre-modern manuscript resources are integral to proposed research topics. Recipients will be expected to conduct their research at SIMS, excluding possible short research trips in support of the proposed project to nearby institutions. Proposals with a digital component are encouraged though not required. A total of $15,000 per year will be divided among up to 3 fellows in increments of $5,000 per month (please note that stipends are considered taxable income by the US government). Awards must be used between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017.

The fellowships are open to all scholars living outside of the Philadelphia area. Applicants must have completed a Ph.D. or an equivalent professional degree by the time the fellowship begins. Independent scholars with a substantial record of achievement are encouraged to apply. Collaborative projects will also be considered, though the $5000/month stipend will be shared among collaborators. Applicants who have not completed a Ph.D. at the time of application must have a letter from their dissertation advisor(s) stating that the degree will be completed prior to the applicant’s proposed dates of the fellowship.

Application Process
To be considered, applicants must submit the following by May 15, 2016:

  • A 2-3 page summary of the project that clearly states a) the relationship of Penn Libraries’ manuscript collections to the project, b) the project’s significance to manuscript studies, and c) a workplan for the proposed term. The proposal should include name of applicant(s), title of project, preferred length of term (1, 2, or 3 months), and preferred dates of the visit.
  • A cv.
  • Two letters of support from scholars who can speak to the merits of the project. Letters should address the project’s potential for contributing to the advancement of the understanding of the material and its impact on its related field(s) of study. Letters may be included in the application or sent separately by the referee if preferred.

Applications should be sent by email to, preferably as a single pdf, or by post to:

Lynn Ransom
Curator, SIMS Programs
Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies
University of Pennsylvania Libraries
3420 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

All application materials must be received by May 15, 2016, to be considered. Notice of awards will be sent beginning June 15, 2016. Please direct questions regarding the fellowship to the above contact.


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