The Schomburg Center's Scholars-in-Residence Program provides a limited number of long-term and short-term research fellowships to scholars and writers pursuing projects in African diasporic studies in fields including history, politics, literature, and culture.

Long-term fellowships provide a $35,000 stipend to support academics and independent scholars who work in residence at the Center for a continuous period of six to nine months. Fellows are provided with individual office space, research assistance, and access to the unparalleled resources of the Schomburg Center. In addition to pursuing their own research projects, fellows also engage in an ongoing interdisciplinary exchange of ideas, sharing their research with one another in a weekly work-in-progress seminar. While in residence, they are also exposed to the vibrant intellectual life of the Schomburg through its public exhibitions, panels, screenings, and events.  

Short-term fellowships are open to postdoctoral scholars, independent researchers, and creative writers (novelists, playwrights, poets) who work in residence at the Schomburg Center for a continuous period of one to three months. Short-term fellows receive a stipend of $3000 per month.

Both long-term and short-term fellowships are awarded for continuous periods in residence at the Schomburg Center. Fellows are expected to devote their full time to their research and writing. They are expected to work regularly at the Schomburg Center and to participate in the intellectual life of the Scholars-in-Residence Program. Fellows may not by employed during the period in residence, except on sabbaticals from their home institutions. Those selected as Scholars-in-Residence are encouraged to supplement their stipends with funding support from their home institutions or other non-residential fellowships or grants if the requisite approval is received from the Schomburg Center.

Long-term fellows may choose to begin residence at the Center either in September or in January. Terms for short-term fellows are dependent on the availability of space and resources at the Center; the Scholars-in-Residence Program staff will consult with each selected fellow to determine the dates of the fellow's tenure.


The Scholars-in-Residence Program is designed to (1) encourage high-quality research and writing on the history, politics, literature, and culture of the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora; (2) to promote and facilitate intellectual exchange among scholars across disciplinary boundaries in the humanities; and (3) to support the development of new scholarship and writing for public dissemination that draws on extensive research in the unique holdings of the library. Applicants must indicate in their proposal how they plan to use the resources of the Schomburg Center in their research. For access to the catalogs of the Schomburg Center and The New York Public Library, go to: For assistance from a reference librarian, email


The Scholars-in-Residence Program is intended for scholars and writers requiring extensive, on-site research with collections at the Schomburg Center, the pre-eminent repository for documentation on the history and cultures of peoples of African descent around the globe. Fellows are expected to be in full-time residency at the Center during the award period and to participate in scheduled seminars and colloquia. The Program is intended to support research in African diasporic studies undertaken from a humanistic perspective; projects in the social sciences, science and technology, psychology, education, and religion are eligible if they utilize a humanistic approach and contribute to humanistic knowledge.

Candidates who need to work primarily in the New York Public Library's other research libraries – the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, and the Science, Industry and Business Library – are not eligible for this fellowship, nor are people seeking funding for research leading directly to a degree. (Applications are accepted from current doctoral students, as long as they will defend their dissertation and graduate before starting the fellowship tenure.)
 Only U.S. citizens, permanent residents and foreign nationals who have been resident in the United States for the three years immediately preceding the application deadline may apply.

Application Instructions

A complete application must include:

  • The Schomburg Center Scholars-in-Residence Application.
  • A 1500-word description of the proposed study.
  • Curriculum vitae (limit to 3 pages).
  • Names of references (long-term fellows must submit three recommendation letters; short-term fellows must submit a minimum of two letters). References will receive an e-mail instructing them how to upload their recommendations.

Selection Criteria

Applications for the Scholars-in-Residence Program will be reviewed by a Selection Committee consisting of five external reviewers, a rotating panel of accomplished scholars and writers with expertise across the fields of study covered by the fellowship. The Selection Committee is convened and chaired by the Director of the Scholars-in-Residence Program.

 Fellows will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Relationship of the project to the resources of the Schomburg Center.
  • Qualifications of the applicant.
  • Quality and feasibility of the project plan.
  • Importance of the proposed project to the applicant's field and to the humanities.
  • Relationship of the project to the humanities.
  • Likelihood that the project will be completed successfully.
  • The provisions for making the results of the project available to scholars and to the public at large
Applicants selected for the Program will be notified in late March.

If you have any questions regarding the Scholars-in-Residence Program or difficulties using the application website, please contact

The Schomburg Scholars-in-Residence Program has been made possible by generous support from from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Aaron Diamond Foundation, the Irene Diamond Foundation, the Pitts Family Foundation, and the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation.


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