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THE SCHOMBURG CENTER residency program assists scholars and professionals whose research on the black experience can benefit from extended access to the Center's resources. Fellowships funded by the Center will allow recipients to spend six months in residence with access to resources at the Schomburg Center and other research units of The New York Public Library.


The Scholars-in-Residence Program is designed to (1) encourage research and writing on the history, literature, and cultures of the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora, (2) to promote and facilitate interaction among the participants including fellows funded by other sources, and (3) to facilitate the dissemination of the researchers' findings through lectures, publications, and the ongoing Schomburg Center Colloquium and Seminar Series. Applicants must indicate in their proposal how they propose to use the resources of the SchomburgCenter as well as those of other research units of The New York Public Library to further 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, call 212-491-2218.


The Fellowship Program is open to scholars studying the history, literature, and culture of peoples of African descent from a humanistic perspective and to professionals in fields related to the SchomburgCenter's collections and program activities. 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. Creative writing (works of poetry and fiction) and projects that result in a performance are not eligible.

Persons seeking support for research leading to degrees are not eligible under this program. Candidates for advanced degrees must have received the degree by December 1 of this year.   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.

Selection Criteria

Applications for the Scholars-in-Residence program will be reviewed by a Selection Committee consisting of the Residency Program Director and external reviewers chosen from scholars in the humanities and the social sciences. 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
They are expected to be in continuous residence at the Schomburg Center and to participate in the intellectual life of the Program. They may not be employed during the period in residence except sabbaticals from their own institutions. Those selected as Scholars-in-Residence may supplement their stipends with support from their own institution or small outside grants if the requisite approval is received from the Schomburg Center. Fellows may begin residence at the Center after September 1. This program is made possible in part through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation.

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) - Three letters of reference