Application Guidelines | Newberry

Application Guidelines

Applying for Fellowships

All application materials must be submitted together electronically through the appropriate Fellowship Application Webform. Applicants must complete the webform and upload their abstract, project description, and CV, as well as any additional materials that a fellowship may require, in order for their application to be considered complete. Letters of reference must be submitted separately by your recommenders through the Letter of Reference Webform. Links to these webforms can be found here.

Webforms cannot be submitted partially or saved for submission at a later date. The Newberry will not accept any additional or revised application materials or letters once they have been submitted.

PDF files are strongly preferred but are not required. The webforms will accept .doc, .docx, or .pdf files. Please note that if you submit a .doc or .docx, the formatting of your materials may be altered.

The Newberry will not accept application materials through postal or electronic mail.

The Newberry server cannot accept attachments larger than 10 MB.

All application materials must be submitted in English.

After the successful submission of application materials or letters of reference, you will receive a confirmation screen. You will also receive an electronically generated email within 24 hours. If you have not received an email within the allotted time, please check your spam folder before contacting us.

Applying for Multiple Fellowships in One Fellowship Year

The Newberry’s fellowship webform allows applicants to apply for multiple Long- and Short-Term Fellowships within a single application; applicants will be prompted to check off all fellowships for which they wish to apply. However, those applying for both Long- and Short-Term Fellowships must submit two separate, complete applications by the respective application deadlines. Applicants may use the same abstract and project description for both Long- and Short-Term Fellowship applications. Please keep in mind that application essays tailored to the specific criteria of each type of fellowship tend to be more successful.

Applicants may only submit one project per fellowship type (i.e., Long-Term or Short-Term) each year.

The Newberry will not consider applications for terms beyond the upcoming academic year.

Required Materials

Unless otherwise specified in a specific fellowship description, an application consists of five elements: the fellowship application webform, a project abstract, a project description, a CV, and three letters of reference. These elements are described in detail below. Please upload the appropriate materials to the webform when prompted.

1. The Webform, which asks for personal contact information, project materials, and contact information for each of the three references. Scholars applying for both Long- and Short-Term Fellowships must complete each application webform separately.

2. A Project Abstract of no more than 300 words. The abstract should communicate the significance of the project to the review panel. Each year, the review panel consists of several humanities scholars who will not necessarily be specialists in the area of inquiry.

3. A Project Description of no more than 1,500 words. The project description should describe:

  • your project and its significance in approximately 1,000 words. When appropriate, make specific reference to previously published scholarship in the field that will be revised or supplanted by your proposed project;
  • the ways the Newberry’s collections will be especially relevant to your project and an outline of your plan of work in approximately 500 words. You should describe key archival holdings at the Newberry (and elsewhere), as well as key secondary sources that inform your project. If the materials you wish to consult are also available online or elsewhere, the burden is on the applicant to explain how access to physical materials and/or variant editions will be advantageous to your research. This is especially important for short-term fellowship applications which are intended as travel-to-collections grants. You should also briefly explain your interest in a residential fellowship, indicating what you hope to gain from, and contribute to, the Newberry’s community of scholars.

  • Bibliographies and works cited documents are not required. If you choose to include one, please limit the length to one page.

Please note that applicants for the École Nationale des Chartes Exchange Fellowships, the Renaissance Society of America Fellowship, the Renaissance Society of America/Kress Foundation Fellowship, the American Council of Learned Societies Felllowship, the ACM/GCLA Faculty Fellowship, or the NLUS Faculty Fellowship should follow the specific instructions included in each fellowship’s description.

4. A current Curriculum Vitae (CV) of no more than five pages. Please use the following commonly accepted terms to describe any forthcoming publications:

  • “in progress” (not yet completed or submitted)
  • “submitted” (currently under review at a journal or press)
  • “accepted” (contracted for publication; currently under revision)
  • “in press” (in the hands of copy editor, typesetter, or printer)

5. Three Letters of Reference. These letters are required by the same deadline as all other application materials. Letters must be submitted via the Letter of Reference Webform. Applicants are responsible for contacting their recommenders to ensure that letters are submitted by the application deadline; recommenders will not receive a prompt or link from the Newberry. We will not accept more than three letters of reference for any application.

Please note that The Newberry will not accept applications which include any materials in excess of the required materials. Excessive materials include, but are not limited to:

  • Images (either embedded or in appendices)
  • Abstract or project description exceeding the word limit
  • Appendices/bibliography exceeding the word limit
  • CVs longer than the five-page limit
  • Personal cover letter
  • Audio-visual materials
  • More than three letters of reference

Additional Information about Letters of Reference

  • Letters must come directly from the recommender, not from the applicant, and must be written in English. They must be submitted using the Letter of Reference Webform.
  • The Newberry will not accept letters sent through postal or electronic mail.
  • Letters must be received on institutional letterhead and the name of the recommender must appear at the bottom of the letter.
  • It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all letters have been submitted by the application deadline. Applicants will receive an automated email confirming receipt when each letter is submitted.
  • Each letter should speak to the proposed project, the value to the applicant of a residency at the Newberry, as well as to the qualifications of the applicant. Please note: Letters that speak to the applicant’s project in specific, current terms are more effective than general letters from a dossier.
  • While letter services (such as Interfolio) are discouraged, please note that if applicants opt to use one it is their responsibility to contact the service to ensure delivery. The Newberry will not contact any letter services.
  • Recommenders can submit their letters before the applicant has submitted their application.
  • If you apply for both Long- and Short-Term Fellowships within the same year, you must have your recommenders submit a letter for each application.
  • Letters from previous applications cannot be reused. Recommenders must resubmit their letters each year.

Special Requirements for Letters of Recommendation

  • Pre-doctoral applicants must have their dissertation advisor submit one of their letters of reference. In the letter of reference, the recommender must indicate that the applicant has achieved “All But Dissertation” (ABD) status of PhD candidacy. Each pre-doctoral applicant and advisor should review Eligibility Requirements for further information.
  • École Nationale des Chartes Fellowship applicants must submit a fourth letter from their university certifying French language fluency.
  • Lawrence Lipking Fellowship applicants only need to submit one letter of reference.