Grants & Fellowships

support for research
Each academic year, we award five grants to assist researchers who wish to come use our collections in person. These funds are open to all students, faculty, and independent scholars. They include:

  • The John Eugene and Barbara Hilton Cay Visiting Scholar Grant ($1,000)
    Mr. and Mrs. Cay established this fund to support projects examining the literary culture or traditions of the American South.
  • The Guion Griffis Johnson Visiting Scholar Grant ($1,000)
    For projects examining women in the American South, this award is given in honor of the pioneering Social Historian and an early woman faculty of UNC’s History Department.
  • The Parker-Dooley Visiting Scholar Grant ($1,000)
    Funds provided by the Parker and Dooley families go to support projects examining North Carolina’s history.
  • The Carlyle Sitterson Visiting Scholar Grant ($1,000)
    For projects examining the Antebellum American South, this award is named after UNC Chancellor J. Carlyle Sitterson.
  • The Joel Williamson Visiting Scholar Grant ($1,200)
    In honor of UNC History Professor Emeritus, supporting projects examining African Americans or race relations in the American South.

Read more about past grant recipients for examples of successfully-funded projects.


Anyone seeking to use resources in the Southern Historical Collection for a project is eligible to apply. This includes thesis/dissertation research, original literary works, museum exhibits, fieldwork, and other original works that contribute to a broader understanding of Southerners and/or the American South. Each award recipient must be able to make at least one in-person research visit to the collection between September 1 and July 1.


Application Materials:

  • Curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages)
  • Brief prospectus (maximum 500 words) indicating the desired award, describing your project, and noting how specific collections will contribute to your work
  • A signed statement from an advisor or colleague in support of the proposed work

Send application materials to:

Visiting Scholars Grant Program
Southern Historical Collection
Wilson Library, CB# 3926
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27515-8890

Or apply online by emailing with the subject line: “Southern Historical Collection Visiting Scholars Grant Application”

 After completing their research, recipients will submit a brief statement (300-600 words) describing their visit and summarizing the results of their research. We will publish this statement in the Library’s print and online publications.

 Application Timeline

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

  • January 1, 2017: The Southern Historical Collection begins accepting applications.
  • March 31, 2017: Deadline for all applications; must be received or postmarked by this date.
  • June/July 2017: Recipients are notified; must complete paperwork to receive funds. Note: Foreign nationals must independently obtain a social security number and a visa before grant funds are issued.
  • August 2017: Grant funds dispersed.
  • September 2017: Recipients may begin making research visits to the Southern Historical Collection.
  • July 1, 2018: Recipients must complete their onsite research visits by this date.
  • July 31, 2018: Deadline to submit a brief statement (300-600 words) describing the research visit and summarizing the results of research in the SHC’s collections.