Wilson Library Research Fellowships Guidelines

These guidelines are crafted to answer the most frequently asked questions that we receive concerning our fellowships.  Please read these guidelines as you write your application and plan your research residency.

If you have additional questions or concerns about the fellowship or the application process, please contact Matt Turi via email at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu.

Table of Contents

1. Types of Research Fellowships
2. Fellowship Application Process
3. Fellowship Timeline
4. Acceptance of Fellowship Award
5. Dispersal of Funds
6. Planning and Organizing Your Fellowship Residency
7. Conducting Research in Wilson Library: The Basics
8. Participating in the Intellectual Life of the Library and the Campus
9. Parking and Transportation
10. Housing
11. Unanswered Questions or Concerns
Appendix

1. Types of Research Fellowships

The Wilson Special Collections Library offers funding opportunities for those who wish to use the rich and deep resources available in the UNC-Chapel Hill’s special collections. There are fellowships to support the research interests of

  • Faculty and independent scholars
  • Doctoral students and candidates
  • Graduate students
  • Established performing and creative artists

Visit our Fellowships web page for details on all available awards. If you have questions about which fellowship is most appropriate for your academic situation, please contact Matt Turi via wilsonlibrary@unc.edu

2. Fellowship Application Process

All application materials must be received by midnight on January 31 and be submitted electronically via Interfolio. It is the applicant’s obligation to ensure their application is complete and submitted by the deadline. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

A complete application will include the following submitted materials:

  • Research Proposal: A brief narrative (no more than 1200 words) that describes your proposed research and its intellectual significance.
  • Research Plan: A substantive preliminary list of Wilson Library resources that will be consulted during your residency. Brief annotations concerning the relevancy of a collection should be included (one or two sentences maximum).
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Two confidential letters of recommendation. For graduate students, one letter must be from your academic advisor.
  • For graduate students, a letter from the Director of Graduate Studies confirming your current academic status.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of scholars. Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Merit of the proposal
  • Applicant’s qualifications and letters of recommendations
  • Demonstrated need to access in person the holdings of the Wilson Special Collections Library

Technical help is available from Interfolio Support Staff.

Questions about the content of the application can be directed to Matt Turi via email at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu.

3. Fellowship Timeline

  • December 1: Applications open for electronic submissions via Interfolio
  • January 31: All application materials must be received by midnight
  • March 31: Successful applicants are notified by email
    • Preliminary acceptance of award must occur within 7 calendar days of the email’s receipt
  • April 15: Accepting applicants must return all required documentation and biographical information by midnight
  • May 31: Submit residency dates
  • June 1: Opening of research year
    • Research reports are due one month after completing the research residency.
  • May 30: Close of research year

4. Acceptance of Fellowship Award

An email offering the award will be sent to successful applicants on or before March 31.

Fellows must accept or decline the award within 7 calendar days of the email’s receipt. This preliminary acceptance is accomplished by simply replying to the award email.

Documents

Formal and official acceptance of the award requires the following:

  1. Biographical information about you and your research. See the “A Little More About You” section below. Please email the information by April 15.
  2. Documents attached to the award email.  These materials must be completed, signed, mailed and received by April 15. Our mailing address is below.
  3. Completion of a background check. A research visit cannot take place until the background check is complete.
    • You will receive an email from the background check vendor after we receive your completed documents. Please follow their directions to complete the background check. If you do not see the email, check your spam or junk folder.

For security purposes, we are not allowed to accept forms electronically.  They must be printed, signed, and mailed to the following address:

Matthew Turi

Research and Instructional Services Department

Wilson Special Collections Library

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

CB#3948 Wilson Library

Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27515-8890

A Little More About You

When you accept, we will also need some additional information about you and your research. We are active in promoting our fellows and their work via social media.  To help us with our efforts, please email the following by April 15:

  • A short bio (no more than five sentences)
  • A very short blurb (no more than two sentences) that explains the essence of your research
  • A brief title for your talk
  • A professional headshot at the highest resolution possible
    • If you do not have one, let us know and we can have a photograph taken when you arrive
  • Your twitter handle (optional)

Please note that our interest in promoting your career and research accomplishments extends beyond the tenure of your residency.  Please keep us apprised of your achievements: lectures, publications, positions, etc.

5. Dispersal of Funds

Fellowship awards will be disbursed after the completion of a fellowship residency.  It is strongly recommended that fellows arrive with the funds necessary to support their research visit.

Research visits cannot occur before a background check is complete.

To ensure timely disbursal of funds, it is crucial that all the forms and the background check described in the previous section, Acceptance of Fellowship Award, are properly completed and received by April 15 following notification of award.

Delayed submission may result in significantly delayed payment.

6. Planning and Organizing Your Fellowship Residency

Research Residency Requirement

Our expectation is that your full-time residency period will be focused exclusively on your work in our special collections.  Fellows are expected to plan their residency in Wilson Library without significant interruption for the month or months of an awarded fellowship. We do recognize, however, that there are circumstances that can interfere with this expectation.  If this is the case, please do contact Matt Turi so that we can discuss your situation.

Please note that if you are unable to stay in the Library for the entire period of your fellowship, your monetary award will be pro-rated accordingly.

Setting your Residency Dates

To effectively organize your visit, prepare collection materials, and schedule orientations, talks, and events, we will need specific additional information from you by May 31 after award acceptance:

  • If you are planning to conduct research during our summer research period (June 1 to September 1), please send your firm residency dates to Matt Turi at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu by May 31 after award acceptance
  • If you are planning a later visit, please send tentative dates by May 31 and firm dates by September 1
  • Once we have this information, we will send you the schedule for your orientation, talk, and exit interview.

Once we have this information, we will send you the schedule for your orientation, talk, and exit interview.

Online Research Orientation

Before you arrive for your residency, you will participate in an online orientation with our Research Room Manager and our Fellowship coordinator. This orientation will include:

  • Creating a research account
  • Requesting materials
  • Reserving seats in the research room
  • Time to discuss your questions about preparing for a visit

Preliminary Collection Needs

Before your arrival, create a research account and populate it with your initial requests. The use of this account system is briefly described on our How to Request Materials page.

If in your review of the description of our collections you have a question or concern, do not hesitate to email.  Typical questions might include:

  • Use or access restrictions
  • Intellectual property issues
  • Unprocessed materials
  • Additional description of a collection that is not online

Audiovisual Material

If, in your review of collection materials, you discover that you are interested in consulting an audio-video recording, please make the request and email Matt Turi with a list of AV items.  It can take considerable time to create use copies and we want to get your selections in the production queues as soon as possible.

7. Conducting Research in Wilson Library: The Basics

Location

Our research room is located on the west-side of the second floor of the Wilson Special Collections Library.  Wilson Library is located in the center of UNC’s campus, directly across South Road from the Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower. The Library’s street address is 200 South Road, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Hours

The research room is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The Library hours and closures are listed on our Library hours calendar.

Research Room Capacity

The research room has eight seats, and the research day is divided into three 2-hour blocks.  Researchers must reserve their space in advance, and they may reserve between 1 and 3 blocks per day.  They may also make reservations that span multiple days or weeks.

Seat reservations will be discussed during your online orientation before arrival.

Requesting Materials

Our Library uses an online researcher registration and paging system for special collections materials.  The use of this system is briefly described on our How to Request Materials page. Please visit the page and register with the system before your arrival.

Requesting materials will be discussed during your online orientation before your arrival.

Policies

The policies and procedures governing special collection’s research use, including copying, are described on our Research Room Policies page. If you would like to discuss these policies or have specific questions that are not addressed, please do not hesitate to contact Matt Turi at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu.

COVID-19 Procedures

As a member of the Carolina community, you should follow the University of North Carolina’s COVID-19 Community Standards:

Face masks that properly cover your mouth and nose must be worn at all times in Wilson Library. Please delay your visit if you are unable to wear a mask.

Face masks must meet the following criteria:

  • Fit snugly and securely over the mouth and nose and against the side of the face;
  • Be secured by ties or ear loops;
  • Allow for unrestricted breathing; and
  • In the case of cloth face masks, be able to be laundered and dried without damage or change to shape.

Each time prior to coming to campus, all members of the Carolina community should self-assess whether you are experiencing any symptoms using the COVID-19 symptom list on the community standard’s website. If you have any of these symptoms, you should not come to campus.

It is important to respect and honor members of the Carolina community who wish to maintain their personal space.

8. Participating in the Intellectual Life of the Library and the Campus

The Talk

Wilson Library hosts a Research Forum, a regular informal venue for researchers, library staff, and the University community to discuss research occurring in Wilson Library.  Fellowship talks are scheduled as a part of this larger series. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Forum talks will occur over Zoom.

Each Forum talk lasts for one hour.  If possible, we schedule two Fellows to present at each Forum.  This allows for about 15 to 20 minutes of prepared remarks and 10 to 15 minutes of discussion. There is technology in our meeting space and many fellows make use of it to share images of documentary discoveries.

The content of a fellowship talk has been variable, but most typically it discusses your broader scholarly project, the meaning of our collections to this work, and the presentation of interesting documentary examples.

Fellows are invited and expected to attend our Research Forums during their residency.

Research Report

After their research residency, Fellows must submit a 2- to 5-page Fellowship Report that discusses their research experience and its meaning to their research project.  Ideally, this report will discuss the impact that our collections have had on their project.

Reports should be emailed to Matt Turi at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu one month after the completion of your residency.  Reports may be published by the Library and used in its various social media efforts to highlight the Southern Studies Doctoral Fellowships and our collections.

Southern Studies Symposium 2023

In 2023, Wilson Library will host a Southern Studies Symposium designed to highlight the exciting, innovative, and important historical research created by our Fellows.  Invitations to submit papers and participate in panel presentations and discussion will be sent to alumni in the spring of 2023 with the symposium to follow in the fall of 2023.

9. Parking and Transportation

As with most universities, parking at UNC can be difficult and expensive. If you do decide to park on campus, the closest parking facility to the Library is the Rams Head Parking Deck.  There are also Digital Parking Meters on South Road to the East of Wilson Library.

Disability access to Wilson Library is from the side (east) entrance of the building, facing the Undergraduate Library. UNC disability parking spaces are behind the Undergraduate Library, directly across from Stadium Drive and accessible from the South Road entrance. Inside the building, elevator access is available past the stairwell on the east side. The elevator allows access to all public areas in Wilson Library.  If you require access to disability parking, please contact Matt Turi at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu as soon as possible.

If you can avoid parking on Campus, there are several Mass Transportation options that have worked well for previous Fellows.

  • Chapel Hill Transit (CHT) is a “fare-free system” and provides convenient and accessible transportation to the Campus within the Town of Chapel Hill.
  • Fellows with lodging outside of Chapel Hill have taken advantage of Chapel Hill Transit’s Park and Ride lots, which provide low cost parking and access to CHT buses.

10. Housing

The University Libraries does not have access to on-campus housing.

Most previous Fellows report having used vacation rental and travel booking platforms to locate lodging for their residency.

11. Unanswered Questions or Concerns

Finally, if you have questions about your visit and our campus, staff, and faculty, please do not hesitate to contact Matt Turi via wilsonlibrary@unc.edu.

Appendix

Wilson Library Fellows’ Research Residency Checklist

Accept the Fellowship Award

  • Confirm award acceptance within 7 calendar days of the award email’s receipt. Confirm by responding to the email.
  • Email biographical information by April 15 to Matt Turi at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu
    • A short bio (no more than five sentences)
    • A very short blurb (no more than two sentences) that explains the essence of your research
    • A brief title for your talk
    • A professional headshot at the highest resolution possible
      • If you do not have one, let us know and we can have a photograph taken when you arrive
    • Your twitter handle (optional)
  • Mail all completed and signed documents (all documents attached to the award email). We must receive them by April 15. See below for our mailing address.
  • Complete background check. A research visit cannot take place until the background check is complete.
    • You will receive an email from the background check vendor after we receive your completed documents. If you do not see the email, check your spam or junk folder.

For security purposes, we are not allowed to accept forms electronically.  They must be printed, signed, and mailed to the following address:

Matthew Turi

Research and Instructional Services Department

Wilson Special Collections Library

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

CB#3948 Wilson Library

Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27515-8890

Before you Arrive

  • Set your residency dates by emailing Matt Turi at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu
    • If you are a planning to conduct research during our summer research period (June 1 to September 1), send your firm residency dates by May 31 after award acceptance
    • If you are planning a later visit, send tentative dates by May 31 and firm dates by September 1
  • Attend your online research orientation (this will be scheduled after you set your residency dates)
  • Reserve a seat in the research room
  • Create a research account
  • Submit initial material requests. If you are interested in audiovisual (AV) material, submit a request and email Matt Turi with a list of AV items
  • Acquire housing
  • Look into parking and transportation options

During Your Residency

  • Continue requesting materials as needed
  • Present your research findings and experience at a research forum (this will be scheduled after you set your residency dates)
  • Attend research forums of other fellows

After Your Residency

  • Submit your Fellowship Report one month after the completion of your residency
  • Keep us apprised of your achievements: lectures, publications, positions, etc.

Last updated Fall 2021