Summer Visiting Research Fellowships

Wilson Special Collections Library is pleased to announce that it will award up to ten short-term summer research fellowships to support the intensive, innovative, and impactful research use of its collections.

Applications have closed for the 2019 Summer Visiting Research Fellowships.

Fellowship awards

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries and the Louis Round Wilson Special Collection Library gratefully acknowledge the generous gifts that support our Summer Visiting Research Fellowships:

  • For meaningful research engagement with the Rare Book Collection, in the amount of $1,250: The  Marjorie Bond Library Fund.
  • For the study of American culture, politics, and social changes from 1960 to 1975, in the amount of $1,250: The  Documenting Social Change Library Fund.
  • For the Wilson Special Collections Library Audiovisual Research Fellowship for the artistic and scholarly use of Wilson Library’s rich audiovisual collections, in the amount of $2,500: The  Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
  • For the study of the American South or North Carolina, in the amount of $1,250:
    • The John Eugene & Barbara Hilton Cay Library Fund supports the study of literary culture and traditions of the American South. 
    • The Guion Griffis Johnson Fund supports research concerning women in the American South. 
    • The Hugh L. McColl Library Fund supports research about banking and business in the American South.
    • The Parker-Dooley Fund for Southern History supports research about North Carolina. 
    • The J. Carlyle Sitterson Fund for the Southern Historical Collection supports research about Antebellum America. 
    • The Joel Williamson Fund for the Southern Historical Collection supports research about African-American life, culture, and history. 
    • The Lucinda Holderness Wilcox and Benson R. Wilcox Library Fund for the North Carolina Collection supports research about North Carolina.

*For applicants whose permanent residence is within the Research Triangle region, an award will be adjusted to $625 (fifty percent of the residential stipend) to support the expenses of commuting rather than travel and housing. 

Fellowship eligibility

  • Submit a research proposal and research plan that draws deeply and substantively on the collections of the Wilson Special Collections Library to support your research.
  • Commit to a full-time research residency of at least ten days at the Wilson Library that will occur between May 1 and September 1.
  • Agree to participate in the intellectual life of the Library and the fellowship program, which will include a public presentation of research findings and experiences and the submission of a brief research report. Fellows may be invited to submit papers to a capstone symposium in Southern Studies that will take place in 2022.
  • Have or be actively pursuing the terminal degree in their discipline, with the following exception: For the the Audiovisual Research Fellowship, we welcome applications from established performing and creative artists. In these instances, the terminal degree requirement may be waived.

If you are a doctoral student or candidate studying the American South and you can commit to a research residency of at least one month, please consider applying for the Wilson Special Collections Library Doctoral Fellowship Program.


Applications will be evaluated based on:

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

Application instructions

All application materials must be received by February 15 and be submitted electronically using the Summer Visiting Research Fellowship Application.

This online process includes an application form and the submission of the following application materials:

  1. Research Statement: A brief narrative (no more than 1200 words) that describes your proposed research and its intellectual significance.
  2. 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.
  3. Curriculum Vitae
  4. Two confidential letters of recommendation

Important 2019 fellowship dates

  • February 15, 2019: All application materials must be received by this date.
  • March 22, 2019: Successful applicants are notified by email.
  • March 29, 2019: Accepting applicants must return all required documentation by this date.
  • May 1, 2019: Opening of research season
  • September 1, 2019: Close of summer research season
  • October 1, 2019: Deadline for submission of summer research reports

Awarding of funds

Payment will be issued in two parts. Half of the award is disbursed prior to the planned visit and the balance is released upon the successful completion of the defined visit.

Questions about the fellowships program or application instructions should be directed to