Summer Visiting Research Fellowships

COVID-19 Update

Due to the continuing impact that the COVID-19 emergency is having on our Library and Campus operations, we are not accepting applications for any Wilson Fellowships for the 2021-2022 academic year.  We anticipate accepting applications in December 2021 for the 2022-2023 fellowship cycle. The guidelines below are available for reference.

Fellowship awards overview

Wilson Special Collections Library is pleased to announce that it will award up to eight short-term summer research fellowships to support intensive, innovative, and impactful research and artistic use of its collections. Eight awards of $1,250 are available for applicants whose research engages in the following categories:
  • American culture, politics, and social changes from 1960 to 1975
  • African American life, culture, and history
  • Women in the American South
  • Literary culture and traditions of the American South
  • Banking and business in the American South
  • North Carolina
  • Antebellum America
A list of past Summer Visiting Research Fellowship recipients can be found here.

Fellowship eligibility

  • Have or be actively pursuing the terminal degree in your discipline, OR
  • Be an established performing or creative artist, in which case the terminal degree requirement may be waived.
  • 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 during the Summer Research Season which extends from June 1 to 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.
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 one of our Southern Studies Doctoral Fellowships.

Application instructions

All application materials must be received by midnight on the application due date and be submitted electronically via Interfolio using the Summer Visiting Research Fellowship Application. The online application requires the submission of the following supporting 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.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Two confidential letters of recommendation
Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
  • Merit of the proposal
  • Applicant’s qualifications and recommendations
  • Demonstrated need to access in person the holdings of the Wilson Special Collections Library


  • December 1: Applications open for electronic submissions via Interfolio
  • January 31: All application materials must be received by this date.
  • March 31: Successful applicants are notified by email.
  • April 30: Accepting applicants must return all required documentation by this date.
  • June 1: Opening of Research Year
  • September 1: Close of Summer Research Season
  • October 1: Summer Research Reports due.

Awarding 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. Questions about the fellowships program or application instructions should be directed to Matt Turi via


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:
  • The Documenting Social Change Library Fund: $1,250 supports the study of American culture, politics, and social changes from 1960 to 1975.
  • The John Eugene & Barbara Hilton Cay Library Fund: $1,250 supports the study of literary culture and traditions of the American South.
  • The Guion Griffis Johnson Fund: $1,250 supports research concerning women in the American South.
  • The Hugh L. McColl Library Fund: $1,250 supports research about banking and business in the American South.
  • The Parker-Dooley Fund for Southern History: $1,250 supports research about North Carolina.
  • The J. Carlyle Sitterson Fund for the Southern Historical Collection: $1,250 supports research about Antebellum America.
  • The Joel Williamson Fund for the Southern Historical Collection: $1,250 supports research about African American life, culture, and history.
  • The Lucinda Holderness Wilcox and Benson R. Wilcox Library Fund for the North Carolina Collection: $1,250 supports research about North Carolina.