Fellowships at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at The New York Public Library, USA

Fellowships at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at The New York Public Library, USADeadline: 30 September 2011

 You walk the corridors of the Library with the acute sensation that what has been bestowed upon you, amongst all these books, is a sense of what matters. You enter a silence that requires humility, grace, and the deepest thanks.
—Colum McCann, novelist. Fellow 2004-2005


The for Scholars and Writers offers fellowships to people whose work will benefit directly from access to the research collections at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street (formerly the Humanities and Social Sciences Library). Renowned for the extraordinary comprehensiveness of its collections, the Library is one of the world’s preeminent resources for , art, geography, history, languages and literature, philosophy, politics, popular culture, psychology, religion, sociology, and sports.

Criteria and Terms

The Cullman Center’s Selection Committee awards up to 15 fellowships a year to outstanding scholars and writers – academics, independent scholars, journalists, and creative writers. Foreign nationals conversant in English are welcome to apply. Candidates who need to work primarily in The New York Public Library’s other research libraries – The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Science, Industry and Business Library – are not eligible for this fellowship, nor are people seeking funding for research leading directly to a degree.

The Cullman Center looks for from academics as well as from creative writers and independent scholars. It aims to promote dynamic communication about literature and scholarship at the very highest level – within the Center, in public forums throughout the Library, and in the Fellows’ published work.

A Cullman Center Fellow receives a stipend of up to $65,000, an office, a computer, and full access to the Library’s physical and electronic resources. Fellows work at the Center for the duration of the fellowship term, which runs from September through May. Each Fellow gives a talk over lunch on current work-in-progress to the other Fellows and to a wide range of invited guests, and may be asked to take part in other programs at The New York Public Library.

The New York Public Library/ Fellowships

The Center may give up to five fellowships a year in conjunction with the American Council of Learned Societies. Candidates for joint fellowships must submit separate applications to The New York Public Library and to the American Council of Learned Societies. For information regarding eligibility requirements and an application, please visit the website, www.acls.org/programs/comps.

Competition Deadline

Completed applications and letters of recommendation for the 2012-2013 fellowship must be submitted by September 30, 2011.

I remember thinking what curious people athletes must be to practice whatever it is they do for six to eight hours, seven days a week, for years on end – until it occurred to me that that’s what I do; that’s what we writers do all our lives. Others have no inkling of the twenty-four hours a day, waking or sleeping, in which we are about our true business – scholarship, poetry, our stories. That is what the Cullman Center knows.
—Lore Segal, fiction writer. Fellow 2008-2009

My time at the Center was one of the most fulfilling years of my writing career. I accomplished much of what I’d set out to do but I also went in directions I could not have planned. I hadn’t anticipated the direct ways in which the other Fellows’ work would steer aspects of my own. We inspired one another and through the long hours, kept each other company. We had a terrific amount of fun. The Cullman Center fellowship is unique and it makes an enormous contribution to public and private intellectual life.
Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, journalist. Fellow 2007-2008


The Cullman Center is made possible by a generous endowment from Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman in honor of Brooke Russell Astor, with major support provided by Mrs. John L. Weinberg, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Estate of Charles J. Liebman, John and Constance Birkelund, The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, and additional gifts from The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Mel and Lois Tukman, The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, Helen and Roger Alcaly, The Rona Jaffe Foundation, William W. Karatz, Mary Ellen von der Heyden, Merilee and Roy Bostock, Lybess Sweezy and Ken Miller, and Cullman Center Fellows.

Complete rules and application form may be downloaded from the web site:


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