du bois
Du Bois at his desk

The Department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library offers short-term residential fellowships to assist scholars in conducting research in its collections. Among the approximately 15,000 linear feet of manuscripts held by SCUA are many valuable collections for the study of social change in the United States, including the papers of the most important exponent of the politics and culture of the twentieth century, W.E.B. Du Bois. In addition, the University Library houses over three million volumes and a rich suite of electronic resources to support advanced research in the humanities. Comprehensive, searchable guides and finding aids to SCUA’s collections are available on this website.

Fellowships for visiting scholars are awarded to full-time faculty or independent scholars with a PhD.

View past Du Bois Fellows

Application information


Full-time faculty or independent scholars with a PhD are eligible to apply. Fellows may come from any field and any perspective, and they may work on any topic, but their research should explore the major themes that characterize Du Bois’s scholarship and activism, including the history and meaning of racial, social, and economic justice; the problems of democracy and political inclusion; the role of capitalism in world affairs; and the global influence of African cultures. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

Award & expectations:

Visiting fellows will receive a stipend of $4,500 for an eight-week library residency with a housing allowance of $2,500 as well as a research allowance of $600. In addition to the two-month residency, Du Bois Fellows will be invited back to campus to give a public talk to the Five College community, comprised of UMass Amherst faculty, graduate student fellows, and community college faculty in the humanities and social sciences. Fellows should plan to schedule their residencies during July-August 2018.

Selection criteria: Visiting Scholars will be selected on a competitive basis from applicants interested in conducting original research in the Du Bois Papers and other SCUA collections. The criteria for selection will include: 1) potential of the proposal to contribute to scholarship, 2) fit with Du Boisian themes, 3) the need for use of SCUA collections, and 4) the letter of support. The application will consist of a brief (up to 3 pages) description of the research project, a curriculum vita, and a letter of support.
Deadline for submission:

Applications must be received by March 16, 2018.

How to submit: Applications should be submitted electronically to scua [at] library.umass.edu with “Du Bois application” and your name in the subject line. Letters of recommendation should be sent separately to the same address.

Du Bois Visiting Scholars Fellowship application 2018