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Friends of the APS Predoctoral Fellowship in Early American History (to 1840)

The American Philosophical Society Library & Museum in Philadelphia seeks applicants for a one-year, residential fellowship for graduate students working on topics in early American History (to 1840). The 12-month fellowship is intended for advanced Ph.D. students working toward the completion of the dissertation. The caliber of the project, and evidence that the project will be completed in a timely manner, are the two most important criteria for selection. The selection committee will also take into consideration the need to be at the APS Library & Museum and other research institutions in the Philadelphia area. Applicants may be U.S. citizens or foreign nationals. 

  • Applicants’ research must pertain to topics in early American history (to 1840)
  • The successful applicant will receive an appointment as a Research Associate at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, which will provide library and computer privileges at the University of Pennsylvania to those who agree to participate regularly in the McNeil Center’s seminars and other programming (www.mceas.org)
  • The successful applicant will have the opportunity also to participate in programs and other affairs at the American Philosophical Society

Stipend: $25,000 for twelve months will be awarded to all successful applicants

Applicants will submit:

  • C.V.,
  • Dissertation proposal (2-4 pages, double-spaced),
  • A sample chapter from their dissertation not to exceed 25 double-spaced pages,
  • An introductory cover letter that discusses their past and current work proposed to be completed on the fellowship,
  • Three letters of reference in support of the project and applicant.

Deadline: January 29, 2021. Notifications will be sent by April 2021.

Current and Past Recipients


Molly Nebiolo, Northeastern University, “Constructing Health: Concepts of Well-Being in the Creation of Early Atlantic Cities”


Gustave Lester, Harvard University, Mineral Lands, Mineral Empire: Mapping the Raw Materials of U.S. Industrial Capitalism, 1780-1880"


Hannah Anderson, University of Pennsylvania, “Lived Botany: Households, Ecological Adaptation, and the Origins of Settler Colonialism in Early British North America”


Nicole Schroeder, University of Virginia, “Incurable Defects: Welfare, Medicine, and the Disabled Body in Philadelphia, 1790-1840”


Max Matherne, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, “The Jacksonian Character: Patronage and Ideology in the Early Republic”


Katlyn Clark, Princeton University, “Practicing Politics in the Revolutionary Atlantic World: Secrecy, Publicity, and the Making of Modern Democracy”