Indigenous Community Research Fellowships

The American Philosophical Society (APS)’s Indigenous Community Research Fellowships support research by Indigenous community members, elders, teachers, knowledge keepers, tribal officials, traditional leaders, museum and archive professionals, scholars, and others, regardless of academic background, seeking to examine materials at the APS Library & Museum in support of Indigenous community-based priorities.

The fellowship may be used by individuals or used to enable a group of researchers to visit the APS in Philadelphia. Any community whose cultural heritage is represented in the APS Library & Museum's collections is encouraged to apply. University-based scholars and independent researchers working on projects in collaboration with Native communities are also eligible to apply.  Such applicants are expected to provide letters of support from relevant community members. 

Funding is limited and competitive.  Applications will be evaluated based upon the applicant’s demonstrated need to use APS Library & Museum resources to advance the project.  Funds must be used within one year of receipt of the award.

Archivists at the APS’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR) will assist fellowship recipients with research support before and during the research visit. CNAIR focuses on helping Indigenous communities and scholars to discover and utilize the APS collection in innovative ways. The Collections comprise a vast archive of documentary sources (including manuscript materials, audio recordings, and images) related to over 650 indigenous cultures, predominantly from the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Note: Indigenous community-based researchers are not required to hold a fellowship in order to access the APS collections in person or through online requests. CNAIR archivists can be contacted at any time for reference assistance.

Applicants should submit the following materials via Interfolio or by mail:

  • Cover Letter (1 page)
  • Project Proposal (2-4 pages double-space)
  • Please include: 1) An outline of the rationale of the project, and goals for the visit to the APS Library & Museum, and envisioned outcomes and uses of the research after the fellowship; 2) Identify likely materials of interest for the fellowship research. (For information on APS collections, visit the Indigenous Subject Guide and contact Curator of Native American Materials, Brian Carpenter, bcarpenter@amphilsoc.org); 3) Names of participant(s) who would visit the Library & Museum; 4) A proposed timeline for the fellowship term.
  • Budget
  • Please fill out the budget worksheet available for download here. Please upload the completed worksheet to the application portal in Interfolio. Guidelines for estimating travel costs to and from Philadelphia, lodging, and other expenses may be found here. Applicants may request up to a maximum of $5,000.
  • Two Letters of Support
  • Letters from people with knowledge of the project but who are not directly involved in it. Applicants are encouraged to get letters that indicate community support from people such as members of the community active in cultural or linguistic revitalization, tribal government or authorities, or other relevant leaders or entities.
  • CV/Resume

The deadline for applications is October 15, 2019. Proposals submitted by October 15 will be reviewed for projects proposing a visit to the APS Library & Museum collections between January 1 and December 31, 2020. Notification will be sent by December 2019.

To apply, please submit your proposal electronically by October 15 via Interfolio http://apply.interfolio.com/66731, or by post to:

Adrianna Link, Head of Scholarly Programs

American Philosophical Society Library & Museum

105 S. Fifth Street

Philadelphia, PA 19106