Indigenous Community Research Fellowships

Ron Hamilton reading a field notebook

The American Philosophical Society's Library & Museum in Philadelphia invites applications for the Indigenous Community Research Fellowship to support an individual or a group of researchers seeking to examine materials at the APS to further Indigenous community-based priorities. Fellows will work with the Library & Museum’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR), which aims to promote greater collaboration between scholars, archives, and Indigenous communities throughout the Americas. 

This fellowship program is designed especially for Indigenous community members, elders, teachers, knowledge keepers, tribal officials, traditional leaders, museum and archive professionals, and independent scholars. Applicants do not need to have a specific academic background or an academic affiliation to apply, Any Indigenous community whose cultural heritage is represented in the APS's Library & Museum collections is encouraged to apply. University-based scholars and independent researchers working on projects in collaboration with Indigenous communities are also eligible to apply. Such applicants are expected to provide letters of support from relevant community members. Indigenous community members are not required to go through or work with third parties to access APS collections. The fellowship provides up to $5,000 for travel costs to visit the APS in Philadelphia.

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 vast collections include manuscript materials, audio recordings, and images related to over 650 Indigenous cultures, predominantly from North and Central America. Detailed information on the collections is available through the Indigenous Subject Guide.

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

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.


  • Up to $5,000 for travel expenses


This fellowship is open to those who are not US citizens or residents, but it does not provide visa sponsorship.

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

  • Application Form (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's Library & Museum, and envisioned outcomes and uses of the research after the fellowship;
    2) Identify some 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, [email protected];
    3) Names of participant(s) who would visit the Library & Museum;
    4) A proposed duration for the visit, pending developments in pandemic travel and research conditions.
  • Budget: Applicants may request up to a maximum of $5,000
    • 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. Digitization costs should not be included in the budget, as those costs are covered for free by CNAIR. 
  • 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 for primary applicant.

The deadline for applications is March 17, 2023. Proposals submitted by March 3 will be reviewed for projects proposing a visit to the APS's Library & Museum collections between June 1, 2023 and May 31, 2024. Award notifications will be sent by May 2023.

To apply, please submit your proposal electronically via Interfolio, or by mail to:

Ruth Rouvier, NASI Engagement Coordinator
Center for Native American And Indigenous Research
American Philosophical Society
105 S. Fifth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Current and Past Recipients


Etta Anderson, Colorado River Indian Tribes, "Mohave Elders Committee: Mohave Language Revitalization"

Ensley Guffey, Catawba Indian Nation, "Catawba Indian Nation archivist: Making Catawba holdings available remotely through digital objects."

Ian McCallum, Munsee-Delaware Nation, University of Toronto, "Asiiskusiipuw: Language revitaliation and learning as it pertains to the Munsee Language"


Robert Jimerson, Rochester Institute of Technology

Heather George, Deskaheh and 1924 Community Research Group

Pueblo of Isleta, Pueblo of Isleta Department of Cultural and Historic Preservation

Angelina Jumper and Bo Taylor (Timothy B. Powell Indigenous Community Research Fellowship), Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians - Junaluska Memorial Site and Museum


Gertrude Smith and Reba Franco, “Yavapai-Apache Nation Language Revitalization” (Timothy B. Powell Indigenous Community Research Fellowship)

Abelardo de la Cruz de la Cruz, “Nahuatl Voices in Nahua Communities in the Huasteca Region of Mexico”


Marianne Nicolson and Midori Nicolson, “George Hunt Maps” (Timothy B. Powell Indigenous Community Research Fellowship)

Tom Child, “Kwakwaka’wakw Songs and Language”

George Greendeer, “Review of Ho-Chunk/Winnebago Materials for Hoocąk Waaziija Haci Language Division”