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The Ransom Center will award up to 60 research fellowships for its 2024–25 program. Please view the individual residency types within the application instructions to determine the qualifications for each. We offer funding to postdoctoral scholars, doctoral candidates, independent researchers, and scholars with master’s degrees who have had significant involvement in academic research.

Research conducted by humanities scholars contributes to a dynamic body of knowledge that has the potential to reshape our understanding of archival collections—what is preserved and valued in our communities. The Ransom Center fosters a supportive environment so that researchers may explore, examine, critique, and better understand the cultural works in its collections. Fellowships of varying lengths (from one to three months) are offered for research projects that require substantial on-site use of collections that span a variety of disciplines.

  • Ransom Center Fellowship Program & Guidelines

    The Ransom Center's internationally renowned collections encourage and support research in all areas of the humanities including literature, photography, film, art, performing arts, music, cultural history, and interdisciplinary studies.

    Research projects might include:

    • Scholarly articles or monographs
    • Dissertations
    • Creative work
    • Digital humanities
    • Performance-based research
    • Exhibition proposals
    • Research-based syllabi to grow student research
    • Collaborative research

    Fellowship Guidelines (updated March 2024)

  • Application Instructions

    The Ransom Center is thrilled to be awarding up to 60 research fellowships for its 2024-2025 program, including 10 dissertation fellowships. The fellowship projects must require substantial on-site use of the Center's collections, which support exploration of all areas of the humanities, including literature, photography, film, art, the performing arts, music, and cultural history.


    Submit Fellowship Application

    Types of Available Fellowships

    One– to Three–Month Fellowships — $3,500 PER MONTH*
    One– to three–month fellowships are available for postdoctoral or independent scholars whose projects require in-person engagement with the Center's holdings. Scholars with master’s degrees and a demonstrable record of exemplary research are also welcome to apply.

    Travel Stipends — $2,000*
    Travel stipends are available for postdoctoral scholars, independent researchers, and graduates with master’s degrees whose projects require less than one month's use of the Center's collections. Travel stipends may not be combined with other Ransom Center fellowships.

    Dissertation Fellowships — $2,000*
    Dissertation fellowships are available for graduate students whose in-progress doctoral dissertations require use of the Center's collections.

    * For all fellowship categories, an additional, one-time $500 stipend will be provided to individuals who are a citizen or resident of a country other than the U.S. to contribute to the costs associated with the J-1 visa and/or international travel to Austin.

    The Center gratefully acknowledges the endowments and annual sponsors that support these fellowships.

    Applicant Experience
    One– to three–month fellowships and travel stipends are open to individuals with either a Ph.D. or a master’s degree and a demonstrable record of exemplary research. If the Ph.D. is in progress at the time of application, the proposal and letters of recommendation should clearly indicate completion by June 1, 2024. Otherwise, the applicant should consider applying for a dissertation fellowship.

    Dissertation fellowships are open to doctoral candidates whose dissertations are in progress by the time of application and have not been completed by the start of the fellowship period.

    Previous recipients of Ransom Center fellowships are eligible to reapply with new projects after two full fellowship cycles have passed.

    Research Guides & Program Culture
    When considering your research proposal, please take a look at our ever-developing research guides, which provide interpretive information related to context as well as insight into the strengths and limitations of what we carry for each discipline. The Ransom Center is especially interested in proposals from candidates who can contribute to a vitally inclusive research culture. Our Fellowships Team is committed to attracting and supporting applicants across diverse backgrounds and perspectives and fostering a sense of belonging for all researchers. We advocate for work in both traditional formats (such as peer-reviewed articles or non-fiction manuscripts) as well as creative works (novels, films, performance pieces, etc.), and particularly welcome scholars who think critically about archival representation to recognize where there are gaps in scholarship.

    Applicants may contact the Ransom Center at with specific inquiries about the collections and to confirm that the materials they wish to consult will be available during their proposed visit. Inquiries about the collections should be submitted by October 1st, 2023 with the subject “Fellowship Applicant – [applicant name]” to guarantee a response before the application deadline. Other information about the Center's collections, including our Material Use Policy may be found online.

    Questions about the fellowship program or application instructions should be directed to

    Application Procedures

    A complete application consists of a three-page proposal and one or two letters of recommendation as outlined below. These materials must be uploaded to the Ransom Center's online application system as PDF files by the application deadline. To begin your application for a 2024–2025 fellowship, create a fellowship account. Upon successful creation of your account, you will receive a fellowship account number, which you must use to submit your proposal, and which your reference(s) must use to submit the required letter(s) of recommendation. Please note that information cannot be revised once submitted. Previous applicants for Ransom Center fellowships must create a new account for 2024–2025, as accounts from previous years cannot be reused. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes our applicants.

    Create your three-page proposal as outlined below. We ask that the proposal be in English and submitted as a single PDF file through the Ransom Center's online application system using your fellowship account number. Files longer than three pages will not be accepted.

    Required: Each page should include your last name in the top-right corner and be formatted with one-inch margins and a sans-serif or serif font size of 11 pt. When submitting a PDF of your three-page proposal, you will be asked to provide—via an online application form—a brief summary of your proposal in 100 words or less. The 100-word abstract should not be replicated within your three-page PDF.

    Page One
    The first page of your proposal should provide your name and project title, followed by a summary of the proposed research project. Keep in mind that research topics and their significance should be thoroughly explained and placed in the context of the larger field of study. Please also describe the anticipated result of the project (journal article, book, edited volume, or other format).

    Page Two
    The second page of your proposal should provide a detailed account of your anticipated use of the Ransom Center's collections. Describe the materials you will consult, their relevance to the project, and why these materials must be consulted on-site during the length of fellowship requested. In general, proposals must clearly convey the feasibility of a project, identify the required collections with detailed specificity (see next paragraph), and explain how the collections inform the larger project.

    Using our finding aids, please include the specific containers, boxes and folders from the collections you plan to consult. If your selected materials are also represented in the Ransom Center's digital collections, be sure to explain why on-site review is necessary for your project.

    Page Three
    The third page of your proposal should consist of an abbreviated curriculum vitae emphasizing relevant work, including publications. Previous recipients of Ransom Center fellowships should include results of fellowship-supported research.

    Letters of Recommendation
    Applications for one- to three-month fellowships and travel stipends must include two confidential letters of recommendation from individuals who are qualified to judge the proposal. Applications for dissertation fellowships must include only one letter of recommendation, which should come from the dissertation director or an appropriate member of the dissertation committee. Letters of recommendation must be in English and bear the referee's signature. Letters must be submitted as a PDF through the Center's online application system by the referee using the applicant's fellowship account number. The deadline for the application materials (below) applies also to the letters of recommendation.

    Application Deadline
    The proposal and required letter(s) of recommendation for 2024–2025 fellowship applications must be submitted through the Center's online application system by November 1, 2023, noon, CST. An automated email will be sent to the applicant upon the successful submission of each item. Applicants are responsible for ensuring their referees meet the deadline and that all required materials have been submitted. Materials cannot be accepted after the deadline has passed.

    Announcement of Decisions
    Decisions will be announced by email on April 2, 2024. Queries about applications in-process cannot, unfortunately, be acknowledged. Fellowship recipients and their research projects will be recognized in Ransom Center publicity.

    Fellowship stipends are awarded according to the category of award and the fellowship recipient's need to travel to the Center. An additional, one-time $500 stipend will be provided to individuals who are citizens or residents of countries other than the U.S. to contribute to the costs associated with the J-1 visa and/or international travel to Austin. For all award categories, stipends will be issued after the Fellow arrives at the Ransom Center for their residency.

    Recipients of 2024–2025 fellowships must complete their residencies between June 1, 2024, and August 31, 2025, though we can be somewhat flexible about the start date if all the administrative documentation has been submitted before the outset of the residency period. Complete information about the fellowship residency may be found in the fellowship guidelines.

  • History of the Ransom Center Fellowship Program

    The Harry Ransom Center fellowship program was established in 1989 under the directorship of Thomas F. Staley to give scholars the financial means and resources for on-site exploration of the Ransom Center's collections for academic research. Fellows are awarded stipends to complete residencies at the Center (which include invitations to select member events), immersing themselves in unique materials that illuminate creative processes over centuries. The extensive collections include (but are not limited to) literature, photography, film, art, the performing arts, music, and cultural history. Currently, we would like to expand our applicant base in the field of photography.

    The first fellowships were offered in 1990–1991 to eight scholars, five of whom visited from abroad. Support for these fellowships was provided by the Henriette F. and Clarence L. Cline Endowment, the South Central Modern Language Association, and general operating funds of the Ransom Center. Since then, the Center has worked to establish a $1.5 million endowment to ensure the continuation of the fellowship program with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and other donors. Dissertation fellowships became part of the program with aid from the University of Texas at Austin Office of Graduate Studies (now The Graduate School), to encourage humanities research among new generations.

    Today the program hosts more than 60 Fellows each year, sustained by the generous support of numerous organizations and individuals (please see “Sponsors” for full list). Since the program's inauguration, the Center has awarded fellowships to more than 1,400 scholars.

    The Fellows' wide-ranging and interdisciplinary research topics reflect the breadth of the Center's holdings. Recent publications derived from fellowship research include the following (of many):

    • Vagabond Fictions: Gender and Experiment in British Women's Fiction, 1945-1970 (University of Edinburgh Press, 2020) by Carol Sweeney who held a 2017-18 fellowship funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship Endowment.
    • Prison Writing and the Literary World: Imprisonment, Institutionality and Questions of Literary Practice (Routledge, 2020) edited by Michelle Kelly and Claire Westall; Michelle Kelly held a 2010-2011 fellowship funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship Endowment.
    • The Passion Projects: Modernist Women, Intimate Archives, Unfinished Lives (Princeton UP, 2019) by Melanie Micir who held a 2015-16 fellowship funded by Dorot Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Jewish Studies.
    • Staged: Show Trials, Political Theater, and the Aesthetics of Judgment (Columbia University Press, 2018), by Minou Arjomand who held a 2014-15 Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies / Marie and Edwin Gale Fellowship.
    • Visual Histories of South Asia (Primus Books, 2018), edited by Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes and Marcus Banks; Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes held a 2013-14 fellowship funded by Marlene Nathan Myerson Photography Endowment.
    • Study in Black and White: Photography, Race, Humor (Penn State University Press, 2018) by Tanya Sheehan who held a 2012-13 fellowship funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship Endowment.
    • The Blind Astronomer's Daughter (New York, Bloomsbury, 2016) by John Pipkin who held a 2010-11 fellowship funded by C. P. Snow Memorial Fund / Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship Endowment.

    Community Engagement

    During their residencies at the Ransom Center, Fellows are not only engaged in individual research; we strive for a program that exemplifies a genuine sense of fellowship to honor the community support that has perpetuated the Center's growth. Throughout the year, the Center hosts weekly coffee gatherings that allow independent researchers, Ransom Center staff, and other members of the university community to discuss the work taking place within our departments (archival/library, preservation, administration, curation, and exhibition). We also coordinate a monthly research series called Familiar Terms, which addresses humanities research as both an intellectual and creative pursuit and spotlights some of the work being explored in the Fellowship Program. Fellows have presented talks to Ransom Center Members and to university groups during their visits, have participated in video interviews, and have contributed articles to the print and online editions of the Ransom Center Magazine.

  • External Fellowships

    Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

    The International Placement Scheme (IPS) is an annual program providing Research Fellowships and dedicated access to internationally renowned collections/expertise to AHRC/ESRC-funded doctoral students, early career researchers, and doctoral-level research assistants.

    Bibliographical Society of America (BSA)

    The Harry Ransom Center co-sponsors two annual research fellowships with the Bibliographical Society of America (BSA), the longest-standing scholarly society in North America dedicated to the study of books and manuscripts as physical objects. The BSA was organized in 1904 and incorporated in 1927 with the principal objectives of promoting bibliographical research and issuing bibliographical publications.

    The BSA-Harry Ransom Center Pforzheimer Fellowship in Bibliography (two awards annually at $3,000 each) supports the bibliographical study of medieval and early modern books and manuscripts held in the Ransom Center's Pforzheimer Library and its other wide-ranging collections.

    Fulbright-Creative Ireland Museum Fellowship

    A post-graduate student will be awarded a Fulbright-Creative Ireland Museum Fellowship to complete short-term research at the Harry Ransom Center.

    Proposed research projects should engage substantively with the Ransom Center's collections, demonstrate a commitment to innovation and creativity, and include plans for both scholarly and community engagement.

    London Review of Books International Fellowship

    The inaugural London Review of Books Fellowship is an international award that will grant a scholar, journalist, historian, educator, artist, or other professional the opportunity to complete short-term research at the Harry Ransom Center.

    Proposed research projects should make considerable on-site use of the London Review of Books archive, potentially alongside other collections.

  • Sponsors
    • Alfred A. and Blanche W. Knopf Fellowship
    • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship Endowment
    • Arnold Newman Fellowship in Photography
    • Ben Bradlee Fellowship in Journalism
    • Carl H. Pforzheimer Endowment
    • C. P. Snow Memorial Fund
    • Dorot Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Jewish Studies
    • Edwin Gale Fellowship of the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at The University of Texas at Austin
    • Erle Stanley Gardner Endowment for Mystery Studies
    • Filmscript Acquisitions Endowment
    • Fleur Cowles Endowment Fund
    • Fred W. Todd Southern Literature Endowment Fund
    • Frederic D. Weinstein Memorial Fellowship
    • Harry Ransom Distinguished Fellowship
    • Hippocampus Press Endowed Robert E. Howard Fellowship
    • Hobby Family Foundation Endowment
    • Henrietta and Jens Jacobsen Endowment for the Humanities
    • Limited Editions Club Endowment
    • Marlene Nathan Meyerson Photography Fellowship Endowment
    • Milton T. Smith Memorial Director's Excellence Fund Endowment
    • Norman Mailer Endowed Fund
    • Robert De Niro Endowed Fund
    • Roy Flukinger Endowment for Photography
    • Sone Family Endowed Excellence Fund for VIsual Art
    • Thomas G. Smith Endowed Fund
    • Woodward and Bernstein Endowment