The Black Metropolis Research Consortium requests proposals for the 2020 Summer Short-Term Fellowship Program

Application Deadline:  January 12, 2020

About the Summer Short-Term Research Fellowship:
Through an international competition, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) offers 1-month residential fellowships in the City of Chicago for its Summer Short-term Research Fellowship Program.  The Summer Short-term Fellowship Program has engaged scholars, artists, writers, and public historians to better formulate new historical narratives of Chicago’s past. The new, original research and art developed through this program is significant as it illuminates the national and international importance of Chicago’s African American community.

The purpose of the Summer Short-term Research Fellowship is:

  • To create research opportunities for scholars and artists to conduct primary research in Chicago-based archival repositories;
  • To generate new knowledge in the field of African American history;
  • To engage the local Chicago community in the history of the city.

Each Fellowship consists of one-month of support during the summer fellowship period (June through August). The BMRC provides a stipend of $4,000 for each Fellow to be utilized during the summer in the year in which it was awarded.  Fellowships may not be deferred.


  • Citizens or permanent residents from any country (applicant from countries outside the United States must hold a valid passport and be able to obtain a J-1 visa even if they are currently in the United States);
  • Scholars and artists with outstanding capabilities and experience from a variety of backgrounds (including academia, journalism, and other professions); and
  • English language proficiency.

BMRC Summer Short-Term Fellows must adhere to the following in order to receive their full stipend:

  1. Diligently pursue active research related to the topic outlined in the application proposal.
  2. Participate in opening events (a Welcome Breakfast, if available, and one Orientation). There will be other optional events that provide opportunities for Fellows to meet each other, BMRC member archivists, and other BMRC stakeholders.
  3. Present a final public presentation (20 minutes approximately) of their research activities by the close of the summer program.  BMRC Staff will work with fellows to schedule these presentations prior to the close of their fellowship period.
  4. Deposit an “artifact” from their summer research with the BMRC to preserve and share the outcomes of their research and to promote research resulting from the fellowship.  This artifact may include (a copy of your final presentation, a blog post style analysis of a document uncovered during your research that sheds important light on your topic, etc.).
  5. Provide the BMRC with an “end of fellowship” report (no more than 500 words) that details the archives you’ve visited, research findings, and future plans regarding the research topic and includes your responses to a simple 10-question survey.  

Application Procedures
The following application materials are required and must be submitted by January 12, 2020. 
All files should be submitted in PDF or MS Word Format, unless otherwise noted. You may submit application materials in separate files or all in one file (all in one file and PDF preferred). Please include your last name in the file name of all documents.

  1. Project description (Please include the following in 1500 words or less): 
  • Provide a compelling narrative of your interest in African American history as well as the title and description of your proposed research topic;
  • Detail how the proposed research topic will generate new perspectives or contribute to knowledge of the black experience in Chicagoland;
  • Discuss the significance/impact of the project and how it fits within the purpose of the Summer Short-Term Fellowship program;
  • Demonstrate the need for access to at least two BMRC related collections.  Please be specific and include the names of archival repositories, specific collections and why the collections are vital to your project.   For a list of member collections, please visit
  • Outline your research plan and dates of proposed research.

.     2. CV or resume - Please be sure to include your name, contact information, and institutional affiliation, if applicable

      3. A sample of your work (scholarly paper, video, photography, etc.). Please visit the link below for sample work guidelines.  

      4.TWO Letters of Recommendation – Your references should be familiar with your qualifications, the proposed project, and speak            to your research skills, experience, knowledge of  African American history, and capacity to carry out the proposed project.                   Please have your references include your last name in the file name of the letter of recommendation. It is the applicant’s                         responsibility to ensure that their references submit letters by the application deadline.

Incomplete and late submissions will be disqualified. Complete applications will be reviewed by a panel and applicants notified no later than March 2, 2020.
For questions or further information:
Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC)
1100 East 57th Street, Room 203
Chicago, Illinois 60637
P: 773-702-2388

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Posted: November 18, 2019
Tagged: Fellowships