The Rosel Schewel Fellowship champions projects that tell inclusive stories of Virginia women. Specifically, the fellowship supports projects that expose and amplify women’s lived experiences, movements, struggles, and achievements across the Commonwealth, honoring Rosel Schewel’s commitment to equality.

Pictured: Rosel Schewel

About the Fellowship

Rosel Schewel, a tireless advocate for women’s rights, education, and racial justice, holds the distinction of being Virginia Humanities’ longest-serving board member. A resident of Lynchburg, she founded the local chapter of the League of Women Voters in the 1950s, the Women’s Resource Center in the 1970s, and was the first woman to serve as president of the Agudath Sholom Congregation. At the University of Lynchburg, where she earned her M.Ed., Ed.S., and honorary doctorate, she worked as an Associate Professor of Education and served on the Board of Trustees for 36 years.

The Rosel Schewel Fellowship, in the amount of $25,000 for a 12-month fellowship or $12,500 for a six-month fellowship, will be awarded to a writer, artist, cultural worker, or community scholar working in and around the story of women in Virginia. The fellowship will culminate in a public event and presentation. The fellow may also have the opportunity to partner with Virginia Humanities’ programs such as With Good Reason radio, Encyclopedia Virginia, the Virginia Center for the Book, the Virginia Festival of the Book, the Virginia Folklife Program, and the Office of Education and Community Initiatives.


Fellows must be eighteen years or older, be a US citizen, and reside in Virginia. Project proposals must be relevant to communities within Virginia. We welcome all applicants, including those from members of historically marginalized communities who have not had access to funding for creative and cultural pursuits. Virginia Humanities is both the state humanities council and a unit of the University of Virginia, and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, military status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.

Deliverables and Expectations

We encourage proposals that engage public audiences in creative, novel, and meaningful ways. Fellows are required to dedicate a substantial amount of their time towards their identified topic area throughout the duration of the fellowship and are advised to take a leave of absence from their primary places of work. This fellowship has a public program requirement. At the conclusion of the six- to 12-month fellowship, projects or developed research will be presented to a public audience in coordination with Virginia Humanities. The fellowship should result in something that a public audience can engage with, learn from, or experience such as:

  • Websites/Digital Projects
  • Publicly accessible archives
  • Books
  • Scholarly journal articles
  • Exhibits
  • Podcasts
  • Oral Histories


  • February 16, 2024: Application Opens
  • April 30, 2024: Application deadline  
  • July 2024: Decisions announced  
  • September 1, 2024: Fellowship begins  

How to Apply

Complete the application form, including:

  • Project Proposal
  • Curriculum Vita or ResumeRequest two letters of recommendation