Fellowship Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, applicants must be affiliated (current doctoral student, alumni, or faculty) with one of Virginia’s HBCUs. Projects of interest can range across the disciplines of human-centered social sciences, traditional humanities, public, and digital humanities. Preference will be given to research that is near completion and aligns with Virginia Humanities’ Strategic Vision or topics that explore issues around equity and social disparity.

To prioritize health and safety, the fellowship will not require scholars to relocate to Virginia Humanities’ office in Charlottesville or to the Library of Virginia in Richmond as previous Virginia Humanities fellowships have. The non-residential opportunity also strives to mitigate the inequities many scholars affiliated with HBCUs face in their efforts to conduct research while balancing the demands of higher education, related service, and family obligations.

Pictured: Preservation architect and Saving Slave Houses founder Jobie Hill and architectural historian Niya Bates assess a former slave cabin during a site visit with Virginia Humanities staff. Photo by Peter Hedlund/Virginia Humanities


  • Applicants must have attended Hampton University, Norfolk State University, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University or another accredited Virginia HBCU in undergraduate or graduate school or be a current faculty member at a Virginia HBCU.
  • Applicants may be from any of the following categories: predoctoral, postdoctoral, non-tenured or tenured academic faculty members.
  • Topics of research must be based in the humanities and human-centered social sciences. Preference is given to research that is near completion and aligns with Virginia Humanities’ Strategic Vision or topics that explore issues around equity and social disparity.
  • Fellows are not obligated to relocate. This is a non-residential fellowship opportunity, designed to support fellows at their respective homes. However, if a need for residency is expressed, potential accommodations may be available at either the University of Virginia in Charlottesville or at the Library of Virginia in Richmond. Options will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Fellowship Deliverables and Expectations

  • 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. Replacement funds are available for institutions needing to cover the fellow’s course schedule.
  • Fellows will participate in a virtual “Meet the Fellows” public discussion where members of the community have an opportunity to hear about the research topics. This will typically take place at the beginning of the fellowship. 
  • Fellows will share their research amongst their cohort and chosen interlocutor at least once throughout the duration of the fellowship. Fellows are encouraged to interact with the other members of their cohort throughout the fellowship.
  • Fellows are required to discuss their work publicly on Virginia Humanities’ With Good Reason public radio show and podcast.
  • Fellows have the option of publishing in our digital Encyclopedia Virginia and/or to present their work in a public setting at a relevant local cultural center/organization of their choice (i.e., The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center in Charlottesville).
  • Fellows will be researching and working on their projects for up to 9 months, with approved leave from their institution where necessary.
  • Fellows will complete a survey at the conclusion of the fellowship and are expected to help welcome the subsequent cohort.

“It’s that network. You just have more minds working in the project than your own. And that’s really valuable.”

Karen Chase