Freedman Fellows Program

The 2021-2022 Application timeframe has concluded and this year's fellows have been selected.  The recipients and titles of their projects will be announced soon!

For many years, the Freedman Fellows Program has been generously funded by the Freedman Fellows Endowment, established by Samuel B. and Marian K. Freedman, and managed by the Kelvin Smith Library. This endowment continues to support this important effort. In addition, through a collaborative initiative of the University’s libraries to support campus-wide digital scholarship, beginning in 2020, the fellowship program will benefit from additional funding provided by the Cleveland Health Sciences Library, the Judge Ben C. Green Law Library, and the MSASS Lillian and Milford Harris Library.

About the program

The Freedman Fellows Program supports and funds full-time, board-appointed, tenured or tenure-track faculty, and clinical research faculty, at the rank of Assistant Professor with planning and developing digital scholarship projects and instruction. Freedman Fellows partner with the Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship Team to advance their project. The team advises recipients on project design, technological needs, and adjacent issues, such as copyright, privacy, and data ethics. The funding model is flexible, providing a pool of funds that can be used to support projects of varying size.

For more information please contact


The Freedman Center is a partnership between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Kelvin Smith Library. Established in 2005, with over 2,700 square feet of highly functional workspace and state-of-the-art equipment, the Freedman Center harnesses the power of modern technology and combines it with the driver of academic creativity.

Please see our mission, vision and values statement.

The Freedman Center consists primarily of three service areas:

  • Digital Library Services
  • Multimedia Services and Research Technology
  • Instruction/Special Programming

The Freedman Center is evidence of the College of Arts and Sciences’ commitment to the evolution of education and the integration of information technologies in its curriculum and research practices. For the Kelvin Smith Library, the Freedman Center is the culmination of a 10-year vision for a center that provides faculty, students, and staff with the ability to use analog and digital information sources for research.

Staff can guide you through your project and teach you how to use the latest technology, whether you are creating a PowerPoint presentation or creating a corpus of data for text mining. You will walk away with a completed project and the skills to do it again.

The Freedman Fellows Program supports the planning and execution of digital scholarship projects. In 2007, the Freedman family provided the Freedman Center and Case Western Reserve University with an endowed fund of $250,000 to support future Freedman Fellows programs. The gift included support for collaborative programming with the Baker Nord Center for the Humanities to explore how the Freedman Fellows Program can also encourage providing immersive instruction in the tools that would benefit their scholarly pursuits.

The call for proposals and award decisions occur during the Spring semester. The program features related events scheduled throughout the following academic year culminating in a final presentation in spring.

Full-time, board-appointed, tenured or tenure-track faculty, and clinical research faculty, at the rank of Assistant Professor or above may apply. Former Freedman Fellows can apply, but special consideration is given to first-time applicants.

Yes. We highly encourage you to reach out for a consultation with the Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship Team. You can email to schedule a consultation.

The funding model is flexible and the program provides a pool of funds that can be used to support projects of varying size.

This depends on the number of applicants, the quality of their proposals, and the amount of the funds requested.

Digital scholarship is a broad and interdisciplinary field. Accepted Freedman Fellowship projects are often highly varied and come from multiple disciplines, but frequently projects have a strong data component at the heart of their research or teaching question.

Some general examples of topics and applications might include: qualitative and quantitative text analysis, geospatial mapping, ethical and copyright issues in technology, new media in the classroom, data cleaning and management, methods of digital scholarly communication, and applications of machine learning in the humanities or social sciences. For examples of projects, please see our list of previous Fellows.

Awards are made to support the expenses arising from innovative scholarly or creative projects that meet the Freedman Fellows criteria. The required budget should clearly state how you will use funds to carry out the the project and reach its goals. The Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship Team will work with you to create a project budget.

Funds may not be used for a teaching release, equipment, or travel.

Fellows collaborate with the Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship Team and receive year-long expertise and guidance to advance their projects. The team can also coordinate technological aspects of the project and advise on issues, such as copyright, privacy, and data ethics.