Apply to be a Freedman Fellow

The application period for the 2018-2019 Freedman Fellows cohort is now closed.

About the Fellowship

The Freedman Fellows Program began in 2005 with funding from the Freedman Fellows Endowment established by Marian K. and Samuel B. Freedman,  the Kelvin Smith Library, and the College of Arts and Sciences. The aim of the program is to support the integration of new research methodologies and digital tools in scholarship to enhance understanding, examine questions in new ways, broaden perspectives, and fundamentally redefine how research is conducted and disseminated.

The funding model is flexible, providing a pool of funds to support projects of varying sizes with varying needs. Proposed requests can range from $1,000 to a maximum of $15,000.  Funds can be used for:

  • student labor costs (digitization, data entry, programming, web design, etc.)

  • external consultants (excludes travel/lodging for face-to-face meetings)

  • domain registration, hosting fees

  • specialized software

  • training

Proposal Process

Prior to the application deadline, applicants are highly encouraged to meet with members of the Digital Learning & Scholarship team to review and get feedback on their proposal drafts. Applicants are encouraged to consider the type of support the Digital Learning & Scholarship team is well equipped to provide when developing their proposal. Areas of expertise can be found here.

As the members of the selection committee may not be from the same discipline as the applicant, applicants are encouraged to be as descriptive as possible in their proposal and to stay away from field-specific jargon. Supplemental materials, such as copyright permissions, IRB approval, permission to use specific collections, etc. may be required depending on the project. Questions regarding the application can be addressed to

Once submitted, the proposals will be evaluated by a selection committee of five members from a variety of disciplines. In the two weeks following the submission deadline, the committee will assess both the scholarly value of the proposed projects and the innovative application of digital tools to generate original research. The committee will then consider the project’s identified needs, proposed budget, benchmarks, and timeline when awarding funding.

Support Provided

Upon receiving the award, the Fellow(s) will meet with the Digital Learning & Scholarship Team to determine the specific project requirements and schedule regular meetings during the fellowship period to monitor progress. The Fellow(s) will also be assigned a project liaison in order to facilitate regular communication and/or consultation. The Digital Learning & Scholarship Team will provide support within its areas of expertise and help the Fellows determine what outside resources may be necessary to complete their project. A Memorandum of Understanding between the Fellow(s) and the Kelvin Smith Library will detail the agreed upon project and funding.

Expectations of Fellows

The Freedman Fellows will be expected to

  • manage their funds, conferring with their Departmental Chairs or Departmental Assistants to create and manage accounts

  • acknowledge the contributions of everyone who worked on the project

  • if copyright, IRB, or collection use permissions are required, proof must be submitted in a timely fashion

The Fellows and their collaborators will be expected to

  • attend cohort meetings once per semester

  • regularly update their project liaison on their progress

  • give a presentation in the spring of their award year about the research involved in and the development of their digital project, which may be livestreamed and archived

  • submit a white paper outlining the project for inclusion in Digital Case 

Submitting Proposals

Proposals for the 2018-2019 cohort are now closed. The 2018 application is available here to provide an example for future applicants.

Contact Information

For answers to any questions or to schedule an appointment to meet with the Digital Learning and Scholarship team prior to the proposal submission deadline, please send inquiries to