With around 20 scholars in residence each year, the Science History Institute is home to the largest private fellowship program in the historical study of science, medicine, and technology in the United States. Researchers travel from all over the world to use our collections and take part in a vibrant scholarly community.
Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry
The Beckman Center at the Science History Institute offers fellowships on an annual cycle for scholars whose research would benefit from the use of our collections. While in residence, fellows are expected to participate in regular informal writing groups, give at least one lecture, and more generally contribute to the vitality of our fellowship community.
The Beckman Center offers several fellowship types:
Curatorial Fellowships (2 years)
Hosted by the Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry, these two-year positions integrate fellows as members of staff across the Institute. Curatorial fellows assist with ongoing projects at the Institute and enjoy multiple career training, portfolio building, networking, and mentorship opportunities in either the library or museum field. Twenty percent of the fellows’ time is reserved for independent research with the aim of producing a publication appropriate for their professional goals.
These fellowships are intended for individuals with advanced degrees who are seeking professional opportunities outside of academia. Graduate, early career, and career-changing researchers are encouraged to apply. Scholars from any relevant field with a demonstrated interest in the history of science will be considered. Applicants for curatorial fellowships must hold an advanced degree in their field (MA or MS required) by July 2023. Applicants to the curatorial fellowship program must be authorized to work in the United States. This is a benefits eligible staff position with a salary of US$50,000 per year and an annual US$1,000 stipend for travel and professional development.
Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (12 months)
Postdoctoral research fellowships are open to researchers who have earned a doctoral degree within the last seven years and graduate students who will have defended their dissertations by the end of July 2023. These fellowships are intended to support 12 months of full-time research and writing that will make use of our collections. Fellows will participate in Beckman Center scholarly programs, including the Works in Progress writing group and Fellows’ Talks lecture series. Postdoctoral fellowship stipends are US$50,000, paid in monthly installments, with an annual US$1,000 stipend for travel and professional development and an additional available reimbursement of up to US$2,500 for health insurance.
Dissertation Fellowships (9 months)
These fellowships are open to graduate students whose PhD dissertation proposals have been accepted by their respective university departments. These fellowships are intended to support nine months of full-time research and writing that will make use of our collections. Fellows will participate in Beckman Center scholarly programs, including the Works in Progress writing group and Fellows’ Talks lecture series. The stipend is US$27,500, with an additional available reimbursement of up to US$2,500 for health insurance.
Short-Term Fellowships (1–4 months)
These fellowships are open to all scholars and researchers, irrespective of career stage or educational credentials, who plan to work closely with the Institute’s collections on an independent research project. Short-term fellowship stipends are US$3,000 per month, intended to defray the costs of travel, accommodation, and living expenses in Philadelphia.
Distinguished Fellowships (4 months)
These four-month fellowships are open to established scholars who are able to spend a semester or equivalent period in residence at the Institute. Distinguished fellows work closely with the Institute’s collections on an independent research project addressing the history of chemical or molecular science, broadly construed. They also participate in Beckman Center scholarly programs and contribute to the fellowship community in a mentorship capacity. For this fellowship, eligibility extends to tenured professors and academics at the rank of senior lecturer or above, established scholars in independent research libraries or museums, and independent scholars with a commensurate record of scholarly achievement. The stipend is $20,000, paid in monthly installments. Candidates should apply via the short-term fellowship application and may opt for their project to be considered within both categories.
Applications for 2023–2024 fellowships will open soon.
Learn about our application process here.
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Library Travel Grants
The Othmer Library offers travel grants for periods of up to two weeks for research and scholarly exploration of our primary materials which include rare and modern books, manuscripts, archival collections, oral histories, fine art, artifacts, and instruments. Travel grants are $750 per week and are intended to help defray the costs of travel and accommodation. Applicants must currently reside more than 75 miles from Philadelphia to be eligible. Applications and research visits are accepted and approved on a rolling basis.
To apply for a travel grant fill out our online application form.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Other departments periodically post listings for predoctoral, postdoctoral, and public-history fellows working in fields related to the historical study of science, medicine, and technology. These fellowships will be listed as they are announced.