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Scholarly Programs Application Guidelines

*NB-Revision to letters of support policy



Unless otherwise specified, enrollment in all Folger Institute programs is by application, with priority in admission accorded to faculty members, postdoctoral scholars, and advanced graduate students from the consortium universities .


At this time, the Folger Institute accepts online applications.


Our online application process requires the applicant to complete text fields and to append the following files in MS Word or Adobe PDF format: a statement of research plans and a curriculum vitae.  Letters of support on behalf of the applicant are also required, and should be submitted through the online application portal. Upon submission of the online application, an electronic confirmation is sent to notify the applicant that his or her application has been received and will be reviewed at the appropriate deadline. For consortium affiliates, the application materials must be reviewed by the faculty representative before they are submitted. Please allow adequate time before the application deadline to complete this process. 



Faculty applicants should note their ranks, specifying Emeritus, Associate, Assistant, Reader, Visiting, Adjunct, Lecturer, etc. Graduate students should specify PhD Candidate; PhD Student (pre-qualifying exams); or MA Student.



In all cases, the applicant’s own statement of research plans bears the burden of addressing the ways in which the applicant’s current research and pedagogy will contribute to and benefit from the seminar’s discussion and discoveries. Please note the Institute’s new page limit: The research statement should not exceed three double-spaced pages.  If you are applying to the Master’s seminar, please describe your ambitions for graduate study and the role you expect the seminar will play in your work.


Please attach an abbreviated curricula vitae. It should include the information most relevant to the program in question, including publications, conference papers, courses taken, courses taught, and foreign languages with degree of competence. Please note the Institute’s new page limit: No more than three pages of a curricula vitae will be forwarded to the application review committee.



Grants-in-aid are funded by consortium dues. Consortium grants-in-aid are available by application to faculty members and graduate students from consortium universities who participate in Folger Institute programs. To apply for a consortium grant-in-aid, fill out the appropriate boxes on the online application, which provides space to detail:

Indicate the type of travel and the cost per trip. Train and air fares are reimbursed at the lowest available rate and are not guaranteed to cover the full amount of expenses incurred. Those flying into Dulles International or Baltimore-Washington International should indicate this on the grant-in-aid request because additional support will be needed for transportation from those airports to the Folger. Because the Folger is a short walk from Union Station and a short Metro ride from National Airport, ground transportation expenses in Washington are minimal and will not be reimbursed. Automobile travel is reimbursed at the current federally determined rate.

Should their schedules permit, program participants are encouraged to take advantage of research time in the Folger collections. If needed, one night’s lodging per session is routinely awarded to semester-length-program participants.  Weekend program participants are normally awarded two or three nights of lodging. Please specify additional requests, if any. Lodging awards are based on the current rate at the Folger Guest House (or on the current rate at a nearby hotel for weekend programs).

Awards for released time from teaching may be requested by faculty members at local consortium schools. These requests should accompany the application for admission.

Letters of support on behalf of an applicant serve two purposes: they are read by the Institute’s application review committee, and they are a required component of the process of securing readers’ privileges at the Folger Shakespeare Library.


Scholars who already have fully renewable reading privileges at the Library must submit one substantive letter in support of their application to an Institute program. That letter should directly address the relevance of the applicant’s research to the specific topic and the contributions the applicant will make to the program.


All applicants who are not yet Folger Readers, regardless of rank, must submit two letters of recommendation. As above, the first letter should address the relevance of the applicant’s research to the specific topic. The second letter may be from the applicant’s chair or other departmental official. It need not go into detail about the applicant’s research, but it must certify the applicant’s status, position, or academic rank in the department. N.B., the second, credentialing letter is still a required component for all Institute applicants who are not yet Regular Readers; the Institute recognizes that this requirement is more stringent than the Library’s policy for scholars directly applying to become Regular Readers.


For the purposes of the Institute’s application review process, these letters must be submitted through the online application form.


Letters on behalf of admitted program participants are forwarded to the Folger Reader Registrar in order to pre-register new readers. For new readers, all letters must be from an institutional email address or on preprinted letterhead signed by the referee.


Each consortium university has a faculty representative, and in order to complete the application, an applicant from the Folger Institute consortium must secure his or her representative’s signature. The online application is sent to the representative for review electronically after the application is submitted. Applicants using the hard copy application should contact his or her campus representative to obtain the representative's signature on his or her application. Contact information for these representatives is available on the Institute’s website.



Unless otherwise specified, registration fees are waived for affiliates from the Folger and Newberry consortia. If admitted, faculty and graduate students from non-consortium universities must pay a $200 fee for single-session weekend seminars and symposia or a $500 fee for all other programs, unless otherwise specified. This includes semester-length seminars and skills courses, multi-session weekend seminars, and multi-session colloquia. A limited number of fee waivers are available to independent scholars by application.



The Institute does not award grades, certificates, or degrees, but it is normally possible for graduate students to receive credit at their home institutions for participation in semester-length seminars.


If you have any questions about completing the application, please contact the Folger Institute’s Program Assistant by phone at (202) 675–0333 or by e-mail at institute@folger.edu.

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