Application Information and Guidelines

At this time, the Folger Institute accepts only online applications. All applications must be submitted through the online application portal, which typically opens one month before an application deadline.

To apply for a scholarly program, please submit a research statement (no more than three double-spaced pages), a brief CV (no more than four pages), and one letter of recommendation (see below for details). Applications for programs funded by the Folger Institute’s Consortium will go to the Scholarly Programs Application Review Committee for review. This committee includes Associate Director for Scholarly Programs, Owen Williams, and a group of three faculty drawn from the Consortium representatives. Applications for programs funded by non-Consortium sources are evaluated by a committee including the director of the program and two to three scholars in the field.

Application guidelines

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. Application deadlines are listed with the individual program or offering.

The online application process requires the applicant to complete text fields and to append a statement of research plans and a CV in MS Word or Adobe PDF format. A letter of support on behalf of the applicant is 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 applying to consortium programs, the application materials must be reviewed by the faculty representative before they are forwarded to the application review committee. Please submit applications before the application deadline to allow adequate time for this process. 

Present position or status

Faculty applicants should note their ranks, specifying emeritus, associate, assistant, reader, visiting, adjunct, lecturer, etc. Graduate students must specify if they are a PhD candidate, PhD student (pre-qualifying exams), or MA student.

Statement of research plans or objectives for this program

The statement should address how the applicant's current research, pedagogy, academic background, and relevant scholarly interests will contribute to and benefit from the particular program's discussion and discoveries. It should address the specific overlap between the program’s description and what the applicant hopes to gain and to give through participation. Thus a statement which merely describes the applicant’s current research project will not suffice. The statement should not exceed three double-spaced pages.


Please append an abbreviated CV to the online application. It should include the information most relevant to the program in question, including publications, conference papers, courses taken, courses taught, Folger Institute participation, and foreign languages with degree of competence. Please note that the application review committee will read only the first four pages of your CV.


A “grant-in-aid” denotes funds awarded to participants in Folger Institute programs, to help defray travel and lodging expenses. The amount awarded for travel is regularized based on location, i.e. every participant traveling from New York Cityreceives the same amount for travel based on the lowest readily available train fare, regardless of what university they attend. Housing awards are based on the current Folger Guesthouse rate except in the case of weekend, weeklong, and month-long programs. Grants-in-aid are generally only available to Consortium affiliates, as they come from consortium dues. However, a program description may indicate that an outside funder has extended funding to non-Consortium scholars, and a fund established by Arthur F. Kinney also supports grants-in-aid for participants without regard to their institutional affiliation. Foreign nationals who are awarded funding may have a portion of their award withheld in accordance with U.S. tax law until they provide certain documentation.


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 ground 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 requested, one night’s lodging per session is routinely awarded to semester-length-program participants from the consortium. Weekend program participants are normally awarded two or three nights of lodging through a block reservation at a local hotel. 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). 

Faculty released time

Awards for released time from teaching may be requested by faculty members at local consortium schools only. These requests should accompany the application for admission, and a letter from an appropriate administrator agreeing to apply this award to faculty replacement costs is required.

Letters of support

Letters of support are integral to the Institute’s application review committee's deliberations, and are also required to secure researcher privileges at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

All applicants 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.

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

Representative’s review

Each consortium university has designated a faculty representative, and in order to complete the application, an applicant from the Folger Institute consortium must secure his or her representative’s endorsement. The online application is sent to the representative for review electronically after the application is submitted, but consortium affiliates are encouraged to ask their representatives to review at least the statement of research plans before actual submission. Contact information for these representatives is available on the Institute’s website.

Registration fees

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 $750 fee for weekend seminars and symposia, a $1,500 fee for weeklong programs, or a $2,000 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 request.

Hospitality fees

Conferences and other large-scale events often have an associated hospitality fee that helps cover the cost of receptions and coffee breaks. These fees are payable by all in attendance.

Academic credit

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

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 email at