Scholarly Programs FAQ

Application priority, eligibility, and funding

Who participates in your programs?

Our offerings are designed for faculty and graduate students in the humanities, so if you are pursuing a graduate degree or have already received one, you are eligible to apply to our programs. Independent scholars (who usually hold the Ph.D.) are also eligible to apply to participate in our programs.

Who receives priority in admission to your programs?

Most of our scholarly programs are proposed and funded by our Consortium, and so Consortium affiliates receive priority in admission unless otherwise indicated in the program description.

Am I a Consortium affiliate?

Please check to see if your university is listed in our Consortium Directory

If I am not affiliated with a Consortium university, am I eligible to apply?

Yes. While Consortium affiliates do receive priority in admission, most programs can include non-Consortium scholars. The only exception is the year-long seminar for dissertation writers, “Researching the Archive,” which is currently restricted to Consortium affiliates only.

May I apply for more than one program in an academic year?

Admission to our programs is generally very competitive, and chances are strong that an applicant will only be admitted to one program in a given year. If you are considering applying to multiple programs, please consult with your advisor, Consortium campus representative, or the Institute.

Do I need a PhD to apply?

Most of our programs welcome both graduate students and faculty, although some programs are designated “faculty only” in the program description. For these, it is expected that all admitted participants will hold a PhD. Other programs are designed for those in the early stages of their graduate careers or those writing their dissertations. Again, check the program description.

Do I need to be a US citizen to apply?

Our programs welcome scholars from around the world. Only rarely does an outside funding source restrict programs to US citizens. Any such restrictions will be noted in the program description.

Am I eligible for funding for my travel and lodging?

Travel and lodging funding (which is called a “grant-in-aid” by the Institute) is generally only available to Consortium affiliates. However, a program description may explain that funding is extended 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 US tax law until they provide certain documentation.

The application process

Where might I find information about how many letters of recommendation I need, whom I should ask to write them, if they may be sent in hard copy, etc?

Please visit our application information and guidelines page for this information.

Do my odds of success increase if I don’t ask for a grant-in-aid?

You should ask for as much aid as you need to participate fully in a program. It will not affect your chances of admission. All grant-in-aid requests are regularized to ensure that program participants coming from a given location are funded equitably.

Am I required to contact my Consortium representative before submitting an application?

All affiliates are encouraged to consult with their representatives to ensure that their application components are as polished as possible. The application process requires that an affiliate’s application is reviewed by the campus representative before being forwarded to the Application Review Subcommittee. 

Who will decide whether I am admitted to a program?

For programs funded by the Folger Institute’s Consortium, Dr. Owen Williams heads the Scholarly Programs Application Review Subcommittee, a group of three scholars drawn from among the Consortium faculty representatives.

For programs funded by non-Consortium sources, Dr. Williams assembles a committee consisting of the director of the program and two to three scholars in the field.

How quickly are decisions made following an application deadline?

The review committees generally aim to make decisions a month after any application deadline. Applicants are notified as soon as possible after decisions are made.

Will I receive comments on my application from the reviewers?

We do not currently have a system in place to share reviewers’ comments. 

May I apply by regular mail?

All applicants must apply through the online application portal.  

What do I do if I have problems with the online application portal?

The online application portal has a section for technical concerns and a HELP link to address your concerns. As always, you can contact us at