Join Us  > Scholars In Residence > To Apply
Scholars in Residence Program Information and Application Forms

Pennypacker Fellowships:  State Library and PHMC Scholars in Residence Program

Pennypacker Fellowship applicants are encouraged to conceive of research topics as broadly as possible, including beyond the boundaries of Pennsylvania. While the proposed research must draw significantly on PHMC and/or State Library collections, it is not required that it be limited to these collections.

Particular consideration will be given to proposals that address topics relevant to the broad interpretive themes presented by the State Library and PHMC facilities, including but not limited to Pennsylvania’s tradition of religious and political toleration, colonial life, rural and agricultural history, industrial history, military history, the development of ethnic communities and ethnic relations, the history of communal societies, architectural history, and the history of historic preservation.

Proposals that address interests in twentieth-century history, the history of public policy, and social history broadly defined, as well as those that focus on the history of people underrepresented in the state’s history, including but not limited to minorities and women, are encouraged.

Also of interest are proposals for research that draw upon the PHMC’s extensive artifact and museum collections. Among proposals for research in the State Archives collections, priority will be given to those using original manuscripts not available on microfilm.

Applicants are encouraged to identify relevant collections, assess their availability and accessibility, and discuss their research agenda with appropriate staff prior to submitting a proposal. If applying to a Commission site outside of the State Archives or State Library, applicants are further advised to negotiate the terms of their residency with staff members at the facility where they wish to work before submitting a proposal.

Because the program strives to make history meaningful and accessible to diverse audiences, applicants are encouraged to develop clear plans for sharing the results of their research with both the professional community and the public at large. Research that is likely to result in widespread dissemination through non- specialized publications, films, exhibitions, and other means is particularly welcome, as is research with implications for the development and evaluation of public policy.

Selection Process and Criteria

Residencies are awarded on a competitive basis. Applications will be evaluated by a committee of academic scholars, public history professionals, and PHMC staff. The selection committee will be guided by the following criteria:

1.   the significance of the research proposed;

2.   the clarity of the proposal;

3.   the quality of the work anticipated and the likelihood that the proposed project will be successfully completed;

4.   the value of PHMC and State Library collections to the proposed research, including the imaginative use of material culture;

5.   the relevance of the research topic to ongoing PHMC and State Library programs;

6.   plans for disseminating the results of the research to both the academic community and wider public.

Conditions of Award

Fellows are expected to be engaged in full-time research and study at one of the identified facilities during their tenure. They will also be asked to share their work-in-progress at a staff seminar or public lecture. Also required are a brief final report, which will be included on the agency’s Web site with the scholar’s permission; and a copy of the project’s final product, which will be included in research collections. Grant recipients will be required to sign a contract specifying the terms of their residency.

Application Materials

To apply for the Pennypacker Fellowship, please download, complete, and submit the following fillable PDF forms:

Application Instructions (PDF, 23 KB)
Application Form (PDF, 621 KB)
Letter of Recommendation Form (PDF, 621 KB)

Deadline for receipt of all applications for the 2012-2013 Scholars in Residence Program is January 30, 2012.

Five paper copies of all application materials should be mailed to:


Pennypacker Fellowship Scholar in Residence Program
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Bureau of Archives and History
350 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0090