NOTE: The application deadline for summer 2024 is now CLOSED.


Through an international competition, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium offers one month residential fellowships in the City of Chicago for its Summer Short-term Fellowship Program.  Since 2009, the Summer Short-term Fellowship Program has engaged scholars, artists, writers, and public historians to formulate new historical narratives of the Black experience. The new, original research, music, and art developed through this program are significant as they illuminate the national and international importance of Chicago's African American community to the broader history of Black America.

The purpose of the Summer Short-term Research Fellowship is:

  • To create research opportunities for scholars and artists to conduct primary research in Chicago/Illinois-based BMRC archival repositories;
  • To generate new knowledge in the field of African American history;
  • To engage the local Chicago community in the history of the city.

Each Fellowship consists of one month of support during the summer research fellowship. Your selected 4 weeks must be consecutive and fall between June and August, 2025. Dates will be approved by the Program Manager. An orientation will be held online in late April or early May 2025. The BMRC provides a stipend of $4000 for each Fellow to be utilized during the summer in the year in which it was awarded. Fellowships may not be deferred.


  • Citizens or permanent residents from any country (applicants from countries outside the United States must hold a valid passport and be able to obtain a J-1 visa even if they are currently in the United States);
  • Scholars and artists with outstanding capabilities and experience from a variety of backgrounds (including academia, journalism, and other professions); and
  • English language proficiency.

Program Requirements

BMRC Summer Short-Term Fellows must adhere to the following to receive their full stipend:

  1. Diligently pursue active research on the topic outlined in their application project description/proposal.
  2. Participate in opening events (e.g., a Welcome Breakfast/Luncheon and one online Orientation). Depending on the overlap of Fellows' research dates, other optional events may allow Fellows to meet each other, BMRC member archivists, and other BMRC stakeholders.
  3. Present a final public presentation (approximately 20-25 minutes) of their research activities by the close of the summer program or another date designated by the Program Manager in the early fall. BMRC Staff will work with fellows to schedule their presentations and confirm dates once their selection as a Fellow is confirmed
  4. Upon completion of the Fellowship, respond to the BMRC Fellows Survey. The Program Manager/Archivist will provide information and links. Fellows are expected to respond during or immediately after finishing their residential month in Chicago.
  5. Deposit an “artifact” from their summer research with the BMRC to preserve and share their research progress and outcomes.**
  6. Provide the BMRC with an “end of fellowship” summary report (no more than 1000 words) that details the archives visited, research findings, and future plans regarding the research topic. Incorporating some of your responses to the BMRC Fellowship survey is encouraged but not required.

**An artifact may be a copy of your final slide presentation/discussion, a YouTube video of an original vocal, instrumental, or choreographed dance/movement recording, or an original art piece or collection of pieces. A deposited slide presentation, performance recording, or exhibition must be organized and coordinated with the program manager as a BMRC fellow event.


  • The BMRC does NOT provide housing but will provide those selected for the fellowship with a few recommendations.


Application Procedures

NOTE: The application period for summer 2025 will open in October 2024.

The following application materials are required and must be submitted via the online application system, which will be active and available until 11:59 PM on January 8, 2024. All files should be submitted in PDF or MS Word Format unless otherwise noted in the instructions. You may submit application materials in separate files or all in one file (all in one file and PDF preferred). Please include your last name in the file name of all documents.

1.) Project description (Please include the following in 1500 -1800 words):

  • Provide a compelling narrative of your interest in African American history as well as the title and description of your proposed research topic;
  • Detail how the proposed research topic will generate new perspectives or contribute to knowledge of the black experience in Chicagoland;
  • Discuss the significance/impact of the project and how it fits within the purpose of the Summer Short-Term Fellowship program;
  • Demonstrate the need for access to at least two BMRC-related collections, ideally from more than one BMRC member institution.
    NOTE: Applicants must provide a separate list of the archival repositories and the specific collections they plan to use during the research residency. The narrative should explain why these collections are vital to your project.  For a list of the member collections, please visit our online portal at BMRC Archives Portal
  • Outline your research plan and dates of proposed research.

2.) CV or resume – Please include your name, contact information, and institutional affiliation, if applicable.

3.) A sample of your work (scholarly paper, video, photography, or other artistic work). Please review our Sample Work Guidelines before accessing the Submittable online application to become familiar with size limits and other specifics regarding uploaded items.

4.) TWO Letters of Recommendation – Your references should be familiar with your qualifications for the proposed project and speak to your research skills, experience, knowledge of African American history, and capacity to carry out the proposed project. The applicant must ensure their references submit letters via the Submittable online system by the application deadline. In providing their email address, your designated references will receive a link to upload their reference letter to the Submittable system.

A LINK to APPLY is not available at this time.