Bard Graduate Center (BGC) is pleased to announce its Fields of the Future Initiative, a funded research fellowship and mentorship program aimed to help promote diversity and inclusion in the advanced study of the material world. As a reflection of the need to explore and expand the sources, techniques, voices, perspectives, and questions of interdisciplinary humanities scholarship, our research fellowship theme for academic year 2020-21 is “How do we know?”

How we know is intrinsically related to who “we” are—the varied identities, experiences, training, skills and questions we carry with us into research. Broadening the range of what we know, and our understanding of how we know it, requires new sources and new techniques, but also new voices and new visions. In an effort to promote that necessary diversity and inclusion in the fields of decorative arts, design history, and material culture, we particularly wish to encourage applicants from historically underrepresented groups and/or projects of related thematic focus (see FAQ).

BGC invites scholars from university, museum, and independent backgrounds with a PhD or equivalent professional experience to apply for funded research fellowships. Doctoral students of exceptional promise are also encouraged to apply. The fellowships are intended to fund collections-based research at Bard Graduate Center or elsewhere in New York City, as well as writing or reading projects in which being part of our dynamic research environment is intellectually valuable. Fellows will be paired with BGC faculty and research librarians to connect with human and material resources.

Bard Graduate Center is a graduate research institute devoted to the study of the decorative arts, design history, and material culture, drawing on methodologies and approaches from art history, economic and cultural history, history of technology, material culture studies, philosophy, anthropology, and archaeology. Our MA and PhD degree programs, Gallery exhibitions, research initiatives, and public programs explore new ways of thinking about the cultural history of the material world. We possess a specialized library of 60,000 volumes exclusive of serials and publish the journals West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture and Source: Notes in the History of Art, the book series Cultural Histories of the Material World (all with the University of Chicago Press), and the catalogues that accompany the exhibitions presented every year in our Gallery (with Yale University Press). Over 50 research seminars, lectures, and symposia are scheduled annually and are livestreamed around the world on Bard Graduate Center’s YouTube channel.

To apply, please submit the following materials electronically via email to fellowships@bgc.bard.edu in a single PDF file: (1) BGC fellowship application form; (2) cover letter explaining why Bard Graduate Center is an appropriate research affiliation and how your work bears on the question “How do we know?” (3) 150- word abstract of project; (4) detailed project description; (5) CV; (6) publication or academic writing sample of approximately 20–30 pages; (7) Names of two references; we will ask you to contact them if needed and letters should be sent by email (fellowships@bgc.bard.edu) or post (to Bard Graduate Center, Research Fellowship Committee, 38 West 86th Street, New York, NY 10024). All materials must be received by November 15, 2019. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Please direct questions to the Research Fellowship Committee via email (fellowships@bgc.bard.edu) and see our Frequently Asked Questions page.

The stipend rate is $3,500 per month, and comes with housing. Fellowships can be held for a period of 1 to 6 months. The timing of dates will be negotiated with individual awardees. Fellows will be given a workspace in our Research Center at 38 West 86th Street, between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West, in New York City and accommodation at Bard Hall, at 410 West 58th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues.

We do not reimburse fellows for travel, relocation, or visa-related costs in connection with this fellowship award. Also, please note that the fellowship stipend and the value of the provided housing may be subject to taxes for both US citizens and non-US citizens in accordance with US tax code.

Bard Graduate Center is an equal opportunity employer and we welcome applications from those who contribute to our diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, mental, or physical disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, familial status, veteran status, or genetic information.

Bard is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation for all individuals in employment practices, services, programs, and activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

For the Fields of the Future Fellowship, what kinds of projects might be considered?

This initiative will consider a range of research proposals which may include (but are not limited to) design and disability studies, the material culture of the African, Asian, and Oceanic diasporas, indigeneity, and the material culture of ethnic minorities and of LGBTQ communities.