Early Research Initiative (ERI)

Archival Research Grants

 Deadline for Applications: Monday, February 4th, 2019, 3pm

The Provost’s Office is pleased to announce the following summer research grant programs to support advanced doctoral student research and travel.

The Early Research Initiative Knickerbocker Award for Archival Research in American Studies is designed to support doctoral students whose projects necessitate work in archives, repositories, and special collections (public and private) during the summer of 2019. Particular attention will be given to research projects that are interdisciplinary in nature. Students need not be members of the American Studies Certificate Program in order to apply, but their research must intersect with American Studies (broadly construed) in some discernible way.

The Early Research Initiative Award for Archival Research in African American and African Diaspora Studies will support doctoral students for work in archives, repositories, and special collections (public and private) during the summer of 2019 that focuses directly on the history, society, and culture of Africans and persons of African descent.  Particular attention will be given to research projects that are interdisciplinary in nature.  In addition to the general requirements for Early Research Initiative Awards for Archival Research, successful candidates for the African American and African Diaspora Studies Award will be required to organize and participate in a roundtable discussion of “African Diaspora Studies and the Archive.”  This event will be take place under the sponsorship of the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC).

Multiple awards of $4,000.00 will be made in each of the following categories:

  1. A)     Level III students: to support research aimed at the completion of a chapter or substantive portion of the dissertation.


  1. B)      Level II students: whose research agenda could be substantially improved by access to archival materials prior to the submission of their dissertation prospectus.


N.B.. Students who received research awards from the Provost’s Office in the past still are eligible to apply again this year (with the stipulation that their applications should be more specifically focused than those of first time applicants).


Each application must include the following: 

  • Cover Sheet (attached)
  • A brief and specific description of your research agenda with explicit reference to what institutional repositories you intend to visit (no more than 500 words)
  • Two-page curriculum vitae
  • Current Graduate Center transcript.  (Students may submit the unofficial student copy that can be printed from CUNYFirst.)
  • A writing sample (10-15 pages).
  • One letter of reference to be submitted electronically by your adviser (see instructions below).


Recipients of these fellowships must agree to the following conditions as part of their acceptance of the award:

  • Attend a 90 minute Archival Research Orientation Workshop (tentatively scheduled for mid-May 2019)
  • Write a one page summary of your archival work (due by 21 August 2019).
  • Provide a 7-10 minute public presentation of their work at a doctoral student research conference to be held at the Graduate Center early in the Fall 2019 semester.
  • Attend a grant writing workshop at the Graduate Center next academic year designed to assist you in applying for future grants and fellowships (multiple sessions of the workshop will be held in order to accommodate potential scheduling conflicts).
  • Agree to potentially have some version of their summer work featured on a Student Research Collaborative webpage currently under construction by the Early Research Initiative.


Instructions for submitting your application:


  • Combine your cover sheet, research description, curriculum vitae, transcript, and writing sample into a single file (either as a pdf document or a word document).


  • Use the following format when naming your document: Last Name, First Name, Program


  • Please use your graduate center email address when sending the file and put “archival” in the subject line of the email.



ERI Archival Awards Cover Sheet


Instructions for Faculty Recommenders


  • Prepare your reference letter as a regular word or pdf document.
  • Please use the following format when naming your document:

Student Last Name, First Name



If you have questions, please contact Rachel Sponzo at rsponzo@gc.cuny.edu, or 212-817-7282.

ERI Archival Research Awards Description and Guidelines 2019

ERI Archival Grant Cover Sheet 2019