Postdoctoral Fellowships

Applications/Letters of Recommendation for either fellowship must be submitted on line by November 1, 2017

To submit your POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION online for either fellowship, please CLICK HERE

To submit your BARRA POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP application online, please CLICK HERE

To submit your BARRA SABBATICAL FELLOWSHIP application online, please CLICK HERE


The McNeil Center for Early American Studies expects to appoint postdoctoral fellows in two distinct categories for terms beginning in 2018. Each fellow will enjoy private office space in the Center’s building at the northeastern gateway to the University of Pennsylvania campus; library, computer, and other privileges at the university; and access to the Philadelphia area’s magnificent manuscript, rare book, and museum collections. Within the parameters described below, applications are welcome from scholars whose work focuses on any aspect of the histories and cultures of North America in the Atlantic world before 1850. Proposals reliant on research in Philadelphia-area archives, libraries, and museums are especially welcome.

Barra Postdoctoral Fellowship
(24 months, 2018-2020)

This award is for a two-year term beginning 1 July 2018. Applicants must have earned the PhD no earlier than 2013 in American History, American Literature, American Studies, or a closely allied field and must have completed all requirements for the degree when the appointment commences. During the term of appointment, the fellow will teach two courses in an appropriate department  at the University of Pennsylvania. The remainder of the fellow’s time will be devoted to research and writing. While this fellowship is particularly appropriate for projects designed to turn a doctoral dissertation into a publishable monograph, any proposal falling with in the Center’s area of interest will be considered. Candidates who have received McNeil Center funding for a related project at the pre-doctoral stage are not eligible. The Barra Postdoctoral Fellow will receive a starting stipend of $44,000, health insurance, and modest funds for travel and research.

Barra Sabbatical Fellowship
(9 months, 2018-2019)

This award is for a nine-month term beginning 1 September 2018. This fellowship is designed for a scholar in any relevant discipline who earned the Ph.D. no later than 2012 and who will be on leave from a tenured or tenure-track faculty position for the 2018–2019 academic year. Proposals will be entertained for book-length projects falling with in the Center’s area of interest at any stage of research or writing, provided that the applicant has not previously received McNeil Center funding for the same or a closely related project. The fellow will have no teaching responsibilities but will be encouraged to provide informal mentoring to more junior members of the McNeil Center community while participating fully in the Center’s seminars and other activities. The fellow will receive a grant of $47,000, with no other salary or benefits, on the assumption that additional support will be provided by his or her home institution during the fellow’s period in residence at the McNeil Center.

Applications for either fellowship must be submitted on line by 1 November 2017 (links above for completing the online application forms).

The following items must be prepared for uploading as .pdf files: a curriculum vitae; a proposal not to exceed 1,500 words, double-spaced, describing the general scope of the project and the specific work proposed during the fellowship term; and an unpublished writing sample related to the project, double-spaced, limited to 7,500 words exclusive of notes.

Two confidential letters of support should be uploaded separately by the letter writers or submitted by email to ask recommenders to address the specifics of this applications. Do not send generic letters from job placement dossiers.

Questions may be directed to:

The McNeil Center for Early American Studies
University of Pennsylvania
3355 Woodland Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4531

The online submission deadline applications is 1 November 2016.