Research Support

Research Support

To promote the interpretation of Virginia history and access to its collections, we offer several research fellowships. Learn about the financial support we offer below.


Research Fellowships

Our research fellowships are funded by a matching grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and gifts from individuals. We offer fellowships of up to three weeks a year. For the purpose of this program, a week is defined as five days in the research library, which is open 10 am to 5 pm, Monday through Saturday.

Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellowships cover the broad sweep of Virginia and American history. They support research in the following general categories of study, but are not limited to:

  • Political, constitutional, religious, military, and Black studies

  • Business history, economic history, and labor relations

  • Gender, women’s, and LGBTQ+ studies

  • Social, cultural, and literature studies

We confer fellowships on the basis of the applicants’ scholarly qualifications, the merits of their proposals, and the appropriateness of their topics, as demonstrated by citation to specific sources in our collections. Applicants whose research promises to result in significant publication, including the Virginia Magazine of History & Biography, will receive primary consideration.

Because the program is designed to help defray travel expenses, residents of the Richmond metropolitan area are not eligible for fellowships. We offer a few grants ($500 per week) for mileage to commuting researchers who live outside that area. The majority of fellowships ($1,000 per week) go to those who live farther away and incur greater expenses. We expect recipients to work on a regular basis in our reading room during the period of their fellowships. We welcome applications from doctoral candidates. Undergraduates, master’s students, and graduate students not yet admitted to Ph.D. candidacy are not eligible.

Applicants must submit the following materials, in a single document in Word format, to fellowships@VirginiaHistory.org:

  • Cover letter

  • Résumé

  • Description of the research project not longer than two double-spaced pages that also states the length of the grant period requested.

  • Statement in which you address how your perspective, experience, and/or project contributes to a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable discipline. (200-word limit)

Two letters of recommendation should be submitted electronically to Dr. James Brookes, Melanie Trent De Schutter Library Director, at jbrookes@VirginiaHistory.org. Please reference the applicant’s name in SUBJECT line.

The committee will consider reapplications. For repeat fellowships, the maximum number is limited to four within a ten-year period.

The deadline for applications is Friday, January 27, 2023.


Founded in 1831, the Virginia Historical Society is a private, nonprofit, educational institution supported by membership dues and endowment. Its wealth of cataloged materials includes books, paintings, photographs, maps, broadsides, newspapers, artifacts, and more than eight million manuscripts.

Send applications for the fellowships: fellowships@VirginiaHistory.org.

Please address any questions about the application process to:
Dr. James Brookes, Melanie Trent De Schutter Library Director
Virginia Museum of History & Culture
P.O. Box 7311
Richmond, VA 23221-0311

Telephone: 804.342.9670
Fax: 804.355.2399
Email: jbrookes@VirginiaHistory.org