Diamonstein-Spielvogel Fellowship Program

1930s drawing of Fortitude the lion outside of the Library's flagship building, facing 42nd Street. Pigeons are gathered in front of the statue and New Yorkers dressed in '30s clothing walk passed.
"Guarding the Library" from NYPL's Picture Collection

The New York Public Library is pleased to offer the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Fellowship Program to support advanced research at the Library's flagship Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Fellowships are open to Ph.D. candidates, post-doctoral scholars, and independent researchers with projects that would significantly benefit from research conducted onsite at the Schwarzman Building. Projects requiring access to original materials including manuscripts, archives, books, photographs, prints, maps, newspapers, and journals will be given preference, but all worthy projects will be considered. Applicants studying the humanities as well as those working in the visual, auditory/performing, and literary arts are welcome to apply. Projects focused on science, technology, psychology, public policy, education, and other areas are also eligible, but only if the proposed project is centered on humanities-related methodologies. 

Established with the generous support of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation, the Fellowship Program will support five Diamonstein-Spielvogel Fellows (with a total of 26 fellowships awarded over five years) for four continuous months during the academic year with a stipend of $26,000.

Applicants should articulate the importance of the Library's holdings to their projects and are encouraged to contact staff in the relevant research division(s) with questions regarding collections or additional holdings. Explore the NYPL Research Catalog, Archives and Manuscripts Portal, Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, and Research Guides for more information on collections and resources accessible at the Schwarzman Building. While these links do not represent the entirety of the Library's collections, they provide a thorough overview and are a good place to start.

For assistance with the application process, email fellowships@nypl.org. Library staff cannot provide feedback on individual applications or project proposals.    

Key Dates

  • Applications open: November 27, 2023
  • Application deadline: February 19, 2024
  • Recommendation letters due: March 4, 2024
  • Applicant notification: May 15, 2024
  • Award period: Fall 2024 or Spring 2025


U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and foreign nationals who have been in residence in the United States for at least three years as of the application closing date are eligible to apply. 

Application Instructions

To apply for a Diamonstein-Spielvogel Fellowship, please visit the NYPL Fellowship Portal. A complete application must include:

  • A user profile and application completed in the NYPL Fellowship Portal
  • A project proposal of 5-10 double-spaced pages, approx. 1250-2500 words -- see below for more information
  • An updated CV
  • A sample of the applicant’s research (e.g. article or book chapter) 
  • Two professional letters of recommendation

Note: Recommendation letters will be accepted March 4, 2024 provided the applicant has submitted an otherwise complete application by February 19,2024.

Project Proposal

Successful project proposals will include an explanation of how in-person access to collections at The New York Public Library's Schwarzman Building is essential to the progress and completion of the research project. 

In order for an application to be considered, the project proposal must include the following: 

  • Abstract of the project's major themes, questions, and arguments
  • Significance of the project
  • Specific Library collections and holdings to be consulted during the fellowship
  • Project plan, including a timeline of your work with the Library's collections during the fellowship term and a description of the proposed methodological approach
  • Expected short- and long-term outcomes (e.g. book, article, blog, digital humanities project, art installation, performance, etc.)
  • Personal statement (350 words max) answering:
    • What impact would this fellowship have on your project and/or career?
    • What is the likelihood of successfully completing your project without this fellowship?
    • Do you belong to a historically underrepresented community? 

Selection Criteria

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of expert Library staff who will consider the following criteria: 

  • Need for research holdings accessible at NYPL's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building 
  • Uniqueness of materials to be accessed and innovative uses of material
  • Quality of the project plan as it relates to the size and scope of the collections to be accessed
  • Impact this grant might have on the applicant's project or career

It is the intention of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation and the Library for the Fellowship Program to include support for historically under-resourced and underrepresented communities. 

Fellowship Terms

Fellows will have sustained access to world-class collections in quiet shared study rooms within the Library's Vartan Gregorian Center for Research in the Humanities as well as access to the Library's expert librarians, subject specialists, and curators for consultation or guidance. The Library will provide an orientation to collections and services as well as opporunities to connect with NYPL's broader scholarly community for engagement with peers and the public. 

Throughout the term, fellows are expected to maintain regular communication with fellowship staff. On a monthly basis, fellows will provide a brief written summary of their research progress and attend a check-in meeting to discuss their ongoing fellowship experience.

As part of the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Foundation's commitment to expanding knowledge in the humanities more broadly, and to provide fellows with public platforms for their scholarship and research, each fellow will be required to participate in at least two activities to share their project, work, or expertise in a public forum. The Library will provide opportunities to fulfill this requirement and more information will be made available before the start of the fellowship term.