Fellowships at the Cullman Center


The deadline to submit an application is Friday, September 27, 2024 at 5 p.m. EDT. 


Karan Mahajan"The Cullman Center is an unbelievable gift of time—time to settle in, master your material, and then rocket ahead with your work. You come in with an idea for one book but emerge with the seeds for many." —Karan Mahajan, Fellow 2018-2019


Scope | Criteria and Terms | NYPL/American Council of Learned Societies Fellowships


The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers offers Fellowships to people whose work will benefit directly from access to the research collections at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Renowned for the extraordinary comprehensiveness of its collections, the Library is one of the world’s preeminent resources for study in anthropology, art, geography, history, languages and literature, philosophy, politics, popular culture, psychology, religion, sociology, sports, and urban studies.


Faith Hillis"The Cullman Center is an academic paradise: it offers the comfort, privacy, and resources that the serious scholar needs to do her work while cultivating the human connections that challenge her thinking and enrich her life. This was the happiest, most  productive, and most nourishing year of my entire life, and I am returning home replenished and inspired." —Faith Hillis, Fellow 2018-2019


Criteria and Terms

The Cullman Center’s Selection Committee awards fifteen Fellowships a year to outstanding scholars and writers—academics, independent scholars, journalists, creative writers (novelists, playwrights, poets), translators, and visual artists. Foreign nationals conversant in English are welcome to apply. Candidates for the Fellowship will need to work primarily at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building rather than at other divisions of the Library. People seeking funding for research leading directly to a degree are not eligible. 

The Cullman Center looks for top-quality writing. It aims to promote dynamic communication about literature and scholarship at the very highest level—within the Center, in public forums throughout the Library, and in the Fellows’ published work.

A Cullman Center Fellow receives a stipend of $85,000, the use of an office with a computer, and full access to the Library’s physical and electronic resources. Fellows work at the Center for the duration of the Fellowship term, which runs from September through May. Each Fellow gives a talk over lunch on his or her current work-in-progress to the other Fellows and to a wide range of invited guests, and may be asked to take part in other programs at The New York Public Library.


francine j. harris

"This has been an incredible, life-changing year."                                                                                 —francine j. harris, Fellow 2018-2019



The New York Public Library/American Council of Learned Societies Fellowships

The Center may give up to five Fellowships a year in conjunction with the American Council of Learned Societies. Candidates for joint Fellowships must submit separate applications to The New York Public Library and to the American Council of Learned Societies.


Georgi Gospodinov"For someone coming from Europe, the year at the Cullman Center was a combination of the consolation and quietness of the library with the vividness of the city.                The Cullman Center and NYPL are nichеs in time and space in a crazy world."
—Georgi Gospodinov, Fellow 2017-2018



Mary Dearborn

"I wanted to be a librarian before I wanted to be a writer, and for the first half of the year I said the whole experience was a dream come true. For the second half I described it as Eden . . . There is no experience like it."                                                                      —Mary Dearborn, Fellow 2018-2019

The Cullman Center is made possible by a generous endowment from Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman in honor of Brooke Russell Astor, with major support provided by Mrs. John L. Weinberg, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Estate of Charles J. Liebman, The von der Heyden Family Foundation, John and Constance Birkelund, and The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, and with additional gifts from Helen and Roger Alcaly, The Rona Jaffe Foundation, The Arts and Letters Foundation Inc., William W. Karatz, Merilee and Roy Bostock, and Cullman Center Fellows.
Drawing of a lion and a man reading a book
Illustration by Dash Shaw

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