The Fellowship Experience | National Humanities Center

The Fellowship Experience

A fellowship year at the National Humanities Center is an opportunity to make significant progress on scholarly projects, socialize and share ideas with other scholars, and be reinvigorated by a hiatus from the regular demands of academic life for time spent in deep thought and reflection.

Fellows arrive at the National Humanities Center’s airy, glass-and-brick building each year and quickly make themselves at home in their individual studies looking out onto a Carolina pine forest. These roomy offices provide an ideal setting to quietly read, think, and write; and, when Fellows want a change of location, the Center has numerous areas inside and outside the building that are well suited for sitting and working alone or getting together to converse with other scholars.

Scenes from the Center

  • Scholars enjoy informal conversations during meals in the Teachers' Commons.
  • The Center hosts a robust program of scholarly events and public programs.
  • The library fills thousands of requests for research materials from collections around the world.
  • Fellows may arrange to have their home libraries essentially replicated prior to their arrival.
  • The Center's building provides space for both quiet contemplation and the lively exchange of ideas.
  • The Center is located in the Research Triangle, a culturally rich and intellectually vibrant region of central North Carolina.

Breakfasts and lunches are prepared each day by the Center’s attentive dining staff, who also ensure that Fellows have ready access to drinks and snacks whenever they are in the building.

Center staff also host and facilitate other opportunities for Fellows to socialize, collaborate, and participate in professional enrichment sessions of various kinds throughout the year. However, other than asking Fellows to take a break from their studies to enjoy lunch with their colleagues, the Center places minimal demands on Fellows’ time.

Library Services

stacks of library books

The Center is widely known for the exceptional support provided by its library staff, who work with Fellows throughout the year to procure research materials, provide in-depth reference assistance, and offer training on electronic research tools. The librarians and other support staff also host a series of popular roundtables featuring guest speakers discussing topics such as scholarly communication and publishing in the humanities.

Even before their arrival, Fellows have the opportunity to submit their project bibliographies and have the Center’s librarians procure materials and shelve them in their studies so that they can begin work as soon as possible. And, once in residence, Fellows can easily request materials, the vast majority of which they find in their hands within 24 hours.

“The major value of the fellowship lies in the freedom it gives to read, work and think independent of the usual pressure of academic life. This is immensely important for scholarship.”

– David Gilmartin (NHC Fellow, 2017–18)

About the Research Triangle and the Raleigh-Durham Area

downtown Raleigh, NC

Thanks to the 12 local colleges and universities, a vibrant, research-focused economy, and a dynamic creative community, the Research Triangle area is consistently ranked as one of the leading places to live, work, and raise a family in the US. The community is blessed with an array of award-winning restaurants, a robust brewing and distilling scene, a host of sports and entertainment opportunities, and easily accessible parks and green spaces for hiking, biking, and communing with nature.

After fellowships are awarded each spring, Fellows receive information about housing, transportation, and schools in the area. Fellows make their own housing arrangements. Center staff are ready to offer suggestions and direct Fellows to appropriate resources.

The Center’s Guide to the Triangle can help Fellows discover and take advantage of all that is on offer.

Previous Fellows

map of the world with geographic locations
Countries represented by National Humanities Center Fellows

Over the past five decades, the Center has been privileged to support the work of some of the world’s leading humanists, and to enlist their expertise on behalf of its programs for educators and public humanities work. NHC Fellows often form deep and lasting friendships with their fellow Fellows and members of the staff, and the Center actively works to continue supporting Fellows in their research and careers after their year in residence has been completed.

As part of that work, each Fellow’s NHC-associated efforts are prominently featured, along with their NHC-supported publications, on the Center’s website. Visit our Fellows of the Center page to see some of the remarkable scholars and scholarship that have benefited from a year at the Center.


Fellows in Residence


Fields Represented


Books Resulting from Fellowships


Fellows from International Institutions