Fenwick Fellow Guidelines 2020-21


George Mason University Libraries




Program Purpose:

The University Libraries will make up to two Fenwick Fellow awards available each academic year in order to support research activities of George Mason University faculty members, as well as enhance the resources of the University Libraries. The Fenwick Fellow will be awarded $5,000 and will receive exclusive use of a furnished and equipped office in Fenwick Library, as well as access to and support by the Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Center (DiSC).


In 2017, the program's guidelines were expanded beyond a single award to include funding for an additional fellowship for a project proposal that specifically aligns with the Libraries’ ever-increasing initiatives in the area of digital scholarship (e.g., digital humanities, data-focused research, development of digital content and curation). 


The award is administered by the Office of the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian (with approximately half the amount to cover one-time purchases of research materials or specialized digital scholarship tools, and the remainder allocated towards other research-related costs as deemed appropriate).



Funding Cycle:

The Fenwick Fellowship is available and funded each academic year. The request for proposals and selection of the Fellow takes place during the Spring semester. The Fellowship is in effect from late August of the current year until early August of the following year.



Faculty Eligibility:

The Fenwick Fellow Program is open only to all tenured, tenure-track, and term (multi-year appointment) faculty members of George Mason University. It is requested that previous Fenwick Fellow selectees do not submit proposals.



Proposal Format:

The research proposal should be brief, in 12-pt. font, and should be accompanied by a brief curriculum vita, including information about the applicant's current position, and teaching and research responsibilities at George Mason University.


Although there is no required format for the proposals, it will facilitate the work of the proposal reviewers if the following points are clearly addressed, prefaced by a project summary (200 words or less):


  1. Central problem to be addressed.
  2. Applicant's previous work in the general area.
  3. Research methodologies to be utilized (digital projects should outline tools and technology that will be required).
  4. The need for research space in the library. Digital projects should highlight collaboration with the Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Center where appropriate.
  5. Budget for proposed project materials (e.g. indicate approximate costs of new research materials and/or research assistant stipend and/or possible conference costs that would be purchased with the stipend. Rental or purchase of computer hardware or software shall not exceed 30% of the funding).
  6. Expected results of the Fellowship.  



Submission Procedure:

Each proposal must be approved and signed by the applicant's department chairperson.  One electronic copy of the proposal should be forwarded by Monday, June 1, 2020 to Debra Hogan, Executive Specialist to the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian, at <dhogan1@gmu.edu>.



Evaluation Procedure:

The selection committee is comprised of six members – three instructional faculty members and three librarians. An Associate University Librarian serves as Administrative Coordinator of the selection process. The Dean of Libraries and University Librarian appoints all evaluators. Instructional faculty will be drawn from the university's schools and colleges and from the ranks of past Fenwick Fellows. At least one (and possibly, two) research proposal(s) will be selected and recommended to the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian for each academic year.



Requirements of the Fellow:

All library research materials and/or digital tools acquired on behalf of the Fellow will remain the property of the University Libraries.


After the fellowship is completed, University Libraries sponsors a public lecture (during the Spring semester of the following academic year) in which the Fellows present the results of their research.