The governing purpose of the Oakley Center’s Fellowship Program is to provide a supportive, stimulating, and congenial atmosphere for faculty research in the humanities and social sciences. The Center sponsors two types of fellowships: Resident Fellowships for faculty and professional scholars; and Ruchman Fellowships for students.
Resident fellows fall into four categories: Oakley Center Fellows, Clark/Oakley Humanities Fellows, Senior Fellows, and Visiting Fellows. Fellows have offices at the Oakley Center and are expected to be in residence throughout the tenure of their fellowship. The programmatic obligation for Resident Fellows is limited to participation in a weekly lunchtime forum where a work-in-progress paper is presented and discussed informally. Fellows are invited to participate in other activities of the Oakley Center as they wish.
Oakley Center Fellows
Oakley Center Fellowships are available to a limited number of Williams faculty members who are on leave. Fellows are awarded $4000 in research support, which can be applied to any expenses associated with research–e.g., travel, books, research assistants, or equipment directly related to the project. (Please review College rules about the purchase of equipment with research fund.) Additional funds may be available for projects that require further resources. Applicants may submit a budget that details a special request for funds in addition to the standard stipend. Should the project qualify, and should the funds be available, the Oakley Center will provide extra funding.
The Oakley Center Fellows program is open to all Williams faculty members with regular appointments, with the understanding that Fellows are expected to be in residence in Williamstown and to participate in the activities of the Oakley Center. Preference will be given to applicants who intend to make substantial use of their Oakley Center offices. Although Fellows may be in residence for one or two semesters, they are eligible for only one research support grant. Decisions regarding the awarding of Fellowships will be made by the Oakley Center Committee. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of the quality of the proposal and the prospect of the successful completion of the project. Research projects should have a strong humanistic or social scientific focus. We welcome particularly projects with a significant interdisciplinary component.
Two Oakley Center Fellows each year will be designated Herbert H. Lehman Fellows in recognition of the particular excellence and promise of their research proposals. Candidates considered for the Lehman Fellowship must be engaged in projects touching on an area included among Lehman’s personal interests or professional pursuits, most notably political leadership, public service, and the arts. An additional stipend of $1,400 will be available to Lehman Fellows, who may wish to use this extra funding to bring distinguished visitors working in their field to the Oakley Center for consultation. Where appropriate, visitors may conduct a faculty seminar at the Center.
The application form for an Oakley Center Fellowships is available here.
Clark/Oakley Humanities Fellows
The Oakley Center and the Research and Academic Program at the Sterling and Francince Clark Art Institute joinly offer one fellowship for national and international scholars in the humanities whose work takes an interdisciplinary approach to some aspect of the visual. The selected fellow will have his or her office at the Oakley Center, be housed at the Clark scholars’ residence, and participate fully in the rich intellectual life of both institutions. The preferred term of the fellowship is for one academic year, though applicants available only for one semester will also be considered. The ample stipend will be dependent on salary and sabbatical replacement need.
The Clark is one of a small number of institutions in the United States that combine a public art museum with a complex of research and academic programs, including lectures, workshops, symposia, and international conferences. The museum’s Research and Academic Program offers betweeen fifteen and twenty Clark Fellowships each year, ranging in duration from less than a month to ten months. Additional information can be found on the Clark’s website, including the application form.
Senior Fellows may be appointed for a semester, or for one year, by the President of the College from among Williams emerita/us faculty. They will be invited to participate fully in the Fellows’ program and are awarded an annual research stipend of $4,000. Those interested should contact the President directly.
Occasionally, a Visiting Fellowship will be awarded to a member of the faculty of a neighboring educational institution (Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts or Bennington College, for example). Candidates will normally be nominated by the Dean of Faculty or equivalent administrator at the applicant’s home college. Visiting Fellows will be expected to participate fully in the Fellows’ programs.
Ruchman Student Fellows
Thanks to the generous support of Mark C. Ruchman, ’71 and Allan B. Ruchman, ’75, each semester a Williams senior is associated with the Center as a Ruchman Fellow. Ruchman Fellowships are intended to support the research of students who demonstrate a firm commitment to graduate study and who intend to pursue a career in teaching. The research is normally related to an independent study course or honors thesis that the student is undertaking during the fellowship period. Preference in the selection of Ruchman Fellows will go to those candidates whose research interests bear a significant interdisciplinary or collaborative component.
Normally, two Ruchman Student Fellows of the Oakley Center will be chosen each spring from among members of the Junior class: one to join the Fellowship during the fall semester of his or her senior year, the other during the following spring semester.
During the semester of their tenure, Ruchman Student Fellows will be encouraged to participate in all Center activities: weekly lunch seminars discussing Fellows’ research projects, attendance at all Center-sponsored faculty symposia and colloquia, and all social events.
Ruchman Student Fellows will each receive a stipend of $1,500 to be used for research support (for example: books, research assistance, travel to collections, external library or archival fees), and they may avail themselves of the administrative support at the Center.
Nominations for Ruchman Student Fellows will be solicited from all Languages and the Arts and Social Studies Departments. Each academic unit in Division I and Division II in which students write theses will be invited to nominate one Junior major as a candidate for this Fellowship. Nominees will then be asked to submit an application to a selection committee. In addition to biographical information, the application will require a research project proposal framed so as to be clear to an academic committee composed of individuals from various disciplines. Candidates will be asked to specify two or three members of the Williams faculty familiar with their work. Members of the selection committee may then call upon these faculty members for recommendations. The process will narrow the field of candidates to a small number of finalists each of whom will then be asked to join the selection committee for a personal interview.