2020-21 Barbara Solow Research Fellowship

The Barbara Solow Research Fellowship provides financial assistance to Williams College student(s) conducting research in Economic or Business History, or in other areas reflecting the diverse interests of the pioneering economic historian Barbara L. Solow, including Irish history, Caribbean slavery, and other historical topics in the social sciences. The funds of the Solow Fellowship may be used in two ways: 1) to support one or more summer research fellowships, undertaken either on or off campus, and/or 2) to cover travel or research expenses during the academic year.

Application Deadline: April 22, 2020 (by noon)

Particulars of the Fellowship

  • The total yearly budgeted amount for all funded Fellowships is roughly $5250. One or more Fellowships may be awarded in a given year until these funds are exhausted.
  • Subject to the strict dollar limit, Fellowships may provide funding for:
    • A summer living stipend not to exceed the amount per week granted under the College’s Class of 1957 Summer Research Assistant program. Check with http://hr.williams.edu/student-employment/summer/summer-employment-guidelines/.
    • Travel to visit archival collections, libraries, or other sources of original material vital for the proposed project.
    • Expenses incurred by obtaining necessary books, data, or other materials necessary for the research project. This may include costs associated with translation, transcription, data acquisition, or data entry directly relevant for the research project.
  • Summer Fellowships should be at least 4 weeks in length, although shorter duration research will be considered if it contributes towards a longer-term project.
  • All funding is subject to general spending guidelines for College funds. Funds should not be used to buy computer hardware or for anything unrelated to the research project.
  • The recipient(s) of Fellowship funding are required to submit a summary of the research undertaken with summer support by August 31 following the Fellowship (or within two weeks after funds are utilized during the academic year). This summary should discuss the research methods, sources, and findings of the project. A brief discussion of the final output of the project (a paper, a thesis, etc.) should be included.


  • Primary consideration will be given to students applying for summer support for research projects in economic and business history. Such projects should take place in the summer of 2020.
  • Should there be no satisfactory summer candidates for the Fellowship in Economic or Business History, the Fellowship may be awarded to one or more students conducting research in an area related to the diverse interests of Barbara Solow, including Irish History, Caribbean slavery, or other historical topics in the social sciences.
  • The proposed project(s) may be related to the research of one or more faculty at Williams (perhaps in the form of a summer research assistantship), but the project should clearly support the student’s own academic and research interests.
  • Fellowship recipients must be currently enrolled students at Williams College. Recent and past graduates of the College are not eligible. Seniors are not eligible to apply for summer support but may apply for research support during their final academic year.

Selection Guidelines for Funding

  • Students applying for the Fellowship (the Summer version) should submit the following to the Coordinator by NOON on April 22, 2020:
  • A 3-4-page description of the research project. This description should outline the main research question, related literature, sources (archival, media, data, etc.) to be consulted, and ultimate goal of the project (i.e. a paper, an input into a thesis project, etc.)
  • A timeline for the research project.
  • An unofficial transcript AND a resume.
  • The name(s) of one or two faculty to act as references. The Coordinator will contact them to ascertain the qualifications and motivations of the students to engage in the proposed project. Although not strictly required, students are recommended to find a faculty advisor (preferably one of the references) willing to advise on the project. No recommendation letters will be solicited.
  • A detailed budget proposal of no more than 1 page. If a stipend is requested as part of the budget, it must be based on the College’s standard summer stipend. Detailed accounting of all other proposed research expenses should also be included. The total budget should not exceed $5250.
  • Proposals for academic year funding will be accepted on an ad-hoc basis with similar requirements at the Summer version. Decisions will be made shortly after proposals

The chosen recipient(s) of Summer Fellowships will be provided with an award agreement by April 24, 2020. This award agreement must be signed by the recipient and received by the Coordinator by May 4, 2020. Should the Fellowship recipient decline the offer, he or she must do so by May 4, at which time the Fellowship may be offered to an alternate. Fellowship funds will be disbursed to the recipient once the award agreement has been signed.

Recipients of the summer Fellowship will be expected to submit a final report on their project by August 31, 2020. This report should be 1-3 pages long, and may be shared with the Donor of the Fund, as well as with others. Similar reports are required from recipients during the academic year.

Please direct all inquiries to Steven Nafziger, Department of Economics

Steven Nafziger
Department of Economics
[email protected]