With support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), up to twelve $4500 ten-week summer fellowships will be awarded to MA and PhD students in the arts, humanities, and social sciences pursuing research in material culture studies, broadly defined here to include the conservation of objects as well as the scholarly investigation of relationships among people, material processes, and objects. In order to promote a fruitful interdisciplinary exchange, DELPHI encourages conversation across disciplines, including art conservation, art history, English, history, historic architecture and design, and others. Fellowship recipients will participate in a two-week Institute from May 30 – June 9, during which they will learn a variety of skills for engaging non-specialists through public speaking and digital media.

The fellowship funds uninterrupted summer research on the participants’ own projects. Consequently, the fellowship precludes your accepting other awards to cover living expenses or taking on paid work.The funds may be used to support an otherwise unpaid internship and also may be used in conjunction with awards designated for travel.

Students do mock presentations to their peers in the Soda House at Hagley Museum as part of their work with DelPHI.

Students do mock presentations to their peers in the Soda House at Hagley Museum as part of their work with DELPHI.

Learn about 2016 participants and their projects here.

As a condition of accepting this award, DELPHI Fellows agree that during the 2017-2018 academic year they will:

  • Present their work as part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Lecture Series
  • Develop and implement a public forum and/or participate in activities that engage with a non-academic public
  • Submit a one-paragraph summary of their research, along with an image that may be posted on our website by September 1, 2017
  • Submit a two-page report summarizing the public engagement project intended to fulfill the DELPHI mission, including relevant illustrations, publications, digital records or other items to document the work by June 1, 2018.

Per NEH guidelines, all continuing graduate students at the University of Delaware are eligible to apply. (Typically, this means that second-year MA students are not eligible.) The awarding of a fellowship will preclude any other work obligations, apart from internships, for the fellowship period, 1 June- 28 August 2017.

To apply for a fellowship:

By 17 February 2017, please send the following materials to

  • a cover note of no more than 400 words summarizing how some aspect of your MA or PhD project 1) incorporates material culture studies in approach or content and 2) the potential significance of your project for a larger public
  • a 300-word statement describing your research plan for summer 2017, including any other commitments, such as an internship
  • a one-page curriculum vitae, including contact information
  • In addition, please arrange to have two letters sent to by the deadline: one from an advisor recommending your project and one from your department graduate director attesting to your current status in your program.
To learn more, visit the institute’s Facebook page.
For questions, contact Directors Martin Brückner ( or Sandy Isenstadt (