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Short-Term Predoctoral Residencies

Available to advanced graduate students preparing for general exams, writing dissertations, or expecting final degrees. Awards are for 2–4 weeks and provide accommodation and library access.

Due to the present circumstances surrounding COVID-19, Dumbarton Oaks is not currently accepting applications for this award. In the meantime, we invite you to visit our online resources found here.

Dumbarton Oaks offers a limited number of Short-Term Predoctoral Residencies for advanced graduate students who are preparing for their PhD general exams, writing their doctoral dissertations, or expecting relevant final degrees in the field of Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, or Garden and Landscape studies. Students who plan to conduct research in the fieldwork and photo collections, the rare book collection, or the museum collections are particularly encouraged to apply. The general library collections at Dumbarton Oaks contain more than 210,000 items in a variety of formats, while our rare book collection holds more than 10,000 volumes, prints, drawings, photographs, and blueprints. We welcome and encourage you to peruse our holdings in advance via the HOLLIS catalogue found here. Due to the short-term nature of the award, we are unable to process inter-library loan requests.  Each residency provides two to four weeks of single accommodations and lunches on weekdays (with the exception of scheduled refectory closures). In addition, a Reader badge for access to the Library will be issued for the period of the residency. Applicants who live 75 or more miles from Washington, DC, will receive preference. Dumbarton Oaks does not sponsor J1 visas for Short-Term Predoctoral Residencies.

Successful applicants for residencies will be eligible to apply a second time before they receive their PhD degrees. The award of a residency does not preclude a subsequent award of a junior or a regular fellowship or a One-Month Research Award. Upon completion of the residency, recipients are asked to submit a research report to the Program Director, and to provide future degree completion and subsequent position placement information to the program.

To Apply

Applicants must send the following to the appropriate Program Director at least 60 days before the preferred residency dates:

  1. Letter of Request. Specify:
    • the desired period of stay (with alternatives, if possible; please note that awards terms are not offered between December 15–January 15)
    • a brief description of your project
    • the purpose of the visit (e.g. to read for general exams or to conduct research for the dissertation)
  2. A brief curriculum vitae. List:
    • address and telephone number
    • education, awards and honors
    • present and past positions, if applicable
    • publications, conference presentations, field research, etc.
    • description of language competences
  3. In addition, applicants must ask their academic adviser to send a letter of recommendation directly to the appropriate Program Director at Dumbarton Oaks.

The three programs (Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, Pre-Columbian) also offer residential fellowships during the academic year. 

Send application materials digitally to the appropriate email address for the department to which you are submitting an application:

Materials may be addressed to: “[Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, Garden and Landscape] Studies, Program Director, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection”