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Graduate Research Workshops

Dumbarton Oaks provides support for visits by graduate student workshops that are already established at Harvard; or by students who wish to form such a group. Eligible topics must have direct relevance to the particular fields of study and resources of Dumbarton Oaks.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in Washington, D.C., announces a program of support for Harvard University student-led research workshops. The aim is to invite groups of between 4–8 students that have already formed a research workshop at Harvard; or to encourage such groups to form, and help them engage with Dumbarton Oaks.

Dumbarton Oaks supports groups devoted to topics that intersect with the institute’s particular fields of study and resources. Information about these fields (Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, and Garden and Landscape studies) can be found readily on the Dumbarton Oaks website. Contiguous fields could encompass medieval, Ottoman, and Mediterranean studies, in the case of Byzantine; American Indian and Latin American in the early Colonial period, in the case of Pre-Columbian; and history of botany, history of horticulture, garden history, and other topics, in the case of Garden and Landscape Studies. Proposals that venture into material culture, the history of the book, the role of archives, or practices of museum display in ways that are relevant to the resources of Dumbarton Oaks will also be given consideration.

The program funds groups of 4-8 students wishing to travel to Dumbarton Oaks together for a stay of no less than two days and no longer than a week. During their stay, the students will present their research to members of their own group, and meet with Dumbarton Oaks staff (curators, archivists, rare book librarians, etc.) for targeted consultations, collection visits, or object study.

Dumbarton Oaks will provide accommodations, lunch on weekdays (when the Refectory is open), meeting space, basic A/V support, and reimbursement of economy roundtrip travel from Boston to Washington, D.C. In rare cases, support may also include funding for one invited scholar (proposed by the students) to attend the entire workshop, especially if such attendance will enrich the students’ discussions in ways that are not readily available in their home institution. Arrangements that include invited scholars must be initiated at least six months, and preferably a year, in advance.

Applications to hold workshops at Dumbarton Oaks in January-March and May-July are particularly encouraged. Interdisciplinary workshops are also welcome. While the program envisages students at the graduate level, workshops that include advanced undergraduates will also be considered. Interested groups of students should submit a 250-word proposal outlining the nature and purpose of the workshop; the names and résumés of student participants; and the principal student coordinator. The proposals should include at least three possible bands of time when the visits to Dumbarton Oaks could take place. Proposals should be sent to Professor Jan Ziolkowski, Director, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1703 32nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20007-2934 ( Students are strongly advised to apply at least six months before the envisaged date for the workshop.

The graduate workshops are primarily conceived as opportunities for the exchange of ideas and research. During their stay, graduate students will gain some familiarity with Dumbarton Oaks collections (research library; rare books; museum; coins and seals; archives). It is hoped that the meetings will provide a stimulus for further research at Dumbarton Oaks, possibly in preparation for general examinations, the thesis prospectus, and/or dissertation completion. Workshop participants may be eligible to apply later for other Dumbarton Oaks awards, including pre-doctoral residencies and Tyler Fellowships for advanced graduate students. Early-stage graduate students are encouraged to become aware of the Dumbarton Oaks summer internship program. Late-stage students should remember to check for postdoctoral positions at Dumbarton Oaks, which change from year to year.

While no specific outcome is expected, students will be asked to provide a 500-word report of the workshop. They may also take advantage of this opportunity to work collaboratively on a proposal for a future one-day colloquium or study day at Dumbarton Oaks.