The Hilltop Short-Term Research Fellowship

The Hilltop Short-term Residential Fellowships 

for Individual Research in Catholic Studies 

at Georgetown University

Hilltop Fellowships provide opportunities for individuals with a specific need for the Special Collections at Georgetown University’s Lauinger Library to advance a significant scholarly project on a topic related to Catholicism in any of the disciplines composing Catholic Studies, such as theology and philosophy, history and literature, the arts and the natural and social sciences.

PhD candidates, postdoctoral scholars, and scholars with terminal degrees who live and work outside of the Washington metropolitan area are eligible to apply.

The fellowships are available for a four-week period with a stipend of $3,000. During that month, the fellow will have status as a sponsored university associate and access to the Booth Family Center for Special Collections during its ordinary operational hours. Awardees may combine their Hilltop Fellowship award with other stipendiary support and sabbatical funding. Local residency is required for the month of fellowship.

Applications will be accepted from September 1 to December 15, 2022 for fellowships to be activated within the 2023 calendar year. [FAQ and application link]

The library’s collections are especially suitable for studies of Catholicism in the U.S. colonial and early national periods, as well as of Jesuit activity from the colonial period to the present in North America. The Catholic Studies Program and the Booth Family Center for Special Collections are especially eager to encourage projects that focus on American Indian, African American, and women’s histories. Some collections, in whole or part,  require special permissions to use, copy, and publish. It is the responsibility of the fellows, in consultation with library staff, to obtain such permissions.

Among the larger, relevant components of the university’s Special Collections are:

  • The Georgetown University Archives (eighteenth century to the present)
  • The Maryland Province (Jesuit) Archives (seventeenth century to the present)
  • The Woodstock (Jesuit) Theological Library Collection

The first two of these constitute the heart of the Jesuit/Georgetown “slavery archives.” Among the other collections, pertaining to Catholic organizations and institutions: 

  • America magazine archives (1903-1995)
  • Congregatio de Propaganda Fide Collection, far east section (1723-1746)
  • American Teilhard Association Library

And there are numerous papers, including those of 

  • Jesuits from the 17th to the 19th centuries, e.g., John Carroll, Patrick Healy, Peter Kenney, John McElroy, Jan Philip Roothaan, Pierre-Jean de Smet, et al.
  • Jesuits from the 20th century to the present, e.g., John LaFarge, John Courtney Murray, James Schall, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin,  Edmund Walsh, Gustave Weigel, et al.
  • Catholicism in Washington, D.C.: The archives of the Holy Trinity church, the papers of Horace McKenna S.J., etc.
  • The papers of leading figures in 20th-century Catholic scholarship and  public life including, journalist and photographer Anna Brady, theologian Monika K. Hellwig, novelist Sr. Alma Regina, pundit and author Russell Shaw, and navigator Michael Richey.

The collections also include:

  • The John Gilmary Shea library, which includes 5,000 printed items from the 16th to the 18th century and with an emphasis on the exploration of Canada and the Spanish Southwest.
  • The John Gilmary Shea papers, which includes a substantial body of original manuscripts, transcripts related to the early history of the Catholic church in America, and original Civil War artists’ sketches, as well as extensive files dealing with Native American languages and cultures.
  • Papers pertaining to Catholic literature and literary figures, e.g., the Kilmer Family Papers, Seumas MacManus papers (including letters by Ethna Carbery, Maud Gonne, Wm Butler Yeats, and many others), Theodore Maynard Papers, Sister Miriam RSM papers, and collections of the papers of Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, Christopher Sykes, Catherine Walston, and Shusaku Endo.
  • The Sr. Mary Joseph, S.L., Gallery of Living Catholic Authors, a collection of manuscripts, letters and other archivalia by and about over 600 20th-century Catholic authors globally, including Julian Green, Mary Lavin, and Josephine Ward.
  • The Catherine Walston Papers, which includes over a thousand letters from Graham Greene to Catherine Walston and original manuscripts of two novels she helped inspire: The Heart of the Matter and The End of the Affair.

This list is not exhaustive, and applicants are encouraged to review the website of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections, which includes multiple finders’ guides.

For the study of Catholicism, other archives in the vicinity include the U.S. National Archives and the Special Collections at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis, and the Archives of the Archdiocese of Baltimore at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore.

  • Eligibility
    • doctoral candidates, post-doctoral researchers, and scholars with terminal degrees
      • graduate student applicants must be ABD by the application deadline.
    • Applicants’ usual work location and personal residence must be outside the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Employees, faculty, and students of Georgetown University are not eligible for the fellowship.
  • Application (see website for additional information and for application link)
    • A cover letter.
    • A curriculum vitae.
    • A research proposal, including 
      • A project abstract of no more than 300 words
      • A research proposal of no more than 1,500 words
      • A one-page bibliography
    • Letters of recommendation (2), required of doctoral candidates.
  • Expectations
    • The awardees must indicate within a month of receiving the award their acceptance of the award and the four-week timeframe of their visit.
    • The fellowship award period must be completed within the calendar year of notification.
    • The scholarly community at Georgetown University looks forward to Fellows’ participating in the intellectual life of the university and to learning about the fellows’ findings toward the end of their stay.
  • Calendar
    • Application Deadline: December 15
    • Award announcements: ca January 15.

For more information on the contents of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections, please visit its webpage , which includes contact information according to specific parts of the collection.

For more information on the application itself, please visit the fellowship’s FAQ page.

For more information on the terms and scope of the fellowship, please contact: Prof. David J. Collins, S.J., Haub director of Catholic Studies, Georgetown University: Catholic Studies Program [Organization]