Skip to Content

University Libraries


Research Opportunities

Fellowships and grant awards are available to graduate students, visiting scholars and others conducting research using our collections.

Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

Karen Alane Robinson Children's Literature Fellowship

The Karen Alane Robinson Children’s Literature Fellowship was established to encourage scholarly research in the collections of the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of South Carolina.

The Irvin Department’s collections include:

  • The Augusta Baker Collection of Multicultural Children’s Literature
  • The Graham-Kennett Collection of Children’s Literature
  • The Greta D. Little and Joel Myerson Collection of Multicultural Children’s Literature
  • The Martha Jane Zachert Collection of Abecedaria and Fine Press Printing
  • The William Savage Textbook Collection
  • Substantial collections of American, British and Scottish Literature; natural history and science; historical material; religious studies and philosophy; and growing collections of early medieval manuscripts and fine press printing.

Grants up to $1,500.00 may be made to applicants of any discipline who engage in projects which require substantial use of the children’s and young adult collections held by the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Awards will be based upon the applicant's scholarly qualifications, the merits of the proposal submitted, and the appropriateness of the proposal to the resources of the collection. Fellowship monies can be used for travel, lodging and meals, and must be expended during the period of research. Recipients will be requested to:

  • acknowledge the fellowship in all resulting products of their research.
  • provide the Irvin Department with a copy of any publications.
  • submit a brief report on their work at the end of the fellowship period. 
To Apply

Please send a letter of application describing your research project, the approximate dates of your intended research visit, and a copy of your vita to: 

Elizabeth Sudduth, Director
Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
University of South Carolina Libraries
Columbia, SC 29208

W. Ormiston Roy Memorial Fellowship

The Roy Fellowship was established in 1990 by Professor and Mrs. G. Ross Roy in memory of Dr. Roy’s grandfather W. Ormiston Roy of Montreal, Canada. Each year the fellowship brings a visiting scholar to the University of South Carolina to conduct research in the G. Ross Roy Collection of Burnsiana & Scottish Literature. Since it was first established, the Roy Fellowship has drawn researchers to Columbia from other universities in Scotland, Italy, France, the United States and Canada. The topics of their research have ranged from Robert Burns and 18th-century Scottish poetry, in general, to Scottish music, as well as Scottish literature from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

The Collection

The Roy Collection includes the works of Robert Burns, including a collection of over 30 Burns manuscripts, the Kilmarnock edition of Robert Burns’s Poems, one of only two known copies of The Merry Muses, and a substantial collection of print editions of Burns poetry and prose, as well as books about his life and times. As Dr. Roy’s interest in Scottish literature and culture was comprehensive, the collection also includes important works published before Robert Burns’s time through twenty-first century literary, historical and critical works.

A selection of important items from the Roy Collection has been digitized and is available from the Scottish Literature Digital Projects website.

W. Ormiston Roy Fellows
1990    Donald A. Low, University of Stirling, Scotland
1991    Robert H. Carnie, University of Calgary, Canada
1992    Kenneth G. Simpson, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
1993    Carol McGuirk, Florida Atlantic University, U.S.A.
1994    David S. Robb, University of Dundee, Scotland
1995    Douglas S. Mack, University of Stirling, Scotland
1996    The Roy Fellowship provided travel support to several scholars  attending USC’s Robert Burns Bicentenary Conference
1997    Marco Fazzini, University of Venice, Italy
1998    Valentina Bold, University of Aberdeen, Scotland
1999    Jill Rubenstein, University of Cincinnati, U.S.A.
2000    F.W. Freeman, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
2001    Kenneth G. Simpson, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
2002    Gerard W. Carruthers, University of Glasgow
2003    Ronald D.S. Jack, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
2004    Carol McGuirk, Florida Atlantic University, U.S.A., Thomas Keith, New Directions Publishing, New York, U.S.A.
2005    Corey Andrews, Youngstown State University, U.S.A.
2006    Kirsteen McCue, Glasgow University
2007    Roy Fellowship funds were reserved for USC’s 2009 Robert Burns Bicentenary Conference
2008    Ian Duncan, University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A. (Roy Lecturer)
2009    Edward J. Cowan, University of Glasgow, Scotland (Roy Lecturer)
2010    Pauline Gray MacKay, University of Glasgow, Scotland, Robert Crawford, University of St. Andrews, Scotland (Roy Lecturer)
2011    Roy Rosenstein, American University of Paris, France        
2012    Nigel Leask, University of Glasgow, Scotland (Roy Lecturer)
2013    Kathryn Chittick, Trent University, Canada, Stephen Brown, Trent University, Canada
2014    William Dawson, Burns Chronicle, Scotland 
2015    Murray Pittock, University of Glasgow, Scotland (Roy Lecturer)
2016    Craig Lamont, University of Glasgow, Scotland

To Apply

Please send a letter of application describing your research project, the approximate dates of your intended research visit, and a copy of your vita to:

Elizabeth Sudduth, Director
Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
University of South Carolina Libraries
Columbia, SC 29208


South Caroliniana Library

Governor Thomas Gordon McLeod and First Lady Elizabeth Alford McLeod Research Fellowship

A permanently endowed research fellowship was established in 2001 as a tribute to Governor Thomas Gordon McLeod and First Lady Elizabeth Alford McLeod by the family of Governor and Mrs. McLeod in recognition of their contributions to the Palmetto State.

In a December 1932 statement honoring the memory of the former chief executive, the editor of The State newspaper wrote, “South Carolina will remember Tom McLeod, whose administration spanned the trying years 1923-27, as one of the state's most progressive and withal practically useful governors. He gave to education and highways much more than lip-service, but it was in fiscal legislation that he best illustrated his prescience and courage.”

During his service as Governor, the South Carolina General Assembly passed the "6-0-1" Act in 1924, under which the state would pay a school's operating expenses for six months if the county would pay for one month, historic legislation that would fund South Carolina public schools in the twentieth century.

Mrs. McLeod devoted much of her time as First Lady to improving the appearance of the Governor's Mansion grounds. The McLeods were the first to use inmates from the State Penitentiary as household staff for the mansion.

This endowment provides researchers with the opportunity to conduct research during the summer months at the South Caroliniana Library. Topics of research will focus on the study of post-Civil War politics, government, and society, with an emphasis on South Carolina history. The fellowship is available to non-professional historical researchers, public school teachers, college students and university instructors. United States citizens and interested internationals are encouraged to apply. Internationals coming from abroad will be expected to participate as a J-1 Exchange Visitor sponsored by the University of South Carolina. Internationals already in the U.S. must hold a valid U.S. immigration status that allows payment for a summer research fellowship.

Each proposal will be evaluated on its merits. Primary consideration will be given to projects involving the substantive study of issues of general interest and doctoral and post-doctoral studies. Each proposal should be aimed at a discrete end product such as a book, dissertation, thesis, article, documentary, film or exhibit. Budgets will be examined and may be approved in whole or in part.

In return for accepting support, each award recipient is required to:

  • acknowledge the Governor Thomas Gordon McLeod and First Lady Elizabeth Alford McLeod Visiting Research Fellowship in any resulting published works.
  • donate a copy (or copies) of said works to the library.
  • may be required to submit a brief article summarizing his or her findings and research experience for publication in the library’s newsletter.
To Apply

Applicants should submit the following:

  • Cover letter with contact information, including full name, mailing and physical address, telephone and email.
  • An essay of fewer than 1,000 words discussing the topic of research and how the library’s collection will be utilized.
  • A research prospectus including proposed length of stay and overall project budget clearly stating the amount requested and how the award will be spent.
  • Current curriculum vitæ.
  • Two letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's scholarly ability and significance of their research project.

The deadline for applications is February 15 every year.

Send materials to:

Henry Fulmer, Director
South Caroliniana Library at Thomas Cooper Library
University of South Carolina
1322 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208

For more information, please contact Todd Hoppock at hoppockt@mailbox.sc.edu or 803-777-3131.

Award recipient(s) will be notified on or before March 17.

Lewis P. Jones Research Fellowship in South Carolina History

A permanently endowed research fellowship was established in 1996 as a tribute to Dr. Lewis P. Jones by an anonymous gift.

Dr. Jones, a native of Laurens, S.C., received B.A. and M.A. degrees from Wofford College and a Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina. He served as a member of the Wofford faculty from 1946 to 1987, during which time he was secretary to the faculty, chair of the Department of History, and the first holder of the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professorship. In 1987, Dr. Jones was presented with South Carolina's highest award, the Order of the Palmetto. Dr. Jones passed away in Spartanburg on July 20, 2007.

As professor at Wofford and author of South Carolina: A Synoptic History for Laymen (1971) and numerous other works on Palmetto State history, Dr. Jones had a tremendous impact on the appreciation and teaching of history in South Carolina.

This endowment provides researchers with the opportunity to conduct research during the summer months at the South Caroliniana Library. Applicants must be conducting research in South Carolina history. The fellowship is available to non-professional historical researchers, public school teachers, college students, and university instructors. United States citizens and interested internationals are encouraged to apply. Internationals coming from abroad will be expected to participate as a J-1 Exchange Visitor sponsored by the University of South Carolina. Internationals already in the U.S. must hold a valid U.S. immigration status that allows payment for a summer research fellowship.

Each proposal will be evaluated on its merits. Primary consideration will be given to projects involving the substantive study of issues of general interest and doctoral and post-doctoral studies. Each proposal should be aimed at a discrete end product such as a book, dissertation, thesis, article, documentary, film, or exhibit. Budgets will be examined and may be approved in whole or in part.

In return for accepting support, each award recipient is required to:

  • acknowledge the Lewis P. Jones Research Fellowship in South Carolina History in any resulting published works.
  • donate a copy (or copies) of said works to the library.
  • may be requested to submit a brief article summarizing his or her findings and research experience for publication in the library’s newsletter.
To Apply

Applicants should submit the following:

  • Cover letter with contact information, including full name, mailing and physical address, telephone, and email.
  • An essay of not more than 1,000 words discussing the topic of research and how the Library’s collection will be utilized.
  • A research prospectus including proposed length of stay and overall project budget clearly stating the amount requested and how the award will be spent.
  • Current curriculum vitæ.
  • Two letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's scholarly ability and significance of their research project.

The deadline for applications is February 15 every year.

Send materials to:

Henry Fulmer, Director
South Caroliniana Library at Thomas Cooper Library
University of South Carolina
1322 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208

For more information, please contact Todd Hoppock at hoppockt@mailbox.sc.edu or 803-777-3131.

Award recipient(s) will be notified on or before March 17.

William Gilmore Simms Visiting Research Professorship

William Gilmore Simms (1806-1870) was a native South Carolinian who gained far-ranging literary acclaim as the most prolific Southern writer of the antebellum period. Hailed as the man of the letters of the Old South, Simms garnered the respect of readers in the North and South, including such contemporaries as Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, and Edgar Allan Poe. Simms' versatility and talent led him to write 72 book-length works, including novels, short story collections, poetry, drama, literary criticism, essays, histories, and biographies. Following the Civil War and after his death, Simms' works fell out of favor. Fortunately, recent research has revived interest in and appreciation for his writings.

Through the William Gilmore Simms Visiting Research Professorship, scholars are able to explore and study the extensive collection of Simms' published and manuscript works held by the South Caroliniana Library, as well as the published and manuscript works of writers from South Carolina and elsewhere whose works are represented in the Library’s rich holdings.

Mary C. Simms Oliphant, of Greenville, S.C., originated the fund to honor Simms, her grandfather. Contributions from her daughter, Mrs. Alester G. Furman III, and other family and friends made possible the establishment of the Simms Visiting Research Professorship.

Awarded annually since 1995, the Simms Professorship provides researchers with the opportunity to conduct research during the summer months at the South Caroliniana Library, the primary repository of Simms’ published and unpublished works. United States citizens and interested internationals are encouraged to apply. Internationals coming from abroad will be expected to participate as a J-1 Exchange Visitor sponsored by the University of South Carolina. Internationals already in the U.S. must hold a valid U.S. immigration status that allows payment for a summer research fellowship.

Each proposal will be evaluated on its merits. Primary consideration will be given to projects involving the substantive study of issues of general interest and doctoral and post-doctoral studies. Each proposal should be aimed at a discrete end product such as a book, dissertation, thesis, article, documentary, film, or exhibit. Budgets will be examined and may be approved in whole or in part.

In return for accepting support, each award recipient is required to:

  • acknowledge the William Gilmore Simms Visiting Research Professorship in any resulting published works.
  • donate a copy (or copies) of said works to the library. 
  • may also be requested to submit a brief article summarizing his or her findings and research experience for publication in the library’s newsletter.
To Apply

Applicants should submit the following:

  • Cover letter with contact information, including full name, mailing and physical address, telephone, and email.
  • An essay of not more than 1,000 words discussing the topic of research and how the Library’s collection will be utilized.
  • A research prospectus including proposed length of stay and overall project budget clearly stating the amount requested and how the award will be spent..
  • Current curriculum vitæ.
  • Two letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's scholarly ability and significance of their research project.

The deadline for applications is February 15 every year.

Send materials to:

Henry Fulmer, Director
South Caroliniana Library at Thomas Cooper Library
University of South Carolina
1322 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208

For more information, please contact Todd Hoppock at hoppockt@mailbox.sc.edu or 803-777-3131.

Award recipient(s) will be notified on or before March 17.

Ellison Durant Smith Research Award

At his death, Ellison Durant "Cotton Ed" Smith (1864-1944) had been in the U.S. Senate longer than any prior member, serving from 1909 to 1944. The State newspaper of Columbia called Smith "one of the most colorful senators in the Nation's history, a rugged individualist who fought to the very end for his very pronounced ideas on government, on racial relations and other matters. He didn't flinch to stand alone; he was a bitter-end fighter of the New Deal, [and] a staunch supporter of States' rights. . . ."

As chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, Smith was a powerful advocate for the farmer. Historian Leonard Plummer stated, "When he came to the Senate he came with a mission. . . . He was one of the first to demand national action for the economic relief of the agriculture of the South. . . ." He was a farmer himself, operating the family plantation, located in what is now Lee County.

The Ellison Durant Smith Research Award is endowed through the estate of Harold McCallum McLeod (d. 1999), who was a native of Timmonsville, S.C., a graduate of Wofford College, and a veteran of World War II. He was employed by the Internal Revenue Service from 1933 until his retirement as District Director in 1973. McLeod is remembered for the friendly and effective manner in which he carried out his difficult duties with the IRS; for his commitment to his church, country and Wofford College; and his fond childhood memories of "Cotton Ed," his famous relative.

The Ellison Durant Smith Research Award provides financial support to undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate scholars to conduct research during the summer months at the South Caroliniana Library on politics, government, and society during the twentieth century, with an emphasis on South Carolina history. The award is available to non-professional historical researchers, public school teachers, college students, and university instructors. United States citizens and interested internationals are encouraged to apply. Internationals coming from abroad will be expected to participate as a J-1 Exchange Visitor sponsored by the University of South Carolina. Internationals already in the U.S. must hold a valid U.S. immigration status that allows payment for a summer research fellowship.

Each proposal will be evaluated on its merits. Primary consideration will be given to projects involving the substantive study of issues of general interest and doctoral and post-doctoral studies. Each proposal should be aimed at a discrete end product such as a book, dissertation, thesis, article, documentary, film, or exhibit. Budgets will be examined and may be approved in whole or in part.

In return for accepting support, each award recipient is required to:

  • acknowledge the Ellison Durant Smith Research Award in any resulting published works. 
  • donate a copy (or copies) of said works to the library.
  • may also be requested to submit a brief article summarizing his or her findings and research experience for publication in the library’s newsletter.
To Apply

Applicants should submit the following:

  • Cover letter with contact information, including full name, mailing and physical address, telephone, and email.
  • An essay of not more than 1,000 words discussing the topic of research and how the Library’s collection will be utilized.
  • A research prospectus including proposed length of stay and overall project budget clearly stating the amount requested and how the award will be spent..
  • Current curriculum vitæ.
  • Two letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's scholarly ability and significance of their research project.

The deadline for applications is February 15 every year.

Send materials to:

Henry Fulmer, Director
South Caroliniana Library at Thomas Cooper Library
University of South Carolina
1322 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208

For more information, please contact Todd Hoppock at hoppockt@mailbox.sc.edu or 803-777-3131.

Award recipient(s) will be notified on or before March 17.

 

South Carolina Political Collections

Association of Centers for the Study of Congress Research Grants

SCPC is a member of the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress (ACSC). To encourage the study of Congress, ACSC offers grants of up to $500 to individuals who have conducted significant research in ACSC repositories.

To Apply

Nominations are made by the repository. If you are interested in being considered for a grant, please apply as below. Applications can be emailed to scpc@mailbox.sc.edu or mailed to the address below. 

Applications will be accepted throughout the year. Grants will be awarded after research is conducted.

No standard form is needed to apply, but each application should include the following:

  • Full name, mailing address, telephone numbers and email address
  • A description of the research project (fewer than 250 words)
  • A personal vita
  • List of congressional collections used in the research
  • Amount requested (up to $500)

Applications should be addressed to:

Research Awards
S.C. Political Collections
University of South Carolina Libraries
1322 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208


Thomas Cooper Library

Cooper-Davis Fellowship for Under-Represented Groups in Librarianship

Co-sponsored by Thomas Cooper Library and the School of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, the Cooper-Davis Fellow receives training and mentoring to serve as an active participant in departments throughout Thomas Cooper Library and the other USC Columbia libraries. The fellow rotates on a semester basis through public services, technical services and the collection development, gaining practical experience in many facets of librarianship.

Benefits

  • Up to $7,000 stipend (earned through hourly wage, $14/hr)
  • $1,000 academic scholarship and a special tuition reduction
  • Opportunity to have practicing librarians serve as references for job searches
  • Professional experience in a major research library

Requirements

  • Be fully admitted to the master’s program in SLIS
  • Take a minimum of six graduate hours per semester
  • Be a member of an under-represented group in librarianship and a U.S. citizen
  • Be able to work 15 hours per week for forty weeks in the University Libraries
To Apply

To apply for Fellowship or if you have questions about the Fellowship experience please contact Brent Appling, Research & Instruction Librarian at applingm@mailbox.sc.edu or 803-777-0994.

Past Fellows

  • Bethany McGowan, Librarian/Allied Health Informationist, Howard University, Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library
    • "The Cooper-Davis Fellowship helped me find the aspects of librarianship that interested me the most and let me act on those interests. It significantly improved my understanding of library and information science principles, allowing me to actually practice the concepts I was learning in library school. Receiving the fellowship was a doorway to other experiences that I had not previously considered. The library experience and training I received from the fellowship made me a much stronger, more competitive candidate and significantly improved my success in job searching. The tuition subsidy and scholarship portion of the fellowship were extremely helpful financially."
  • Marilyn Green, Staff Development Coordinator,Richland County Public Library
    • “I attribute my library career successes to the experiences I had during the Cooper-Davis Fellowship. Those experiences gave me a well-rounded picture of the inner workings and major functions of a library that otherwise I would never have gotten. I learned that while I enjoyed every bit of it, I also discovered what I loved most. I was a better job applicant because my resume was stronger, my library education and training was more rounded, and my insight into departmental issues was relevant and practical.”
  • Gerald B. Moore, Branch Manager, Cooper River Memorial Branch Library
    • "The Cooper-Davis Fellowship provided me with an awesome library life-learning experience. I gained a comprehensive understanding of the many facets of library work and experienced first hand the daily intricacies involved in creating a successful library operation. The greatest benefit for me was to enter the job market with a variety of much-coveted learned job skills both from the Public Services and Technical Services sectors of librarianship. It gave me an assured marketability in an already competitive field."
  • Crystal Johnson, Information Services Librarian,Richland County,  Public Library
    • “I was so honored to be awarded the Cooper-Davis Fellowship in the fall of 2005. Before the Fellowship, I worked in a library for three years but this position really introduced me to professional librarianship. The skills I acquired from the Fellowship are so valuable because they can be used in any library setting."