CHF Center for Oral History Fellowship Announcement

The Center for Oral History at the Chemical Heritage Foundation invites applications for short-term (six-weeks in residence) research fellowships that focus on the history of modern biomedical science. Fellowship recipients must make use of a portion of the Center’s collection of oral histories conducted with close to three hundred scientists who received the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences award and are also expected to present material in the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s conference, Methodologies in the History of Biomedicine: Studying Scientists and Applications for Digital Humanities, being held on 20-21 August 2015. Each fellowship award is $5,000; no additional research or travel allowances are available. Residency can be broken into six smaller week-long trips if desired.

The Pew Charitable Trusts began its award program in the early 1980s with an aim towards providing new faculty members in the biomedical sciences with unrestricted research support for four years. Universities from around the United States were asked to submit an application from one new faculty member each year; Pew’s review committee, comprised of Nobel laureates and other well-known scientists, then selected approximately twenty recipients out of hundreds of applicants. The only requirement of the award was that all scholars had to attend an annual retreat ever year during the course of the four-year award to meet with their “classmates” and talk about the research being undertaken in their labs.

Interviews in the Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences collection are life histories: not only do they cover the science each interviewee practiced, but they also discuss issues related to, for example, early interests in science, mentorship, collaboration, competition, funding structures in the United States and abroad, and other social, cultural, political, and economic issues in science and in society. More information about each oral history in the Pew Scholars collection will be available on CHF’s website starting 2 February 2015 (

For more information about the collection, please contact David J. Caruso, Director, Center for Oral History at or +1 (215) 873-8236.

Fellowship applicants should submit a research proposal of less than 1,500 words, a curriculum vitae of 3 pages or less, and contact information for two references to David Caruso at the above email address. Applications are due to later than 15 March 2015.