Guidelines for Proposing an Institute Scholarly Program

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There are several pathways by which programs find their way to the Folger Institute’s annual scholarly programs roster. Some are presented as programmatic offerings tied to partnerships, while others are written into grant proposals or planned under the two Centers operating under the Institute: the Center for Shakespeare Studies and the Center for the History of British Political Thought. The majority are suggested by recent program participants, nominated by the Institute’s Consortium Executive Committee (made up of representatives from over forty campuses), or proposed by the members of the CEC’s program planning subcommittee. We should underscore that these sources always provide many more program ideas than we can schedule and offer.

When considering which programs fit best into the offerings in a given academic year, the Folger Institute CEC and its program planning subcommittee weigh a number of different variables, including the mix of topics, formats, and expected resources. With occasional exceptions, provisional slates of Folger Institute programs are generally scheduled two to three years in advance of the academic year in which they are offered. In other words, if a proposed program is welcomed, it will usually be at least two years before it is offered.

The information collected below will be forwarded to the CEC’s program planning subcommittee as a proposal to be considered. That group meets twice a year—in October and early May—to vet possible programs for further consideration by the full CEC. Therefore, if you would like for your program idea to be considered by the program planning subcommittee and potentially circulated to the full CEC, be sure to submit responses no later than 1 October or 15 April in any given year.


Required Information

Provisional title of program


Name of proposed director (and co-director, if applicable)


Proposed format (indicate faculty weekend seminar, monthly colloquium, semester-length seminar, weekend workshop, conference)


Sources of potential funding or partnerships (N.B., significant non-Folger funding is normally required for conferences)


150-word description of proposed program. Please indicate why this program is suitable for the Folger. For example, are there particular rare materials or collections that will be drawn upon?


Send the proposal to the attention of Dr. Owen Williams, Assistant Director of Scholarly Programs via institute@folger.edu.