Guidelines for Proposing an Institute Scholarly Program

We are currently inviting proposals for Consortium-sponsored programming on Consortium campuses OR at the Folger for 2025-2026 and beyond. These should be submitted by October 1, 2024, for possible inclusion in the 2025-2026 program year.

There are several pathways by which programs find their way to the Scholarly Program's roster. The majority of the Folger Institute’s annual scholarly programs 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 emphasize that these sources always provide many more program ideas than we can schedule and offer.

But during the Folger's major renovation and the associated offsite programming, combined with increased adoption of virtual platforms for gathering scholars during the pandemic, the Institute began welcoming programming proposals suitable for the affiliates of the Folger Institute Consortium and the wide range of scholarly fields in which it programs. We will continue soliciting proposals for the foreseeable future to complement those arriving as above.

Should you be interested in proposing a program to be offered by the Folger Institute's Scholarly Programs, there is a multi-step process:

  • Supply the information specified below by October 1 of a given year. The collected information will be forwarded to the CEC’s program planning subcommittee.
  • The program planning subcommittee meets twice a year—in late fall and late spring—to vet program proposals. They will ask proposers for clarification if needed.
  • The program planning subcommittee presents the proposed programs for further consideration by the full CEC at the fall meeting.
  • At the meeting, the CEC advises which programs it would like to offer in the coming academic year.
  • The Institute's Associate Director for Scholarly Programs contacts all those who submitted proposals with the decisions before the end of the calendar year. Those selected for the upcoming program year begin crafting their programs, including promotional materials, reading lists, schedules, invited guests (when applicable), etc.

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 in any given year, for the following academic year, i.e., a proposal received in October 2024 would be considered for no earlier than Fall 2025.


Required Information

Provisional title, location, and date of program


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


Proposed program format AND mode of delivery (indicate weekend seminar or workshop, monthly colloquium, semester-length seminar, small conference, etc. AND whether in-person, virtual, or combined mode)


150-word description of proposed program. Please indicate the goals of this program and why it is suitable for the affiliates of the Folger Institute and the intended scholarly field to which it relates. For example, are there particular rare materials or collections that will be drawn upon? Heritage sites that will be involved?


Sources of potential funding or partnerships, if any, and estimated amounts (N.B., conferences normally require significant non-Folger funding)


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 a year to eighteen months 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 a year before it is offered.

Send questions and the initial proposal to the attention of Dr. Owen Williams, Associate Director of Scholarly Programs, via institute@folger.edu. He is available to answer questions at any point in the proposal process.