Townsend Fellowships for Assistant and Associate Professors

The Townsend Fellowships program for UC Berkeley faculty supports research that significantly involves humanistic material or problems that have a significant bearing on the humanities. The purpose of the Fellowship is both to further the research of the individual recipients and to enable faculty and graduate students within the humanities to meet and work with colleagues in other disciplines and departments. However, projects need not be "interdisciplinary" by definition. Awards are based on the scholarly merit of the individual applications. The selection committee will also take into consideration the research project's potential interest to scholars in different fields of the humanities and the likelihood of the applicant’s contribution to interdisciplinary discussion.

Townsend Fellowships are awarded to assistant professors, associate professors, and graduate students completing their dissertation, as well as library and museum professionals. Fellows meet in weekly discussions for interdisciplinary peer review of work in progress. Each year a number of senior faculty and visiting postdoctoral fellows are invited to join the discussions.


Assistant Professors: UC Berkeley assistant professors not under consideration for tenure currently or during the fellowship year are eligible to apply.

Associate Professors: UC Berkeley associate professors not under consideration for promotion to full professor currently or during the fellowship year are eligible to apply. Applicants must be tenured for at least one year prior to the year of the award. Priority will be given to faculty in the Arts and Humanities Division.

Grant Provision

Assistant and Associate Professors: 50% research leave (2 courses, assuming a 2-2 teaching load) from teaching responsibilities for the full academic year. Fellows make arrangements for course release, whether taken in a single semester or spread out over the year, directly with the chair of their department. As a consideration for this reduction in departmental service, a faculty fellow’s department receives $25,000 in funds. The funds may be divided between two departments in the case of a joint appointment.

Please note: The Fellows meet over lunch every Tuesday throughout the year. The award of a Townsend Fellowship carries with it the understanding that the recipient will attend and participate actively in the weekly meetings.


Townsend Fellowships for Assistant and Associate Professors