Center of Mexican American Studies
Center of Mexican American Studies

CMAS-Benson Latin American Collection Research Fellowships

The Center for Mexican American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin announces its annual competition for five (5) short-term research fellowships at the Benson Latin American Collection in the fields of Mexican American and Borderlands Studies. These research fellowships are for the summer 2017.

World renowned for its over 1,000,000 books, periodicals, pamphlets, and microforms; 4,350 linear feet of manuscripts; 19,000 maps; 11,500 broadsides; 400,000 photographs and slides; and 60,000 items in a variety of other media (sound recordings, drawings, video tapes and cassettes, DVDs, posters, memorabilia, and electronic media), and periodical titles are estimated at over 40,000 with 8,000 currently received titles and over 3,000 newspaper titles, the Benson Latin American Collection is one of the foremost research libraries containing materials related to the Mexican American experience and Borderlands Studies.

Further, the Mexican American Library Program (MALP) at The University of Texas at Austin was formally established in 1974 by the University Libraries to support the educational needs of students of Mexican American and U.S. Latino culture and history. It is also designed to support the research activities of the faculty of the Center for Mexican American Studies, which has been serving the state of Texas and the nation as a leader in the intellectual development of Mexican American studies since 1970.


Short-term fellowships are restricted to post-doctoral scholars, Ph.D. candidates or holders of other terminal degrees from outside the Austin area who have a specific need to use the Mexican American and Borderlands collections at the Benson Collection. We will offer five (5) $1,000 fellowships in summer 2017 each thanks to the support of CMAS and the Benson Collection. Of the five fellowships, one is designated as the Gloria Anzaldúa fellowship and will be awarded to the project that best makes use of the Gloria E. Anzaldúa collection as the focus of their fellowship proposal. All project proposals, including the Anzaldúa award, must demonstrate innovation and substantial critical contributions to shaping the fields of Mexican American Studies and/or Borderlands Studies. Fellowships are for travel and housing.

Priority will be given to applicants who might not otherwise be able to complete their research without CMAS fellowship support and to applications that focus on the Mexican American and/or experiences of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands.

Applicants must compile their applications electronically and submit them as e-mail attachments. Award recipients will be announced in summer 2017. Residency dates will be announced in summer 2017. Awardees must publicly acknowledge CMAS and the Benson Latin American Collection in any published materials resulting from the fellowship, including doctoral dissertations, articles, and book manuscripts.

Application Guidelines

Applications for the CMAS-Benson Latin American Collection Research Fellowships must be received by 5:00 pm on Friday, May 19, 2017. This includes the applicant’s own materials and all reference letters.

Please note: the review committee will not accept applications that include any material in excess of the five main parts described below.

The application consists of five elements:

1. The cover sheet of basic personal and professional information.

2. A project abstract of no more than 300 words. The abstract must communicate the significance of the project to reviewers in the humanities or social sciences who may not be specialists in the field of inquiry. This should be the overall description of the project.

3. A project description of no more than 1,500 words that details the following:

  • Description of the project and its significance to Mexican American Studies. When appropriate, please make specific reference to previously published scholarship that will be revised, improved or supplanted by the proposed project (1,000 words).
  • Description of the Benson Collection materials to be consulted (please be as specific as possible) and an outline of the work plan for the fellowship period (500 words).

4. A current Curriculum Vitae (CV) of no more than 10 pages. Please do not submit difficult to read documents. Please be sure to list forthcoming publications and describe their status (in progress, submitted, accepted, in press).

5. One (1) letter of reference. Letters should speak to the promise and innovation of the proposed project, its relevance to work in the Benson Collection with Mexican American and/or U.S.-Mexico Borderlands materials in addition to the talents and qualifications of the applicant. Please send your referee a copy of your project description and remind them of the application deadline. Letters that speak to the CMAS-Benson Collection Short-Term Fellowship are weighted more heavily than those coming from a dossier service. We prefer that letters be submitted electronically and must come directly from the letter writer.

Instructions for Submitting Applications

Applicants must compile their applications electronically and submit them as e-mail attachments by the stated deadline.

1. Download the cover sheet from the CMAS website. Fill in the shaded form fields using a word processing application.

2. Attach the following documents to an email using the corresponding file names:

  • Cover Sheet
  • Project Abstract 
  • Project Description 
  • CV 

Please submit these as four separate documents. The project abstract, project description, and CV may be submitted as Word attachments. PDFs are preferred but not required.

3. Send the e-mail to Alberto Gonzalez with the subject line “(Applicant’s last name) Fellowship Application.”

4. Contact referee regarding letter of reference. We prefer that referees send their letters electronically as attachments to Alberto Gonzalez with the subject line “(Applicant’s last name) Letter of Reference.” In cases where referees are not able to send electronic copies, paper copies will be accepted. Due to the volume of applications, we cannot notify applicants about missing letters. Applicants are responsible for making sure that their referee submits their letter on time and should contact Alberto Gonzalez to confirm receipt.

5. We will acknowledge receipt of applications via e-mail. If we do not respond in three (3) business days of sending the application, please contact Alberto Gonzalez at (512-471-4557 or Applications must be time-date stamped by deadline listed.

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    Austin, TX 78712