JFF information

Junior Faculty Fellowships in the Humanities

Ever since its founding, the Boston University Center for the Humanities has offered Fellowships for Junior Faculty. The Fellows’ Seminar. This group, which has been in continuous existence since 1984, serves as a forum for research, debate, and public dialogue between junior and senior faculty and graduate dissertation Fellows from different disciplines. The seminar assists scholars in the development of their careers and engages the larger questions of culture and imagination that the humanities have always examined.

Changes in 2013:

In 2013, the Provost  announced that tenure-track faculty would be eligible to apply to their Deans  for one semester of paid Junior Scholar Leave after completion of six semesters of FT service and a successful midtenure review. For more information, please see the Faculty Handbook:  http://www.bu.edu/handbook/leaves-absences/sabbaticals-and-leaves-of-absence/

In light of this new University policy, the BUCH has made significant changes in the rules governing its Junior Faculty Fellowships. Please read this material carefully.

1. Length of fellowship: Our new fellowships are one semester in length.
2. Eligibility: In the past, any junior (tenure-track) faculty member who had not previously held a Junior Faculty Fellowship was eligible to apply, though in practice most sought to hold our fellowships in the third, fourth, or fifth year of their appointments. This policy remains unchanged, along with the requirement that the Chair approve each application. However, applicants will now have the option of combining the University leave with a BUCH fellowship in order to spend a continuous year on a project, as senior faculty have done in combining a BUCH fellowship with a sabbatical, through they may choose to apply at other times. Applicants and their Chairs should be aware that the Committee considers both the quality of the research proposal and the need for support: in the interest of fairness, we take into consideration other forms of support the applicant has previously held. No individual may hold a Junior Faculty Fellowship more than once.
3. Definition of status while holding the fellowship: We have redefined the Junior Faculty Fellowship as a “research leave” rather than “release from teaching.”  This has the  critical advantage of making our fellowships symmetrical to the research leaves now offered by the University. For winners, it has the advantage of removing any obligation for service to the department and making the residency requirement more flexible, thus enabling a Junior Fellow to use the BUCH Fellowship for work abroad and participate in the seminar after returning to Boston. It means that all junior faculty research semesters, whether funded by BUCH, the University, or an external agency, are subject to the same rules. Like the new leaves granted by the University, this research leave does not stop the tenure clock, nor does it count toward the 12 semesters of full-time teaching required to be eligible for a sabbatical.
4. Obligation to participate in the community: We strongly encourage Fellows working in Boston to take up residence in the individual offices provided for their use at the Center, which allow them to interact with other Fellows. The BUCH Fellows’ Seminar, bringing together junior and senior faculty and graduate dissertation Fellows supported by the Center, forms the core of our intellectual community and allows a more formal exchange of ideas. For all Fellows, we require one semester of participation in the Fellows’ Seminar, normally the semester in which the fellowship is held. In cases where the Fellow needs to pursue research abroad, participation in the Seminar will take place during the first semester back in the classroom. Because the obligation to participate in the seminar has been reduced to one semester, Fellows can expect meetings to be almost every week.

The deadline for submission of applications to the Center for the Humanities is October 15. Each tenure-track faculty member applying for an JFF must also submit Leave of Absence paperwork to CAS. Applicants should make at least one good faith application for outside funding; our application asks you to list outside grants for which you are applying. The deadline for submission of CAS  LOA paperwork to the Faculty Actions Office is  December 6; your department, which submits all such applications as a group, will want your materials earlier.

Applicants will be informed of our decisions early in December.

If you are chosen as a Junior Faculty Fellow, and your application for outside funding is also successful, our normal expectation is that you will accept the outside award. Your doing so will allow the Center to fund one of your colleagues previously named as an alternate.

Applications should be emailed to the Center for the Humanities by October 15. We ask that all documents, including the letter from the department chair, be submitted in electronic form.

We ask that applications be submitted as a single PDF file that contains the first 3 elements listed below. Please send it as an email attachment to buch@bu.edu

1. Junior Faculty Fellowship Application cover sheet

2. a description of your research project on the model of those you will be submitting to external funding agencies, double-spaced and no longer than 3,000 words.

3. a current curriculum vitae

4. a letter from your department chair endorsing your proposal. (Note that BUCH will pay replacement salary for 2 courses per Fellow.)

5. a letter from a senior faculty in your department familiar with your area of specialization.

The department chair and senior faculty member should send their letters directly to the Center for the Humanities ( buch@bu.edu )

Please read the FAQ section of this website if you have any questions concerning how to use our on-line application form.