Grants to Scholars

The Friends’ Grants to Scholars program helps fund visiting scholars who have particular research needs in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries. The Friends award several grants annually, bringing scholars to Madison campus libraries to conduct research in the humanities, sciences, and related fields appropriate to the libraries’ collection strengths. The purpose of this program is to foster high-level use of the University of Wisconsin–Madison Libraries’ rich holdings, and to make them better known and more accessible to a wider circle of scholars.

The annual application deadline is December 31 of any year, with decisions made in February.  Recipients of the grants must use their awards within 12 months beginning April 1 of that year.  

Among the distinguished collections of the UW-Madison campus libraries, we call particular attention to unique and rare materials and other special collections in

Award Amounts
Awards are made up to $2,000 for recipients from North America and up to $3,000 for those from elsewhere in the world. U.S. citizens are paid upon arrival to the UW-Madison campus. International scholars receive transportation and accommodation expenses paid by the Friends, not to exceed their award amount. Scholars may be asked to share their research experience with UW-Madison faculty, staff, and students on an informal basis during their visit. A short follow-up report is also requested at the completion of their stay.


To be eligible for consideration, applicants should meet one of the following criteria:

  • Researchers who have earned a PhD or comparable research-based degree
  • PhD candidates with an approved dissertation proposal
  • Independent researchers may also be considered for funding if their projects require a level of research and analysis that is of comparable complexity to that expected of someone seeking a research doctorate.

In addition, all applicants must reside more than 75 miles from Madison, WI.

Applicants’ proposals should state the specific areas and collections to be used in our libraries. These resources should be unique to UW-Madison Libraries (including the library and archives of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin), be exceptionally difficult to access elsewhere, or be so concentrated in Madison as to create an especially effective resource for the researcher. Please explain the importance of these collections to the proposed research. To collect the award, grantees must conduct their research in person on campus within 12 months beginning April 1 of the year in which the award is made.

Grants to Scholars Application Process

The application consists of 4 pieces:

  1. Our online application
  2. A Curriculum Vitae
  3. An Abstract or Summary (not to exceed one page) of your proposed research project.  Include the libraries and collections you plan to use and why it is important for you to do your research at UW-Madison.
  4. Students working on their dissertation must request two letters of support (listed on the application) and direct the writers to send them directly to the Friends office. All applicants are welcome to enhance their applications by requesting recommendation letters.

All supporting documents must be received by December 31 in order for the application to be considered.

Documents may be emailed to the or sent via US mail to Friends of the UW-Madison Libraries, Memorial Library, 728 State Street, Madison, WI, 53706.

Additional Information

There are two grant partnership opportunities within the Friends scholar program:

The John A Peters Fellowship Endowment, specifically for scholars requiring in-depth research in the Wisconsin Historical Society collections

(This specific award is not available for the 2024 award cycle. However, the Friends regularly fund scholars with research needs at the WHS through the process outlined above.)

The Mosse-Friends Fellowship, providing funding for research in the areas of European and Jewish History

The mission of the Mosse Program, endowed by UW-Madison professor George L. Mosse, is to support international scholarship and provide academic growth opportunities through graduate, post-doctoral, faculty exchange; graduate fellowships; scholarly publications; conferences; online courses; a digital archive project; exhibits; and visiting scholars.

The US Visa Waiver program will be used for researchers coming from Visa Waiver eligible countries. For a list of eligible countries and information on the program, go to:

All other researchers will come in under a J-1 Visa. For more information on this program, go to: