Paul Evan Peters Fellowship

The Application Period Has Closed

Winners will be announced in July, 2016.

Applications were due no later than May 9, 2016
Eligibility Requirements || Applications & Deadlines

About the Fellowship

The Paul Evan Peters Fellowship was established to honor and perpetuate the memory of Paul Evan Peters (1947-1996), founding executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI). The fellowship will assist students pursuing graduate studies in the information sciences, librarianship, or closely related field, that advance the frontiers of digital information and technology. Nominees should demonstrate intellectual and personal qualities consistent with those of Paul Evan Peters, including:

  • A commitment to the use of digital information and advanced technology to enhance scholarship, intellectual productivity and public life
  • An interest in the civic responsibilities of information professionals, and a commitment to democratic values
  • A positive and creative approach to overcoming personal, technological, and bureaucratic challenges
  • Humor, vision, humanity, and imagination

Two fellowships will be awarded in 2016:

  • One to a doctoral student in the amount of $5,000 per year, to be awarded two consecutive years.
  • One to a master’s student in the amount of $2,500 per year, to be awarded two consecutive years.

Fellowships will be awarded biennially to students pursuing graduate degrees in librarianship, the information sciences, or closely related field (see Eligibility Requirements).

The Award’s Impact: Comments and Updates from Fellowship Recipients

Jordan Eschler, who received the 2014 Peters Fellowship for doctoral students, used the award to design and execute research that she then presented at conferences. The award supported the research work itself, as well as travel to the events. One of her papers detailed a preliminary illness phase-based information behavior model for young adult cancer survivors, which will serve as the basis for her dissertation.

Olivia Dorsey was the recipient of the masters level fellowship in 2014; her master’s project, “Visualizing Police Brutality,” focused on visualizing data relating to incidents of police brutality against unarmed African Americans from 1979-2014. Dorsey currently serves as Technology Specialist within the IT Department of the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville, NC.

Jessica A. Koepfler received the Peters fellowship in 2010 and she completed her degree in 2014. She now serves as Managing Director at Intuitive Company, a user-centered research, design, and development firm. Koepfler commented, “The fellowship provided a source of funding that allowed me to commit myself to a ‘fringe’ topic like the study of values within the context of homelessness… The award … put a spotlight on me early on in my program, which had the snowball effect of people noticing me… I am truly grateful for the fellowship and credit it with being very instrumental to me particularly in those early years of my PhD program.”

“The characteristics that have often been associated with Paul—positivity, creativity, humor, vision, humanity, and imagination—are, I hope, dimensions that I also bring to the work that I do as a scholar and as a teacher,” wrote Philip Edwards, 2004 fellowship recipient and currently Instructional Consultant at the Center for Faculty Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Edwards credits the award with helping to broaden his professional horizons as a student: “Because of this funding, I was able to travel to conferences which I would have otherwise been unable to attend, and the interactions I had among other researchers and practitioners at these gatherings have been more valuable than I could have ever imagined.”

Christopher (Cal) Lee, who received the first Peters Fellowship, is currently Associate Professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he teaches a variety of subjects, including archival administration, records management, digital curation, understanding information technology for managing digital collections, and the construction of digital repository rules.


Fellowship applicants will be judged on how well they meet the academic and personal standards for the award, not on financial need. In addition, applications must meet these criteria:

  • Each applicant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • Each applicant must be entering or enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program in information science or librarianship at an accredited U.S. university, or a program that has received American Library Association (ALA) accreditation (including reciprocal), or one that is a member of the iSchools iCaucus. Students in other, closely related disciplines may also be considered, provided that the course of study relates directly to information management/studies.
  • Staff, officers, and families of the Coalition for Networked Information, the Association of Research Libraries, and EDUCAUSE are not eligible to apply.

If awarded the fellowship, recipients must complete at least 6 credit hours of course work per semester during the year(s) the fellowship is awarded. Recipients must submit an official transcript to the selection committee at the end of the first year of the award (no later than July 1), demonstrating good progress toward the graduate degree. The selection committee retains the right to terminate the award after one year if good progress is not demonstrated.

Selection Procedures

A fellowship selection committee organized by the staff of the Coalition for Networked Information will review applications in May and June. Recipients should receive notification by the end of June.

Applications & Deadlines

Applicants should submit an online application no later than May 9, 2016. Completed applications must include:

• A completed form (for EITHER master’s OR doctoral students), which includes space for a 300-500-word essay explaining the applicant’s qualifications, intellectual interests, and academic and career objectives. The essay must include a discussion of how the applicant will advance scholarship in digital information and technology and apply his or her knowledge to problems of scholarship, intellectual productivity, or public life.

• A curriculum vitae or resume that includes the applicant’s complete contact information: address, phone number, and email.

In addition to the online form, applicants must submit:

  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty members, work supervisors, or others who can comment on the applicant’s academic and personal qualifications for the fellowship. These letters should be sent by email directly from the recommenders’ email accounts, no later than MAY 9, 2016. Recommendations must be sent by email to:

Additionally, finalists will be notified and asked to submit:

• A copy of the student’s letter of acceptance into a university graduate program in information science or librarianship, or a closely related field (see eligibility requirements).

• Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency (a photocopy of a birth certificate, passport, or residency card).

• An official transcript may also be requested, if the applicant has already completed courses toward the graduate degree.

All materials must be sent no later than May 9, 2016.

CNI is a coalition of some 220 institutions dedicated to supporting the transformative promise of digital information technology for the advancement of scholarly communication and the enrichment of intellectual productivity. The Coalition, which is sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and EDUCAUSE, is headquartered in Washington DC. More information about CNI is at

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at

A nonprofit association and the foremost community of IT leaders and professionals committed to advancing higher education, EDUCAUSE helps those who lead, manage, and use information technology to shape strategic IT decisions at every level within higher education. For more information, visit

Last updated:  Tuesday, May 10th, 2016