Now Accepting Applications for the
Paul Evan Peters Fellowships
Deadline: May 24, 2018
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 2018:
- 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).
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 coursework 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.
• 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 24, 2018. 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 24, 2018.
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.
The Award’s Impact: Comments and Updates from Fellowship Recipients
Kristen Matteucci received the 2016 award for master’s students and will receive her degree this summer. Continuing with her interest in equitable information access, she has focused her attention on the health sciences and is currently a reference intern at both the Biomedical Library of the University of Pennsylvania and at the Collingswood Public Library, following completion of field experience at the Community Health and Literacy Center/South Philadelphia Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
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 master’s 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. After graduation, Dorsey served 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, completed her degree in 2014, and then served 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 Ph.D. 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. 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 a 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.
The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) is a coalition of some 240 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 www.cni.org/.
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries at comprehensive, research institutions in Canada and the US that share similar research missions, aspirations, and achievements. The Association’s importance and distinction are born from the ARL membership and the nature of the institutions represented. ARL member libraries make up a large portion of the academic and research library marketplace, spending more than $1.4 billion every year on information resources and actively engaging in the development of new models of scholarly communications.
EDUCAUSE helps those who lead, manage, and use information technology to shape strategic decisions at every level. EDUCAUSE actively engages with colleges and universities, corporations, foundations, government, and other nonprofit organizations to further the mission of transforming higher education through the use of information technology.