Paul Evan Peters Fellowship

CNI Congratulates the 2014-16
Paul Evan Peters Fellowship Recipients:

Jordan Eschler & Olivia Dorsey

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 were awarded in 2014:

  • 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

Jessica A. Koepfler received the Peters fellowship in 2010 and she completed her degree in 2014. She now serves as Director of Design Research & Strategy at Intuitive Company, a user-centered research, design, and development firm. On winning the award, Jes wrote, “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. Without the funding, I would have been beholden to a topic that my advisor was funded in rather than getting to be creative and do something I was truly passionate about. The award is also quite prestigious and put a spotlight on me early on in my program, which had the snow ball effect of people noticing me. This very likely impacted the number of great opportunities that came my way throughout my program and academic career. 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 Phillip M. Edwards, 2004 fellowship recipient and currently at the Center for Teaching Excellence at Virginia Commonwealth University. 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, Chapel Hill, where he teaches classes for graduate and undergraduate students, as well as continuing professional education workshops, in 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 June and July. Recipients should receive notification by the end of August.

Applications & Deadlines

The application process will open in spring or early summer, 2016. Call for applicants will be posted to the CNI-ANNOUNCE listserv and CNI News feed.

Applicants should submit an online application no later than the specified deadline. 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 the specified deadline. Recommendations must be sent by email to the specified email accounts.

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 the specified deadline.

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 125 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:  Monday, September 29th, 2014