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Holt/Smithson Foundation: 2021 Research Fellowships

Our Research Fellowships aim to encourage new research on the work, ideas, and creative legacies of Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson. Our first Research Fellowship Program launches in 2021 and we are calling for applications. The application deadline is February 1, 2021.

Each Fellowship is based around a specific research project. Our Fellowship Program is open to graduate students, recent college graduates, doctoral and post-doctoral researchers, artists, early career museum professionals, and Holt and Smithson scholars working towards a specific publication, exhibition, or project.

Researching from their home base, Fellows will receive total compensation of $3,540 paid in two equal installments: the first on acceptance of contract for work, and the second on delivery and acceptance of your report.

Each Fellow is expected to:

—commit to four weeks from the Fellow’s home-base

—attend regular virtual meetings with relevant member/s of the Foundation Team

—complete administrative tasks relating to the selected research focus area

—submit a print-ready report on research findings four weeks after contract initiation

—if appropriate, agree that your research will be published, fully accredited, by Holt/Smithson Foundation.


Our subject areas for 2021 Fellowship Program applications are:

Various Sites: Indigenous Narratives

There is much scholarship addressing Indigenous Land Rights and Land Art that needs to be conducted. This Fellowship is of central importance to the Foundation. The Indigenous Narratives Fellowship invites proposals from researchers with an interest in exploring the sites of Holt and Smithson’s earthworks, sculptures, and unrealized projects in relation to the histories of Indigenous Peoples and their land.

Please indicate which site you are interested in researching in your application.

Various Sites: Local Narratives

We welcome applications from candidates based locally to artworks by Holt and Smithson to conduct research about the artwork, its site, and local contexts. The focus could be on sites of public sculptures or earthworks (for example Lake Placid, New York or Emmen, The Netherlands); former sites of artworks (for example St James’ Park, Toronto or Florida Keys); a specific location important to Holt or Smithson (for example the New Jersey Meadowlands or the Great Basin Desert); or the location of an unrealized project (for example Miami Islet or Dallas Fort Worth Airport). The Local Narratives Fellow will be expected to consult local archives to develop their research project.

Please indicate which site you are interested in researching in your application.


Other Topics

We are open to receive proposals for other Research topics alongside our current priority topics noted above.


Application Procedure

Applications are now open for the 2021 Research Fellowship cycle at Holt/Smithson Foundation and will close on February 1, 2021 at 11:59 MST. Awarded fellow(s) will be notified of their acceptance by February 15 and fellowships are scheduled to run between March 1 and December 31 of 2021.

To apply, please email the below materials to Edna Riley at contact@holtsmithsonfoundation.org. Please include the name of the Research Fellowship for which you are applying (for example Indigenous Narratives or Local Narratives) in the subject line.

—Personal Statement: consisting of no more than 500 words, explain how your Holt/Smithson Foundation Research Fellowship selection fits with your wider research objectives. Include the reasons for your choice, describe what you hope to achieve from the Fellowship, and what you can contribute to Holt and Smithson studies.

—If you are suggesting an alternative topic, please outline an overview of your proposed research topic.

—Writing: provide a 500-word text on a single artwork by Holt or Smithson or a published article on a related topic.

—Resume/Curriculum Vitae: please limit to four pages.

—Letters of Recommendation: applicants must request two confidential letters of recommendation, to be sent directly to the Foundation email address above.

—Timing: indicate the period/s when you wish to schedule the Fellowship.


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