The Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship

Freedman Fellows Program 2017

The Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship is pleased to announce its call for proposals for the 2017 Freedman Fellows Program. All full-time CWRU faculty members with scholarly projects that employ digital tools to generate, analyze, or disseminate original research are encouraged to submit proposals.

Join us for an information session on March 21st at noon to learn more about the fellowship and how to apply!  Lunch will be served.  Register here.


About the Fellowship

The Freedman Fellows Program began in 2005 with funding from the Freedman Fellows Endowment established by Marian K. and Samuel B. Freedman,  the Kelvin Smith Library, and the College of Arts and Sciences. The aim of the program is to support the integration of new research methodologies and digital tools in scholarship to enhance understanding, examine questions in new ways, broaden perspectives, and fundamentally redefine how research is conducted and disseminated.

The funding model is flexible, providing a pool of funds to support projects of varying sizes with varying needs. Proposed requests can range from $1,000 to a maximum of $15,000.  Funds can be used for:

  • student labor costs (digitization, data entry, programming, web design, etc.)

  • external consultants (excludes travel/lodging for face-to-face meetings)

  • domain registration, hosting fees

  • specialized software

  • training

Proposal Process

The Freedman Center will host an informational lunch session for potential applicants on Tuesday, March 21st at noon. Prior to the April 27th deadline, faculty are encouraged to meet with members of the Digital Learning & Scholarship team to review and get feedback on their proposal drafts.  Applicants are encouraged to consider the type of support the Digital Learning & Scholarship team is well equipped to provide when developing their proposal.  Areas of expertise can be found here.

All proposals must follow the template linked here: 2017 Freedman Fellows Proposal Template.  As the members of the selection committee may not be from the same discipline as the applicant, applicants are encouraged to be as descriptive as possible in their proposal and to stay away from field-specific jargon.  Supplemental materials, such as copyright permissions, IRB approval, permission to use specific collections, etc. may be required depending on the project.  Questions regarding the template can be addressed to

Once submitted, the proposals will be evaluated by a selection committee of five faculty members from a variety of disciplines and ex officio representatives from the College of Arts and Sciences and/or the Kelvin Smith Library. In the two weeks following the submission deadline, the committee will assess both the scholarly value of the proposed projects and the innovative application of digital tools to generate original research. The committee will then consider the project’s identified needs, proposed budget, benchmarks, and timeline when awarding funding.  Awardees will be notified by Friday, May 12th.


Support Provided

Upon receiving the award, the Fellow(s) will meet with the Digital Learning & Scholarship Team to determine a project liaison, analyze the specific project requirements, and schedule regular meetings during the fellowship period to monitor progress.  The Digital Learning & Scholarship Team will provide support within its areas of expertise and help the Fellows determine what outside resources may be necessary to complete their project.  In the case of projects funded for over $3,000, funding will be released in stages based on the benchmarks detailed in the proposal.  A Memorandum of Understanding between the Fellows and the Kelvin Smith Library will detail the agreed upon benchmarks.


Expectations of Fellows

The Freedman Fellows will be expected to

  • manage their funds, conferring with their Departmental Chairs or Departmental Assistants to create and manage accounts

  • acknowledge the contributions of everyone who worked on the project

  • if copyright, IRB, or collection use permissions are required, proof must be submitted in a timely fashion

The Fellows and their collaborators will be expected to

  • attend cohort meetings once per semester

  • regularly update their project liaison on their progress

  • give a presentation in the spring of their award year about the research involved in and the development of their digital project, which may be livestreamed and archived

  • present a poster on their project at Research ShowCASE in the spring of their award year

Submitting Proposals

Project proposals should address all of the questions under each heading in the proposal template either in narrative paragraphs or in bulleted points. Proposals should be submitted as PDF files to with the subject line “[lastname] Freedman Fellows Proposal” by Thursday, April 27th, 2017 at midnight.


Contact Information

For answers to any questions or to schedule an appointment to meet with the Digital Learning and Scholarship team prior to the proposal submission deadline, please send inquiries to

  • Freedman Fellows 2011 Announced
  • Freedman Fellows Program 2011
  • Freedman Center Fellow Program 2010
  • Freedman Fellows 2009 Announced

Kelvin Smith Library | 11055 Euclid Avenue | Cleveland, OH 44106-7151 | 216-368-3506