The Boston College Ricci Institute and the Harvard-Yenching Institute invite applications for a Joint Visiting Researcher Fellowship for full-time faculty members at Asia-based universities or research institutions in Asia, regardless of citizenship. The purpose of the Fellowship is to bring faculty at the crucial stage of their academic career to Boston for a six-month period of research, to be conducted at both Institutions. 2 Fellowships will be offered for the 2023-24 academic year.
The Boston College Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History is a premier global resource for the study of Chinese-Western cultural exchange with a core focus on the social and cultural history of Christianity in East Asia, including Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The Ricci Institute collections include some 100,000 volumes. The majority of these volumes concern traditional China with a special concentration on the Jesuits missions, East–West cultural exchange, and the history of the Ming–Qing period, roughly from the 16th–19th centuries. In addition to these volumes there are more than 400,000 digital documents, photos, manuscripts, microfilms, paintings, and artefacts, including fifteen special archival collections. For more detailed information on the Ricci Institute’s collections please see the online catalogue. The Ricci Institute Library has added thousands of volumes annually. About 60% of the volumes are in Chinese, with additional materials in Japanese, Korean, and Manchu, as well as in English, Portuguese, French, Spanish, German, and Latin.
The Harvard-Yenching Institute (HYI) is an independent foundation dedicated to advancing higher education in Asia in the humanities and social sciences, with special attention to the study of Asian culture. The Institute offers fellowship programs for overseas study and research to doctoral students and younger faculty members at leading East, Southeast, and South Asian universities in all fields of the humanities and social sciences. Closely connected with the HYI, the Harvard-Yenching Library has held a rich collection of research materials and rare books in East Asian languages since its inception in 1928. With its 1.6 million volumes in more than a dozen languages, the Harvard-Yenching Library holds the most comprehensive East Asian collection of any American university and has become the largest academic library for East Asian studies in the Western world.
Applicants will be expected to demonstrate their need to consult extensively both the Ricci Institute and the Harvard-Yenching Library collections. Successful applicants will be provided with a monthly stipend of $5000 for 6 months and basic economy class round trip airfare as well as medical insurance during the research stay. In addition, they will have Visiting Researcher privileges at both Boston College and Harvard University.
Boston College will assist with the visiting researcher visa process for citizens of countries other than the U.S. (with the exception of foreign citizens who are U.S. Legal Permanent Residents, who do not require a visa). Housing will be the responsibility of the fellowship recipient. Both Boston College and Harvard University can offer advice on their respective websites regarding available housing for rent in the greater Boston metropolitan area.
This joint visiting researcher program offers faculty members who are engaged in historical scholarship the opportunity to undertake six months of independent research during the 2023-2024 academic year at Boston College and Harvard University and take advantage of the resources of the Ricci Institute and the Harvard-Yenching Library. Proposed research projects directly related to the history of East Asia (China, Japan, Korea, or Vietnam, including comparative studies between two or more East Asian countries and cultures) will be given priority.
Successful applicants will join researchers at the Ricci Institute and Harvard-Yenching Institute and have access to all Boston College and Harvard University libraries.
The Fellowship is open to applicants who are full-time faculty members at Asia-based universities or full-time research fellows at research institutions (e.g., Academia Sinica, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences, etc.). Scholars whose work focuses on some historical aspect of the study of East Asian culture across various disciplines in the humanities and social sciences (including interdisciplinary approaches) are eligible to apply. These include, but are not limited to, anthropology, archaeology, art, comparative religion, cultural studies, economic history, geography and cartography, the history of science, music, and/or art, global history, language and literature, legal history, philosophy, theology, and social history.
Terms and Conditions
Visiting Researchers will be expected to be regularly present and to play an active role during their fellowship in the academic activities of both Institutes. Each researcher will be expected to deliver a public lecture or seminar presentation, to be jointly hosted by both the Boston College Ricci Institute and the Harvard-Yenching Institute. At the end of their stay, they will also be required to write a report about the research undertaken and how the collections of the Ricci Institute and the Harvard-Yenching Library facilitated and/or aided them to advance their research agenda.
The selection criteria include academic training, quality and originality of the research proposal, depth of subject knowledge, as well as the demonstrated need to consult extensively both the Ricci Institute and the Harvard-Yenching Library collections.
The Application Review Process
The Boston College Ricci Institute–Harvard-Yenching Institute Joint Visiting Researcher Fellowship application deadline is January 31, 2023.
The Ricci Institute and the Harvard-Yenching Institute Selection Committees will review all application files, including the candidate’s research proposal and recommendation letters. Following the final decisions of the Selection Committees, candidates will be notified of the status of their application in late February 2023.
Applicants should submit the following by January 31, 2023:
- Curriculum Vitae;
- a 5–10-page double-spaced statement with an outline of the proposed research and related activities, the contribution the scholar hopes to make in the relevant field(s), tentative plan for the publication of the research results, and how the research is related to and enriched by resources available at the BC Ricci Institute and the Harvard-Yenching Library. Please indicate the starting and end dates of your 6-month research stay during the 2023-2024 academic year (from Aug. 2023 to July 2024).
- two up-to-date letters of recommendation. All required documents must be in English.
All application documents should be submitted by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “2023-2024 Boston College Ricci Institute and Harvard-Yenching Institute Joint Visiting Researcher Fellowship Program”.
Letters of recommendation must be submitted directly from the recommenders on institutional letterhead electronically to: email@example.com with the subject line: “2023-2024 Boston College Ricci Institute and Harvard-Yenching Institute Joint Visiting Researcher Fellowship Program Recommendation Letter for xxx (the name of the fellowship applicant)”
For questions and inquiries, please write to Dr. Xiaoxin Wu, Director of Research at the BC Ricci Institute at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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