Research Associates Program

Each year, the Center hosts a cohort of local and international scholars and activists for three to eight months, providing office space, access to Five College resources, and cultivating a community in which feminist work can flourish.

The application deadline for the 2023-24 Research Associates program has now passed. For those considering applying in the future, we encourage you to review the sections below, as well as our latest call for applications and information session slides.

The Center supports feminist scholars who are submitting applications for funding to support short- and longer-term residencies, the deadlines for which may not always align well with our priority deadline. Out-of-cycle applications and requests for letters of institutional support are reviewed on an ongoing basis during the academic year. Unfortunately, we cannot review materials from May to September. The same materials as listed below will be required. We advise contacting the Center for further information.

2023-24 Call for Applications

Founded in 1991, the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center (FCWSRC) is a vibrant site of local, national, and international engaged, intersectional feminist scholarship, cultural production, and activism from diverse perspectives. The Center has a rich history of supporting transnational work and recognizing the diverse pathways and plurality of forms that feminist creative and academic scholarship can take. Located on the campus of Hampshire College, the Center is supported by the Five College Consortium, which includes Hampshire College as well as Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Since 1966, the five institutions have been recognized for their cooperation and innovation in higher education. The Consortium boasts one of the largest concentrations of feminist scholars anywhere in the world. The Center has hosted over 450 semester and year-long visiting scholars as part of its Research Associates Program and welcomed many other guest speakers to the Five Colleges.

The Center's hub at Hampshire College includes: dedicated, quiet office space, a large seminar room, a community office, and expansive outdoor space. Over the course of a semester or full academic year, visiting scholars (appointed as Research Associates) undertake their projects within an interdisciplinary feminist community, participating in regular weekly programming and special events across the Five College Consortium. Associates also share knowledge about their areas of specialization through workshops or symposia. An Associateship offers access to: writing accountability groups; professional development workshops; networking opportunities with leading scholars and feminist makers; and surrounding area libraries, archives, and resources.
Research Associates are expected to establish the Center as their work-home for the duration of their appointment. Travel, housing and living expenses are the responsibility of Associates. While we are unable to provide funding, the Center is committed to supporting feminist scholars who are seeking funding to support a stay at the Center. We recognize that travel or relocation for an extended period of time may not be possible for many different reasons. The Center hosts scholars and creatives who are visiting the area to work with local resources, give guest talks, or undertake collaborative work with others in the area and welcomes inquiries about possibilities for shorter term visits.

The Center is committed to supporting engaged, intersectional feminist scholarship and values diversity in terms of background, experience, geography, discipline, perspective, and practice. To that end, activists, practitioners, artists, and independent and affiliated scholars (including graduate students in the later stages of their degree) are encouraged to apply. Applicants’ work should be situated within and informed by the expansive fields of women’s and gender studies, feminist studies, or queer and trans studies. We welcome projects engaging with specialist and emerging areas of inquiry, as well as community-based or creative forms of knowledge production and circulation. Associateships are best suited to scholars who will benefit from pursuing their projects at the work-home of the Center. Local (to the Five College area), non-local U.S.-based, and international applicants are invited to apply.

January 23, 2023, 1-2pm EST: Information session via Zoom with Director, Program Coordinator, and current Research Associates.
February 7, 2023, 7:30-8:30am EST: Information session via Zoom with Director and Program Coordinator.
February 24, 2023, 11:59pm EST: Deadline for 1) scholars applying to be Associates for the 2023-24 academic year and 2) scholars seeking funding for an Associateship during the 2024-25 academic year for which a conditional acceptance or host invitation letter is required.
On-going: The Center supports feminist scholars who are submitting applications for funding to support short- and longer-term residencies, the deadlines for which may not always align well with our priority deadline. Out-of-cycle applications and requests for letters of institutional support are reviewed on an ongoing basis during the academic year. Unfortunately, we cannot review materials from May to September. The same materials as listed below will be required. We advise contacting the Center for further information.

"I have found the ideal community for finishing my dissertation and for engaging in feminist praxis. In our weekly meetings at beautiful Hampshire College –where you’ll connect with nature and hear the birds sing as soon as you get out of your car or the bus– I have received the most thoughtful comments on my writing while feeling nourished and supported not only through my peers' voices and hugs when needed, but also with hot coffee and seasonal snacks. Discussing the complexities of our present while indulging in the best cider doughnuts in the country has made this space a home. In our monthly lunches, I have had the opportunity to meet with feminist scholars, artists and activists from the area; it is really a productive and generous transgenerational space in which I have asked more senior and experienced scholars awkward questions about academia and life in general that I would not ask elsewhere."
– Ever E. Osorio Ruiz, Doctoral Candidate, Yale University
"The Center has been a perfect environment for me to read and reflect and revisit my relationship to the written word, a place to develop new ideas and revisit existing ones through the exchange with other associates and members of the community. Particularly the engagement with others who have a completely different area of expertise and focus has helped me sharpen my own thoughts. The engagement with others at different moments in their career has helped me reflect where I stand and where I want to be. Other standouts from my time: having meaningful side conversations over a cup of coffee or lunch in the communal space; knowing that someone is there when you get to campus; stepping outside my office, picking an apple from the tree and sitting down to enjoy the beautiful view from Hampshire campus into the hills; going for a walk in the Hampshire woods with a colleague after lunch, enjoying the fresh air and the conversation; enjoying thoughts, recommendations for books and recipes for yummy food with the other Associates; being able to enjoy everything the Five College libraries have to offer, including enjoying the support of the extremely helpful and friendly staff in the Hampshire library; enjoying the community, picking healthy veggies and garden flowers at the Hampshire Farm through a membership in their CSA has been a highlight of my week; and getting to know and enjoying the differences in focus, 'style and culture,' student body and campus environment between the five colleges."
-- Silke Steinhilber, Independent Consultant, based in Germany
"I particularly enjoy our Wednesday cohort meetings when we review each other’s works in progress and provide constructive feedback, or just allow the meeting to breath and take on a life of its own, ideas bursting from all angles. Through these interactions, I have found myself examining and re- examining my own approach to engaging feminist thinking in my life both inside and outside of the classroom and as I continue to explore ways to incorporate feminist theory in my scientific and creative work. Besides the much-appreciated mental stimulation from my colleagues and administrators at the center, the physical space provided by the center for the duration of the program to “in-person” fellows, is another wonderful perk of this fellowship that I am always raving about to whoever would listen! Lack of access to physical space or a conducive work space can easily become a barrier to creative writing, so as someone hoping to write some poetry this year, I do not take for granted my large office with tall book shelves and extra storage space that suits my current busy schedule juggling TA work with the fellowship and my dissertation work. It’s been a great experience so far and I feel honored to have been considered for the fellowship during what I hope would be my last year of grad school."
-- Ruthfirst Ayande, Doctoral Candidate, UMass Amherst

Applicants must complete an online application, which involves making an account with Interfolio. Be prepared to provide the following information via the online form:

  • Name and contact information
  • Current position/title and institution/organization (or indicate unaffiliated/independent status), as well as office contact information, if applicable
  • Desired time of residency (Fall 2023 semester, spring 2024 semester, or full academic year)
  • Title of the project
  • Project abstract (under 150 words)
  • Key terms
  • A brief bio (under 150 words)
  • An explanation of sources of funding (grants, fellowships, self, etc) and whether funding is confirmed or applications are in-progress
  • If you are an alum of the Center, please provide us with the year/semester of your Associateship, as well as your institutional affiliation at the time (if applicable)
  • For scholars whose research involves collection of data from human subjects (via oral histories, interviews, questions, surveys, etc), please indicate whether the project has been approved by an appropriate ethics committee
  • Contact information for two professional references (references may be contacted following an initial review of applications, so there is no need for the applicant to refer references to Interfolio)
  • For international applicants who would require J-1 visa sponsorship:
    • Country of citizenship
    • how the English proficiency requirement for a U.S. visa will be met (documentation from an English language
      institution or degree program, TOEFL score, or anticipated interview with Center Director)
  • Any additional information the Selection Committee should know.

Applicants will also be asked to upload two PDF documents: 1) a curriculum vitae and 2) a project proposal of up to three pages in length, single spaced. The project proposal should describe:

  • the project in detail, including methodologies employed and a breakdown of the work that the applicant plans to undertake at the Center;
  • the project’s contribution to and significance in the fields of Women's and Gender Studies, Feminist Studies, and/or Queer and Trans Studies;
  • how undertaking the project while in residence at the Center would benefit your project and broader scholarship. Applicants might consider engagement with museum/archival resources, interactions with specific local networks of Five College scholars and collaborators, having dedicated space, time, and community, etc.
  • how you envision contributing to the feminist communities of the Center and across the broader Five College campuses. The Center is interested in cultivating a thriving network of feminist thinkers across generation, rank, institutional affiliation, field, and background, in both formal and informal capacities. Applicants may consider writing about potential intellectual contributions (ideas for workshops, reading groups, presentations, etc), informal contributions, or speak more broadly to their vision of feminist community.