New Fellowships, 2021

From 2007-2017, Chawton House offered a competitive Visiting Fellowship programme in partnership with the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Southampton, building up a community of scholars across the globe and supporting world-class research. However, changes to the funding structure of Chawton House led to the suspension of the programme to allow for a strategic reshaping of the organisation, ensuring it could become self-sustaining. In 2021, we are delighted to be able to pilot a new summer Fellowship programme aimed specifically at early career researchers.

Visiting fellows working hard in the Upper Reading Room

Fellows at work in the upper reading room.

For the month of August, 2021, we will offer three residential fellowships for UK-based postgraduate or early career researchers (within 5 years of PhD) working on women’s writing of the long eighteenth century. These fellowships have been made possible by a generous donation from the Ardeola Charitable Trust.

In memory of Deirdre Le Faye, one Fellowship will be offered to a researcher working on Jane Austen. We are also interested to hear from those working on female botanists or on women’s letters, who would be able to contribute to our planned academic programme during or after their residence (our Botanical Women exhibition opens in mid-July; and our future exhibition, ‘Quills and Characters’ will explore women’s networks of correspondence). However, research in all areas of women’s writing will be considered. We particularly welcome applications from women, from those on fixed-term contracts, and from BAME scholars.

2021 Fellows will be offered onsite accommodation in a self-catering apartment annexed to Chawton House itself (shared kitchen and bathroom), and will be given space to work each day in the upper reading room, with lunch provided on weekdays.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we have to be flexible in responding to changing restrictions, including travel restrictions. We are therefore only offering fellowships to UK-based researchers this year, and reserve the right to cancel or postpone fellowships offered should the public health situation change. We hope to continue the programme in the Summer of 2022, opening up to international applicants.

How to Apply

For more information about the Fellowships, please click here for a full description.

The deadline for applications is 21 May, 2021. Please email the following documents to

  • A cover letter, including a proposal for a contribution to the outputs at Chawton House (1 page only; please see our website & YouTube channel)
  • A proposal for the work you intend to carry out as a Visiting Fellow, to include items in our collection that you would want to consult (no more than 2 pages, 1.5 spaced. See our catalogue)
  • Your CV (no more than 2 pages)
  • One confidential letter of recommendation to be emailed separately by the referee before the deadline.

Please note that incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Please direct general questions to Dr Kim Simpson:, and collections-specific questions to Curator and Collections Manager, Emma Yandle:

Development Plans

Over the coming year there will be more news of the developments at Chawton House. If you would like to stay up to date please subscribe to our mailing list or find out about donating here: