Brown Teacher Research Fellowship FAQs



Who are Anne and Ryland Brown?

Anne and Ryland Brown of Forest, Virginia, are the parents of Orran Brown, who, along with his wife, Ellen, endowed this Fellowship in honor of his parents. The fund is a legacy to the Browns’ lifelong belief in the power of education to improve an individual’s well-being and that of his or her family.


What is the purpose of the Fellowship?

The goal of the Brown Teacher Enrichment Fund is to enhance knowledge and training in history and social science instruction in Virginia by providing educators with an opportunity for in-depth study and the development of teaching materials in collaboration with both teaching colleagues and members of the Library of Virginia’s professional staff.


Is this opportunity open only to high school teachers?

No. Teachers of grades 4 through 12 are eligible for the award. Elementary and middle school teachers are strongly encouraged to apply.


What characteristics are most desirable in an applicant for the Fellowship?       

We are looking for educators (1) with a demonstrated passion for teaching history, (2) who incorporate primary source documents into their lessons, and (3) demonstrate creativity in their approach to classroom instruction.


How are the Fellows selected?

The Library has an internal selection committee that screens and reviews the applications each year. Once the committee decides on its finalists, they are invited for an interview before the final selection is made.


When will I be notified of the Library’s selection for the Fellowship?

Selections are typically made within three weeks of the application deadline.


When must the research take place?

We are flexible when it comes to scheduling research dates. Once the Fellows are selected, we work with them to schedule the time(s) they are able to come in and conduct research. We require a minimum of 40 hours of research on-site at the Library anytime between June and September. The Fellows may choose to come in for an entire week at a time, or a few days a week over several weeks. We require an additional 40 hours of research and writing that may be completed either on-site or off-site.


Will the Educational Services staff dictate the theme or topic of the research?

It depends. Some years we have specific projects on the horizon that we ask Fellows to support. Sometimes we ask applicants to propose a project based on their own areas of interest, but they should take into consideration the Virginia Standards of Learning and the nature of the primary sources available at the Library of Virginia, which will be the basis of any lesson plans or activities created by the Fellows.


What takes place during the research period?

The Educational Services team works with the Fellows to discuss their projects, suggest primary and secondary sources to consult during their research, and answer any questions they may have. Fellows have access to Library research databases, archival materials, and other reference resources during the course of their stays and also meet members of the Reference Services staff, who will aid in their research.


Will selected Fellows be provided with a workspace?    

Yes. Each Fellow has his or her own workspace with access to a computer, the Internet, a printer, and a copier.


If selected, what can I do for housing?

The Fellowship does not include lodging, but recipients may use their $2,000 award stipend to cover those costs.


What does the Library of Virginia get out of it?

Fellows are asked to develop a series of lesson plans, activities, or resource packets based on primary source documents from the Library of Virginia’s collections. We ask that the lessons be submitted no later than two months after the conclusion of the Fellow’s summer research visit.


How is the $2,000 award stipend disbursed?

Fellows receive payments at the following intervals: 1/4 at the conclusion of their first week, 1/2 after the completion of their research, and 1/4 after the submission and acceptance of their finished work. Funds for travel for conference presentations not covered by the Fellow’s school will be reimbursed, up to $500, with the submission of receipts.


For more information, please contact

Catherine Fitzgerald Wyatt, Education and Outreach manager,

at 804.692.3999, or