Brown Teacher Research Fellowship Information

2024 Anne and Ryland Brown Teacher Research Fellowship

Deadline Extended! Fellowship Applications Due by May 20, 2024

Open to Virginia 4th–12th Grade History and Social Science Educators

The Library of Virginia is pleased to announce the Anne and Ryland Brown Teacher Research Fellowship. The goal of the program is to enhance knowledge and training in history and social science instruction in the commonwealth of Virginia by providing educators with an opportunity for in-depth study and the development of teaching materials in collaboration with members of the Library of Virginia’s professional staff. Over the course of the summer, Brown Fellows work with Library of Virginia staff members to pursue research on an approved topic and produce educational materials based on the results of their findings. Brown Fellows are also required to make presentations regarding their research and finished projects at educational conferences.

This year the Brown Fellowship will focus on research and projects that explore Virginia’s Indigenous history in support of the Library’s current exhibition, Indigenous Perspectives (Through Aug. 17, 2024). Indigenous Perspectives highlights the commonwealth’s Indigenous history and how the tribes remain a vital part of Virginia today. The exhibition explores the voices and experiences of Virginia’s tribal communities. It features excerpts from video interviews with citizens of Virginia’s 11 federally and state-recognized tribes, archival records from the Library’s collection that were collaboratively selected by the tribes and Library staff members, and objects contributed by the tribes that reflect their traditions and culture.

Indigenous Perspectives examines aspects of the Library of Virginia’s collections through the lenses of the 11 federally and state-recognized Virginia tribes. Through conversations, citizens of these nations offer reflections that might upend but also enlarge our understanding of the meaning of documents in the Library’s collections.

Since 1823, the Library has been the commonwealth’s official record keeper, inheriting the earliest extant documents from the state’s origins in the Virginia Colony and acquiring and preserving records until today. These maps, treaties, land records and other governing documents both documented and purported to justify the process of colonization, land dispossession and sometimes eradication of Indigenous peoples. Nevertheless, the Library’s collections also contain records created by Indigenous peoples that represent their worldview and that challenge the accepted narrative. Tribal reflections focus on how the tribes reinterpret these materials and on issues of importance to them that shape this exhibition — sovereignty, identity, land and environment, culture and the future.

In the summer of 2024, the Library of Virginia will host a teacher institute in four of the eight superintendent’s regions, and will select four Brown Fellows (one from each region) to present their research during a session at their region’s teacher institute. For the 15th Annual Brown Teacher Institute (summer 2024), the Library seeks fellows from regions one, four, six and eight.

Brown Fellows will be asked to create a set of documents to be added to the online primary resource collection Document Bank of Virginia (DBVa), the Library of Virginia’s initiative to get primary sources into classrooms. Using original materials, teachers and librarians can make history relevant to students while helping them learn and understand state standards. DBVa will teach students to be critical thinkers as they analyze original documents and draw their own conclusions about Virginia’s past.

Brown Fellows will give presentations at their regional teacher institutes sharing what they have learned with fellow educators and will be available to connect with the other institute attendees during the year.

The Brown Teacher Research Fellowship includes:

  • A stipend of $3,000 for each recipient

Eligible candidates for the Brown Teacher Research Fellowship must:

  • Be residents of Virginia
  • Have a minimum of three years of teaching experience in history and/or social science
  • Exhibit the use of creative and engaging teaching techniques in the classroom
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the use of primary sources as a part of classroom instruction
  • Be available to complete 80 hours of research between June and September 2024, with at least part of the hours in attendance at the Library of Virginia

Applications must include:

  • A résumé
  • A statement of interest in 500 words or fewer outlining:
    • reasons for applying for the Fellowship
    • teaching philosophy
    • what you hope to gain from the experience
  • A letter of support from an immediate supervisor
  • A sample lesson plan and/or narrative description demonstrating creative uses of primary sources, along with examples of student work based on the lesson, if available

DEADLINE: Complete applications should be emailed to the following address by Monday, May 20, 2024:

For additional information, please contact Catherine Fitzgerald Wyatt, Education and Outreach manager, at or 804.692.3999.

The Library of Virginia honors the history of the Indigenous peoples who inhabited what is today the commonwealth of Virginia for thousands of years before European colonization. The Library seeks to nurture our partnerships with the 11 recognized tribes in Virginia as it continues to build and describe its collections and to offer programs to make accessible to all Virginians a complete history of the commonwealth and its residents.