Mertz Library Humanities

Research and Internship Opportunities

The Humanities Institute of The New York Botanical Garden offers various research opportunities and internships for students and visiting scholars focused on the field of Food Humanities. These include:

  • Two full-time, residential Research Fellowships for Ph.D. students and recent post-docs
  • A paid Mellon Summer Internship in Oral Histories for graduate students
  • Several paid summer internships under the Urban Foodways Internship Program for local college students from the Bronx
  • And a Visiting Scholarship Program in Food Humanities for established researchers

Students and scholars are invited to conduct their own research involving interdisciplinary approaches to Food Studies, with special focus on the multi-cultural communities in the Bronx. For their research, candidates have access to the important collections at NYBG, including the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, the Archives, the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, the Edible Academy and the Garden’s Living Collections.

  1. The Humanities Institute at the New York Botanical Garden is pleased to offer a full-time residential Mellon Research Fellowship in the field of Food Humanities during the academic year 2023–24 for Pre- and Post-Doctoral students. Candidates are invited to submit a proposal for independent research in topics related to the Food Humanities with special focus on the multi-cultural communities in and around the Bronx, New York, including but not limited to, histories of food and urban agriculture, food justice and food security in the Bronx, Indigenous food traditions, and history of community gardens and urban farms.

    Recipients will have access to the collections of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, and living collections of the New York Botanical Garden’s 250-acre landscape, situated in the Bronx, in addition to important libraries and research centers in New York City.

    The Humanities Institute is committed to an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible academic environment and further recognizes that diversity in our fellowship student body fosters excellence in programmatic and research initiatives.

    The Fellowship participants supports, through actions and conduct, the Humanities Institute Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) initiatives and helps to build and maintain an inclusive organization culture throughout the program.

    Eligibility: Current Ph.D. candidates and recent post-doctoral researchers (no more than 5 years since graduation date at time of application), who are U.S. citizens or international scholars currently authorized to work in the U.S. Students from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

    Tenure of Fellowship: Nine months (September 11, 2023 to June 11, 2024). Deferral of this Research Fellowship is not permitted. Fellowships at NYBG’s Humanities Institute are awards that place great emphasis on the exchange of ideas among fellows and the spirit of community within the larger institution. Fellows are expected to devote themselves fully to their research, and not take any other research or teaching responsibilities during their tenure. They are requested to give a presentation about their work, and fully participate in the Humanities Institute’s seminar programs and activities.

    Fellowship award:

    $50,000 (fifty thousand US dollars)

    How to apply:

    The application, to be written in English, must be submitted electronically by November 15, 2022, uploaded to the portal: Humanities Institute Secured FileShare

    Applications should include:

    • The Fellowship Application Form (see below)
    • Project proposal, consisting of a 2-3 page (max. 1000 words) statement that provides an overview of the project you plan to research with a tentative schedule of work to be accomplished, an explanation of its significance in the field, and manner in which it will contribute to new scholarship in the Food Humanities.
    • Personal Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion while at NYBG.
    • Complete curriculum vitae of education, professional experience, awards, and publications.
    • Copy of Graduate transcripts (unofficial electronic copies will be accepted), uploaded to the portal.
    • Three Letters of recommendation (PDF), submitted directly from the recommender to the portal.

    The Deadline for all application material, including transcripts and letters of recommendation, is November 15, 2022, 6 pm (EST). Late applications will not be accepted. Awards will be announced in January 2023.

    Housing: Fellows are responsible for their own housing arrangements; suggestions are provided.

    Health Insurance: A comprehensive Health Benefit package (coverage begins 6 weeks after arrival) is offered in addition to the fellowship stipend.

    Any questions related to the Mellon Fellowship should be directed to


    • Drop files here or
      Max. file size: 50 MB, Max. files: 8.
        To include: Project Proposal; Personal Statement of Contributions to DEI; CV; Graduate Transcripts; and Three Letters of Recommendation