Libraries Research Awards Program

RBML Researchers

Each year the Libraries Research Awards Program provides ten (10)  grants of $2,500 each to researchers who can demonstrate a compelling need to consult Columbia University Libraries/Information Services holdings for their work. The award was established in 2011 and invites applications from scholars and researchers who would benefit from access to Columbia‚Äôs special and unique collections. Participating Columbia libraries and collections include those located on the Morningside Heights campus:


Eligibility and Requirements

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs).  Persons holding J-1 or F-1 exchange, student, or visitor visas are not eligible at this time. 

Preference will be given to applicants residing outside the greater New York metropolitan area who need to travel to New York City to conduct their research in-person.

Awardees are required to submit a brief report no later than October 31st, 2017, summarizing their research experience at Columbia Libraries.  This report will be made available online.

Application Process

We are currently  accepting applications for the 2016 award. The Deadline is: February 29, 2016.

Awards must be used between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.

Required application materials:

  • Complete the online application form.  You will be asked to upload a current curriculum vitae, and a 2-3 page project proposal. The project proposal should refer to the collection(s) at Columbia that you wish to consult and describe how use of our collections will support your research project.
  • Provide two letters of recommendation.  Recommenders must upload their letters directly using this online form.

Award Recipients

Frequently Asked Questions

What expenses does the award cover?   
There are no restrictions. However, it is expected that the award will be used to directly defer costs associated with visiting the Libraries to conduct research, such as transportation and accommodations.

Will Columbia help me find housing in New York City during my visit?   
No. Researchers are responsible for making their own travel and living arrangements.  The Columbia Housing website, however, does provide information that might be useful for planning purposes.

Is the award taxable?
Yes. Successful applicants will be required to complete a Form W-9, which will be submitted to the government by Columbia for income reporting purposes.

Will I be required to attend any seminars or present any papers during my visit?
No.  The purpose of this program is to facilitate the conduct of research. The only requirement of the award is a brief report at the conclusion of the grant year summarizing your research experience at Columbia. This report will be made publically available online.

Will Columbia lend me a laptop to use during my visit?
No.  Researchers should bring or purchase whatever tools they will need while conducting research on their projects.

Will Columbia provide me with free copying services during my visit?
No, but the award can be used to defray all expenses associated with your visit.  

Will I get free borrowing from the Columbia University Libraries?
No. Here is some information on who is eligible for reading and borrowing privileges.

Who can I contact if I have a question about the award program?
Please send questions to

Who can I contact if I have a technical problem with the application or recommender forms?
Please contact