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The back of a photograph with various markings, such as stamps and numbers
Fig. 1

  A verso of a photograph from the Black Star Collection, The Image Centre

About

The Image Centre Research Fellowships

For many years, The Image Centre has offered fellowships for research related to photography. Research fellows have the opportunity to study select areas of The Image Centre's photography collections first-hand. These include the acclaimed Black Star Collection of photo-reportage, with over a quarter-million prints spanning the 20th century; a historic and fine art photography collection; and several archives devoted to the life and work of a diverse group of photographers, including Werner Wolff, Jo Spence, Wendy Snyder MacNeil and Berenice Abbott.
 

In 2024, The Image Centre (the IMC) will offer six fellowships for research related to photography. All applicants are encouraged to read the following guidelines closely and only apply to the fellowships that are most appropriate to their work and eligibility. Artists, and others seeking to do artistic research in the collections, are encouraged to apply for the Tanenbaum Fellowship exclusively. 

The Nadir Mohamed Postdoctoral Fellowship
This fellowship includes a $10,000 (CAD) stipend for travel, research, and other expenses. Candidates must hold a PhD degree. All proposals will be welcome, but we encourage projects that utilize the collections and resources of The Image Centre and Toronto Metropolitan University Archives and Special Collections. The fellow will be expected to carry out their research at the IMC or TMU Archives and Special Collections for a minimum of one (1) to a maximum of three (3) months, between February 1, 2024 and February 28, 2025. 

The Singer Family Doctoral Fellowship
This fellowship includes a $10,000 (CAD) stipend for travel, research, and other expenses. Candidates must hold or be working toward a PhD degree. While all proposals will be welcome, we encourage projects related to the Minna Keene and Violet Keene Perinchief Collection at this time. Special consideration may be given to fulfill specific research goals. The fellow will be expected to carry out their research at the IMC or TMU Archives and Special Collections for a minimum of one (1) to a maximum of three (3) months, between February 1, 2024 and February 28, 2025. 

The Penny Rubinoff Fellowship
This fellowship includes a $5,000 (CAD) stipend for travel, research, and other expenses. Candidates must hold a master’s degree. Candidates’ research should utilize the collections and resources of The Image Centre and Toronto Metropolitan University Archives and Special Collections. The fellow will be expected to carry out their research at the IMC or TMU Archives and Special Collections for a minimum of two (2) to a maximum of six (6) weeks, between February 1, 2024 and February 28, 2025. 

The Elaine Ling Fellowship
This fellowship includes a $4,000 (CAD) stipend for travel, research, and other expenses. Candidates must hold or be working toward a master’s degree. Candidates’ research should utilize the collections and resources of The Image Centre and Toronto Metropolitan University Archives and Special Collections. The fellow will be expected to carry out their research at the IMC or TMU Archives and Special Collections for a minimum of one (1) to a maximum of four (4) weeks, between February 1, 2024 and February 28, 2025. 

The Wendy Snyder MacNeil Research Fellowship
This fellowship includes a $2,500 (CAD) stipend for travel, research, and other expenses. It is intended to support new perspectives on Wendy Snyder MacNeil’s work and archive, either as a principal subject of investigation or as a point of departure for related research. Candidates must hold or be working toward a master’s degree. Candidates’ research should utilize the collections and resources of The Image Centre and Toronto Metropolitan University Archives and Special Collections. The fellow will be expected to carry out their research at the IMC or TMU Archives and Special Collections for a minimum of one (1) to a maximum of four (4) weeks, between February 1, 2024 and February 28, 2025. 

The Howard Tanenbaum Fellowship
This fellowship includes a $2,500 (CAD) stipend for travel, research, and other expenses. Candidates must hold or be working toward a master’s degree or be independent artists or scholars with equivalent experience and demonstrated interests. Candidates’ research should utilize the collections and resources of The Image Centre and Toronto Metropolitan University Archives and Special Collections. The fellow will be expected to carry out their research at the IMC or TMU Archives and Special Collections for a minimum of one (1) to a maximum of four (4) weeks, between February 1, 2024 and February 28, 2025. 

Current and Past Fellows

Explore bios and research abstracts from past and current fellows

Submissions

Applications for 2024 fellowships must be sent to Dr. Thierry Gervais via email to imagecentre.research@torontomu.ca no later than September 30, 2023, by 5:00 p.m. EST. The application must include the following:

1. A project proposal (approximately 1,000 words) that outlines the subject, the originality of the research, its foundation in the collections at the IMC or TMU Archives and Special Collections, and the applicant’s scholarly abilities to address the subject. The first line of the proposal must indicate which fellowship(s) the applicant is seeking.

2. Curriculum Vitae.

3. One sample of written work (maximum 20 pages). For artists applying to the Howard Tanenbaum Fellowship, an example of previous film or video work (maximum 10 minutes long) may be submitted instead of a writing sample.

These first three components must be gathered into one PDF document with the filename saved as: FirstnameLastname2024-Application.pdf. If film or video is being submitted instead of a writing sample, a link to view the file must be included in the candidate’s application email, and the proposal and CV should be gathered into one PDF document. The applicant should indicate in the subject line: Application for IMC 2024 Fellowship

4. One letter of recommendation from someone in a position to characterize the applicant’s scholarly or artistic abilities to successfully carry out the proposed project. The letter should be emailed directly from the referee to imagecentre.research@torontomu.ca and must be received before the application deadline. The referee should indicate in the subject line: Reference for IMC 2024 Fellowship Applicant for [Applicant’s Full Name]. The letter should be submitted as a PDF with the filename: ApplicantFirstnameApplicantLastname2024-Reference.pdf.

Eligibility

All Fellowships are available to both Canadian and international applicants:

  • Applicants for The Nadir Mohamed Postdoctoral Fellowship must hold a PhD.
  • Applicants for The Singer Family Doctoral Fellowship must hold or be actively working toward a PhD.
  • Applicants for The Penny Rubinoff Fellowship must hold a master’s degree.
  • Applicants for The Howard Tanenbaum Fellowship must hold or be actively working toward a master’s degree or be independent artists or scholars with equivalent experience and demonstrated interests. 
  • Applicants for The Wendy Snyder MacNeil Research Fellowship must hold or be actively working toward a master’s degree.
  • Applicants for The Elaine Ling Fellowship must hold or be actively working toward a master’s degree.

Research fellowships must take place in Toronto, Canada at The Image Centre or TMU Archives and Special Collections between February 1, 2024 and February 28, 2025. Dates of residency will be established in dialogue with the IMC’s staff. Research fellows must agree to abide by COVID-19 health and safety precautions and regulations as directed by Toronto Metropolitan University, The Image Centre, and the Ministry of Health for the province of Ontario.

Fellows are expected to pay the cost of travel and accommodation in Toronto. The stipend awarded with the fellowship is intended to offset these costs. Fellows without Canadian citizenship are responsible for obtaining travel visas as required by law according to their nationality.

Fellows will be offered access to the IMC’s Peter Higdon Research Centre and collection materials, and (if available) the TMU Archives and Special Collections.

Selection Process

A committee will evaluate the applications based on their quality, their originality, and their foundation in the collections and resources of The Image Centre or the Toronto Metropolitan University Archives and Special Collections. The selection committee includes: Paul Roth (Director, IMC); Dr. Thierry Gervais (Head of Research, IMC; Associate Professor, TMU); Dr. Denise Birkhofer (Collections Curator and Research Centre Manager, IMC); Charlene Heath (Archivist and Research Coordinator, IMC; PhD Candidate); one faculty member from the graduate program in Film and Photography Preservation and Collections Management at the School of Image Arts, TMU; and one curator/scholar from an external institution.

Report

The recipient will submit a two-page fellowship report summarizing their research, no later than one month after the completion of their fellowship at the IMC.

The report must include:

1. Initial objectives of the research.
2. A description of the body of photographs analyzed for the research. 
3. A description of resources accessed for the research.
4. The main findings of the research.

The report must be written suitably for both internal reporting and external media release purposes.

Disbursement of Stipends

The Nadir Mohamed Postdoctoral Fellowship: $10,000 CAD
First instalment ($3,000 CAD) to be paid upon signing a Letter of Agreement detailing terms and conditions. Second instalment ($4,000 CAD) to be paid upon commencement of research at the IMC. Final instalment ($3,000 CAD) to be paid after submission of the two-page fellowship report (see above for details). 

The Singer Family Doctoral Fellowship: $10,000 CAD
First instalment ($3,000 CAD) to be paid upon signing a Letter of Agreement detailing terms and conditions. Second instalment ($4,000 CAD) to be paid upon commencement of research at the IMC. Final instalment ($3,000 CAD) to be paid after submission of the two-page fellowship report (see above for details).

The Penny Rubinoff Fellowship: $5,000 CAD
First instalment ($2,500 CAD) to be paid upon signing a Letter of Agreement detailing terms and conditions. Second instalment ($2,500 CAD) to be paid after submission of the two-page fellowship report (see above for details).

The Elaine Ling Fellowship: $4,000 CAD
First instalment ($2,000 CAD) to be paid upon signing a Letter of Agreement detailing terms and conditions. Second instalment ($2,000 CAD) to be paid after submission of the two-page fellowship report (see above for details).

The Howard Tanenbaum Fellowship: $2,500 CAD
First instalment ($1,000 CAD) to be paid upon signing a Letter of Agreement detailing terms and conditions. Second instalment ($1,500 CAD) to be paid after submission of the two-page fellowship report (see above for details).

The Wendy Snyder MacNeil Research Fellowship: $2,500 CAD
First instalment ($1,000 CAD) to be paid upon signing a Letter of Agreement detailing terms and conditions. Second instalment ($1,500 CAD) to be paid after submission of the two-page fellowship report (see above for details). 

Successful applicants are responsible for complying with tax regulations under Canadian federal law, Canadian provincial law, and the laws within the applicant’s country of legal residence.

Contact

For further information, please contact:

For more information about the IMC and its collections and resources, please visit our website
To sign up for the IMC’s mailing list, please fill out this online form.
For more information on Toronto Metropolitan University Archives and Special Collections, please visit their website.