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2024/2025 Marlène and Paolo Fresco Fellowship for African Studies.

Marlène and Paolo Fresco Fellowship for African Studie

The Marlène and Paolo Fresco Fellowship aims to foster and encourage scholarly exploration into cultural exchanges between the African continent and the Mediterranean region from approximately 1250 to 1750. This six-month residential fellowship, scheduled for the spring term of 2025 (January-June), serves as a platform for post-doctoral scholars specializing in various fields related to African history.

The fellowship is open to scholars engaged in research areas such as art history, archaeology, the history of expressive cultures, musicology, economic history, intellectual, political, and religious history, as well as literature and languages. Preference will be given to advanced research projects that delve into the intricate relationship between the African continent and Italy during the early modern period, spanning from the 14th to the 17th centuries.

Through this fellowship, scholars have the opportunity to conduct in-depth research and analysis, exploring the dynamic cultural exchanges and interactions between Africa and Italy during this significant historical period. The fellowship provides a conducive environment for interdisciplinary collaboration and scholarly exchange, fostering greater understanding and appreciation of the complexities of cultural connectivity and cross-cultural influences between these regions.

Ultimately, the Marlène and Paolo Fresco Fellowship serves as a catalyst for advancing knowledge and scholarship in the field of African history, enriching our understanding of historical connections and exchanges between Africa and the Mediterranean world during the early modern era.

Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD, chief scientific officer, Alessandro Di Rocco, MD, executive director of the Fresco Institute Paolo Fresco, and Richard Tsien, D. Phil, scientific director of the Fresco Institute, celebrate the grant that will advance the understanding of, treatment for, and education underlying Parkinson's disease and movement disorders. (PRNewsFoto/NYU Langone Medical Center)

Eligibility Criteria For The Marlène and Paolo Fresco Fellowship

  • At the time of application, scholars must have a PhD in hand and will be asked to upload a scan of the certificate.
  • They must not be working on a second PhD.
  • Applicants must be fluent in either English, Italian, or French.
  • Successful applicants will have a solid background in African history and its global exchanges in the early modern world.
  • Candidates offered the fellowship will spend a six-month term in Florence at I Tatti with access to local and regional resources (libraries, photographic collections, archives, museums, collections).
  • The fellow will be expected to carry out original research on the topic for which they have been awarded their fellowship.


  • The grant is USD 5,200 per month, made possible by a generous grant from Paolo Fresco, plus a one-time supplement (maximum USD 1,500) towards relocation expenses.
  •  In light of the residential nature of the fellowship, Fellows must live in the Florence area and spend at least three days a week at the Center. 
  • When possible, an apartment will be set aside for the fellow’s use, rent free, but with charges for utilities. If an apartment is not available, a housing subsidy will be offered to help offset rental costs.

Fellows will spend six months at I Tatti (January – June 2025). Fellows enjoy all the privileges of the Harvard Center, including use of the Biblioteca Berenson seven days a week and lunch with other Appointees from Monday through Friday. Fellows are offered a reserved space to work in the Biblioteca Berenson. Fellows may not take on any other obligations such as teaching positions, even part-time ones, during any part of their fellowship period. The fellowship may not be held concurrently with another fellowship or award.

The fellow is responsible for obtaining a visa, permesso di soggiorno, and health coverage (and, if appropriate, for accompanying family members). The fellow must determine if a visa is required and, if necessary, obtain one before travel.


Applications must be written in English or Italian and must be submitted electronically by midnight (Cambridge, MA time) on February 29, 2024. Scholars can apply to only one type of fellowship at I Tatti per academic year.


Applicants must have two scholars who know their work well submit recommendations online by March 4, 2024. These recommendations must be written in English, French, or Italian. In order to give your referees adequate time to submit letters of recommendation, click the reference tab and register them as early as possible. 

Application Deadline: February 29, 2024.

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