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The Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship

The Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship was established by friends of the late Howard Mayer Brown on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday. Intended to increase the presence of minority scholars and teachers in musicology, the fellowship supports one year of graduate work for a student at a U.S. or Canadian university who is a member of a historically underrepresented group, including, in the U.S., African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans, and, in Canada, aboriginal peoples and visible minorities (as defined by Canadian legislation). Preference will normally be given to candidates who are citizens or permanent residents of a North American country. The award will not be made to those who already have full funding roughly equivalent to the amount of the Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship, regardless of whether it includes a teaching assignment, except on a non-stipendiary basis.


Students are eligible who have completed at least one year of full-time graduate work, intend to pursue a Ph.D., and are in good standing at their home institution. They should show evidence of academic excellence and promise of continuing achievement in music scholarship. Those in the earlier stages of the degree are particularly encouraged to apply. There are no restrictions as to research area, age, or sex.

Competition and Application Procedures

The online application form will be available on this page around mid-November.

Applications may be made directly by the student, or the student may be nominated by a faculty member of the institution at which the student is enrolled or by a member of the Society at another institution. Supporting documents must include:

  1. A personal statement from the student (not to exceed 1,250 words) summarizing his or her musical and academic background and stating why she or he wishes to pursue an advanced degree in musicology. Areas of research or specific topics that the applicant would pursue in the academic year if supported by a Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship should be identified and discussed.
  2. A summary statement, not to exceed 250 words, outlining areas of research or specific topics presented in the personal statement (item 1).
  3. A curriculum vitae.
  4. Samples of the applicant’s work (not to exceed thirty pages total), such as term papers, thesis chapters, or any published material. Writing samples should be clearly labeled as to their date and the purpose or context for which they were originally written.
  5. Letters of support from three faculty members, one of which may be the letter of nomination. Letters should address the applicant's general intellectual and musical ability and how these might contribute to a successful career in scholarship and teaching. One letter of support must include information about the student's expected funding (to the extent it can be predicted) for . Applicants who have full funding for will be considered for the Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship on a non-stipendiary basis. Letters of support should be uploaded using the form available here.
Application Deadline: 5:00 p.m. EST, 15 December 2020.

Important notes:

  1. Start your application process early. You may save an incomplete form and continue later.  Note: if you are a non-member or not signed in, your changes are saved via your browser cache only. Be sure to save your work appropriately.
  2. AMS members: please sign in to your account before starting the application. 
  3. You MUST click the 'Submit' button at the end of the form (page 4) in order to submit your application. Applications not submitted by the deadline cannot be considered.
  4. Upon submission of your application form a confirmation page will appear. Please SAVE or PRINT your Submission Receipt and your Submission Number. If you do not see the confirmation page, please contact the AMS office to confirm receipt of your submission.
  5. A confirmation email will be sent to applicants on 18 December. If you submitted an application and do not receive a confirmation email, contact the AMS office.
  6. Pro tip: for long responses such as the summary statement, draft your response in a document you can save locally on your computer then simply copy and paste the text into the form field.
  7. DO NOT plan to submit less than one day prior to the deadline. Upload speeds slow with increased traffic and accidents happen!


The fellowship carries a twelve-month stipend, currently set at $23,000. The recipient may also elect to accept the award on a non-stipendiary basis (thus freeing scarce resources for another). The fellowship is intended for full-time study. An equivalent major award from another source may not be held concurrently or consecutively unless the AMS award is accepted without a stipend. The fellowship is for one year and is not deferable or renewable. There are no provisions for the payment of tuition: it is hoped that graduate schools will provide tuition fellowships or waivers. The AMS encourages the institution at which the recipient is pursuing his or her degree to offer continuing financial support.

The winner is selected in the spring, announced in the AMS Newsletter, and given formal recognition at the Annual Business Meeting and Awards Presentation of the Society.

Application procedure

The current year's application round is now closed. The next application is due on or before 15 December 2020, 5:00 p.m. EST.