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

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 2019-2020 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 applicants 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 2019-2020. Applicants who have full funding for 2019-2020 will be considered for the Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship on a non-stipendiary basis. Letters of recommendation should be sent as an e-mail attachment to:, or via fax to the AMS office (877-679-7648 or 212-995-4022).

Important notes:

  1. Start your application process early. The first steps create your record. You may return to update and upload files at any point prior to the deadline.
  2. Check file size limits and edit as necessary
  3. DO NOT plan to submit less than one day prior to deadline. Upload speeds slow with increased traffic and accidents happen!


The fellowship carries a twelve-month stipend, currently set at $22,000. 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 August issue of the AMS Newsletter, and given formal recognition at the Annual Business Meeting and Awards Presentation of the Society.

Application Deadline and Address

Applications should be made using the online submission form, a link to which will be available here on or about 20 November. The application is due on or before 17 December 2018, 5:00 p.m. EST.

Inquiries should be addressed to Prof. Will Cheng, chair of the committee (williamcheng [at]

Previous winners

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