Irma Cheatham Summer Research Fellowship

The Irma Cheatham Summer Research Fellowship in Africana Studies provides research support for a student sophomore or junior majoring or minoring in Africana Studies; or sophomores who intend to declare with Director's permission, to engage in the Africana Studies curriculum during the summer months. This fellowship is made possible by a generous gift from Seth Glickman '10, in honor of Irma Cheatham, a family friend who cared deeply about the Black experience in America. The fellowship provides $590/week for 8 to 10 weeks of full time research; subsidized college housing; and funding to cover research supplies.


The family of Seth Glickman ’10 wanted to honor Irma Cheatham in a way that exemplified her values. A long-time family friend, Irma cared deeply about the Black experience in America. She was a strong supporter of the United Negro College Fund, and would refuse to watch movies unless a major lead was black. The family believed that a special gift to Bowdoin to enhance the Africana Studies Program’s ability to provide opportunities for student engagement in the Africana Studies curriculum would be appropriate.

In this, they understood the demand for funded fellowships that allow students to stay on campus during the summer to conduct research with faculty —particularly for students studying in the humanities.Further, where possible, they were compelled by the idea that this fellowship could support students who would benefit not only from summer funding for research, but also academically through summer collaboration with a faculty member.  The Irma Cheatham Summer Research Fellowship in Africana Studies therefore meets a critical need at the College, while also providing a unique learning experience for a student. It is in this spirit that they have set up this fellowship.

The faculty members in the Africana Studies Program will identify a student each year who will receive the Irma Cheatham Summer Research Fellowship. 

How to Apply

Students need to submit:

  1. a proposed plan of study for the summer (1-2 pages)

  2. a personal statement that includes a prospectus on the project's scope and significance and its connection to the applicant's academic, personal, professional interests and goals (2-3 pages)

  3. attain a letter of support from one other faculty member who can attest to the student's academic performance and potential. 

Submission Deadline

Application materials must be submitted to Africana Studies Program coordinator Elizabeth Palmer’s office in 302 Adams Hall by Friday, March 29, 2024, or electronically at

The award recipient will be announced on Friday, April 5, 2024.