A division of Libraries and Academic Innovation

Gelman Hours for GWorld Holders
24 hours
24 hours
24 hours
24 hours
24 hours
24 hours
24 hours
GELMAN 24 hours

Ruth Helm Osborn Research Fellowship

Research fellows for 2019-2020 have been selected. We will offer this fellowship again in 2020. Please check back in February 2020 or contact us at anytime with questions. 

The GW Libraries is proud to offer research fellowship opportunities for the purpose of aiding researchers at all levels and disciplines in areas supported by the Ruth Helm Osborn Papers.

Ruth stands in front of a class of women with her arm around an unidentified woman


Photo of Ruth Osborn smiling and in conversation with someone not clearly visible in photo

About Ruth Helm Osborn

In 1964, Dr. Ruth Helm Osborn created "Developing New Horizons for Women," a program that became the prototype for women's education programs in the 1960s and 1970s. Osborn directed the GW Continuing Education Center for Women from 1964-1979 and focused her career on making education accessible for married women. The GW College of General Studies began the program in 1964 with a noncredit orientation class of twenty women; this would eventually becoming the first M.A. degree program in Women's Studies in the United States. Dr. Osborn was an active member of the Columbian Women organization. She received her B.S. from the University of Minnesota and an M.A. and Ed.D from GW. She retired in 1979. In 1998, GW honored Dr. Osborn with a distinguished alumni award. Dr. Ruth Osborn passed away in 2009.

Fellowship Details

This current-use fund, created on behalf of the Washington Forum and in memory of Ruth Osborn, will be used to support multiple research fellowships in the Special Collections Research Center of the GW Libraries with the goal of fostering academic inquiry that draws from the Ruth Helm Osborn papers. Research fellows may be GW undergraduate or graduate students, faculty, or outside researchers. The intent of the award is to increase awareness of the late Dr. Osborn’s work and legacy. GW students may conduct their research as an independent study for credit with permission and involvement from their faculty advisor. Special consideration will be given to GW students whose research focuses on documenting the history of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program and its potential origin in the Continuing Education for Women program started by Ruth Osborn.

Projects can begin as soon as March of 2019. All awardees will receive an orientation to finding and using the archives. Archivists and librarians will be available to support researchers throughout their projects on all aspects of locating, analyzing, and citing archives.

Areas supported by the Ruth Osborn Papers include:

  • Continuing Education for Women Program at GW
  • Women in higher education
  • History of higher education
  • Curriculum development and history
  • Educational history
  • Women's rights
  • Women's studies
  • History of women’s education
  • History of the founding and evolution of GW’s Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department
  • GW History
  • Columbian Women’s scholarship program

Fellows must consult, but are not limited to, the Ruth Helm Osborn Papers and will be required to submit a final research report and/or participate in a public presentation of their work. Final reports will also be uploaded into the George Washington University’s institutional repository, GW ScholarSpace. Fellowships will be awarded at the discretion of GW Libraries representatives.


Awards will be distributed in two payments, at the start and completion of the fellowship. Amounts awarded are based on scope of research project outlined in the project proposal. Funds can be used to support housing, travel, research-related materials, and/or related financial obligations to allow researchers to dedicate time to their projects.

Application Materials

For full consideration, applicants must submit the following:

  • Project proposal or research plan; Introduce yourself and discuss materials that you plan to incorporate and the amount of money requested and how you plan to use the funds if awarded. (750 words max.)
  • Statement of importance of the Ruth Helm Osborn Papers to the research project (200 words max.)
  • CV or resume
  • Letter of recommendation (to be sent directly by the recommender to archives@gwu.edu)

Ruth stands in front of a group of women seated around a table. The word accredited is written on the chalk board behind Ruth








All images from MS2278: Ruth Helm Osborn papers, series 1, box 7, folder 4

This page is maintained by SCRC • (202) 994-7549
Mobile | Desktop