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Research and Teaching Fellowship


The UMD Libraries' Research and Teaching Fellowship (RTF) prepares MLIS graduate students to be compassionate, student-centered, and evidenced-based library practitioners who view teaching as both central and essential to their work as librarians. The Fellowship provides the education, training, mentorship, and support to enable students to succeed in a competitive job market.

Learn more about the history of our program on our RTF program guide.

History of the Program

Started in 2015, the Research and Teaching Fellowship is a three-semester scaffolded teacher training program designed to support MLIS students who show an interest in academic librarianship. What began as a one-semester student-teaching program has grown into a strong community of practice that includes both current Fellows and alumni, who are employed in a range of research, academic, and teaching institutions across the country. As of 2020, we are proud to have supported 25 Fellows through their studies and subsequent job search processes. To learn more about our alumni, visit our alumni directory.

The Research and Teaching Fellowship (RTF) equips participants (Fellows) with a range of public-services experiences including information literacy instruction, research assistance, program assessment, and peer training. RTF goes beyond the typical job responsibilities that a student might experience during an internship or field study to provide sustained and deep engagement with academic librarianship. Although our program centers on teaching, we view all aspects of academic librarianship through a lens of critical reflection and encourage Fellows to integrate their individual interests and experiences. Each year, our Fellows teach hundreds of information literacy sessions for ENGL101, accounting for 75-85% of UMD Libraries' general education instruction, and 30% of the Libraries' overall teaching. 

In addition to preparing Fellows to become confident, capable, and compassionate teachers, the Fellowship further prepares Fellows to step into faculty roles by integrating an emphasis on both research and professional development. This includes opportunities to design and lead a small-scale research and assessment project, mentorship and support to submit work to local and national conferences, and engagement with current literature with academic librarians through a monthly journal club. Fellowship directors and alumni support Fellows through the lengthy and time-intensive academic job search processes by providing career readiness workshops, mentorship, and a supportive community of practice.

The Research and Teaching Fellowship is a competitive program open annually to five MLIS students. For the class of 2021, our acceptance rate for applications was 20%, which is comparable to years prior (ranging from 25% - 35%). Successful applicants have represented a range of experiences and interests and have included traditional first-career full-time students to returning and part-time students who bring years' of prior experience from a variety of workplaces. We encourage all interested students to apply! If you have questions about the Fellowship, please reach out to