Deadline: September 30, 2017

National Library of Medicine

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General Description:

In February 2016, the National Library of Medicine received a generous gift from The DeBakey Medical Foundation to support enhanced access to the Michael E. DeBakey Archives at the NLM and to establish the NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine.

Michael E. DeBakey (1908–2008) was a legendary American surgeon, educator, and medical statesman. During a career spanning 75 years, his work transformed cardiovascular surgery, raised medical education standards, and informed national health care policy. He pioneered dozens of operative procedures such as aneurysm repair, coronary bypass, and endarterectomy, which routinely save thousands of lives each year, and performed some of the first heart transplants. His inventions included the roller pump (a key component of heart-lung machines) as well as artificial hearts and ventricular assist pumps. He was a driving force in building Houston’s Baylor University College of Medicine into a premier medical center, where he trained several generations of top surgeons from all over the world.


NLM and the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) have established a partnership to administer the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine. Anyone over the age of eighteen, of any academic discipline and status is invited to apply during the application period, open each summer. Selected Fellows will be notified and awards will be announced in December of each year. Non-U.S. citizens may apply.

Fellowships of up to $10,000 will be awarded to individual applicants, not to institutions, to help offset the costs associated with visiting and using the NLM collections during the calendar year following the application and selection. Fellowship awards may not be used for institutional costs or overhead (e.g. clerical costs, supplies, or other attendant project expenses).

During the calendar year following their selection, Fellows will undertake their research projects onsite in the History of Medicine Division of the Library, primarily in the Michael E. DeBakey archives which reflect the vast range of subjects from Michael E. DeBakey’s professional career—from surgery to health care policy, medical libraries and expanding access to medical information, medical technology to medical ethics, military medicine to veteran health, humanitarianism to international diplomacy in the medical arena. The Library’s Michael E. DeBakey archives contain correspondence, administrative records, diaries, transcripts, publications, speeches, conference and awards material, subject files, photographs, and audiovisual media, which reflect the vast expanse of Dr. DeBakey’s life, achievements, and interests as a world-renowned medical statesman, innovator, and champion of humanitarianism and life-long learning.

In addition to undertaking research projects, NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellows are required to:

  • consult with NLM staff on existing finding aids and related resources, to improve the Library’s knowledge of the collections, so this knowledge can be better shared;

  • meet the expectations of the NIH public access policy for publicly supported work, and acknowledge the NLM’s Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine in any resulting scholarly works;

  • be available to the NLM’s Office of Communications & Public Liaison (OCPL) and the History of Medicine Division for interviews, including one for Circulating Now, the blog of the NLM’s History of Medicine Division;

  • author at least one guest blog post for Circulating Now based on her/his research in the NLM Michael E. DeBakey archives.

Selected fellows may be invited to return to the Library to present an annual NLM Michael E. DeBakey Lecture in the History of Medicine, as part of the History of Medicine Division’s existing lecture series.

How to Apply:

Applications are currently being accepted for 2018.

Submit an application online at:

Applications must be received by midnight EDT, September 30, 2017. Awards will be announced in December 2017.

The application period for the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine is open from May to September each year for the duration of the Fellowship program. Specific opening and closing dates are announced on this website and through a formal call for applications issued in news releases, social media, and other outlets commonly used by the history of medicine community.

Further information about the materials available for historical research at the National Library of Medicine can be found on this website or by contacting the NLM’s History of Medicine reference desk by email at NLM Customer Support or by phone 301-402-8878. Questions about the NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine may be directed to these same points of contact.

Read full call here and apply now!

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