The METRO Fellowship

Tell Me More

image source New-York Historical Society, Robert L. Bracklow Photograph Collection

Matching innovative researchers, practitioners, and entrepreneurs from a broad variety of fields with real-world, cross-institutional challenges faced by member libraries, archives, and museums.

Traditional consortium models offer group access to existing resources as their core value proposition.

We match innovative individuals with cross-institutional challenges, resulting in new opportunities and new resources.

Our Network

METRO's member network includes 250 libraries, archives and museums in New York City and Westchester County.

This network of libraries, archives, and museums cannot be compared to anywhere else in the world for its density, diversity, and depth. The more we share across our organizations, and the more we connect our services and solve problems together, the stronger and more efficient we become.

Collectively, our network presents a range of unique field research opportunities for a cohort of METRO Fellows. Through their work, these fellows will create new connections and prototype new services, products, scholarship, and collaborations that strengthen our network by working to overcome common obstacles confronted by our members. To ensure the success of these fellows, METRO has designed a unique selection and matchmaking process to partner fellows with clusters of at least three member organizations that seek creative approaches to improve their practice.

METRO Fellows will receive a $50,000 stipend for a nine month fellowship in New York City, September 2016 - May 2017.

Fellows will be required to live within commuting distance of New York City. Fellows will also need to spend two days per week working in the METRO space on 11th Street and Broadway in Manhattan. During their tenure, fellows are invited to use meeting rooms, office space, and additional METRO resources.

Our Process

Institutions and the Reverse Pitch

The first call for proposals, projects, and ideas, will focus on METRO member institutions. Members are invited to submit real-world challenges or problems of practice that are informed by their experience and daily operations. This exercise is sometimes referred to as the ‘reverse pitch’. The reverse pitch helps entrepreneurs focus on solving real world problems instead of innovating within a vacuum.

As reverse pitch ideas are submitted, they will be reviewed and published anonymously to this site. Each submission will then be open to comments from the membership. METRO staff and a fellowship advisory council will also work with each institution behind the scenes to understand and refine their pitches. This process will ignite instigations and provocations for potential fellows. In addition, it will begin to surface some of the hidden opportunities for cross-institutional collaborations.

Institutions submitting a reverse pitch might consider the following questions: Do you offer a library service that needs to be completely rethought and redesigned? Does your organization have a digital humanities project that you've been hoping to kick off, but haven't had the resources or time to pay attention to? Is there an opportunity to better engage your library in critical librarianship and social justice issues?

The pool of submitted pitches will determine areas of inquiry for this cohort of METRO fellows.

* The call for reverse pitches will open February 1st.

Individuals and their Fellowship Proposals

After the pitches have been published and promoted, the fellowship application process will open. Individual applicants will focus their project proposals within one or more designated areas of inquiry. METRO will publish all of the fellowship project proposals to this site. This gives the membership another opportunity to view, add comments, and share ideas.

* The call for fellowship proposals will open March 15th.

Matchmaking and Team Building

The matchmaking is where the magic happens. METRO and the advisory council will examine, consider, and assess the pool of reverse pitches alongside the fellowship proposals. Together, they will bring fellowship proposals into alignment with needs that bridge multiple institutions.

Because this fellowship is intended to take advantage of METRO as a unique network of libraries, archives, and museums, proposals that address problems across a diverse group of partners are best positioned for success. METRO and the advisory board will engage both member institutions and individual fellowship applicants to assure that we create strong partnerships that are well-positioned for success.

Our Timeline

The Reverse Pitch Begins

We will begin to gather problems of practice from METRO member organizations. As we gather and sort these, we will begin to publish responses to the site.

February 1

Open Call for Fellows Begins

There is still time for organizations to put their ideas out there, but now the focus is on collecting applications from individuals interested in being METRO Fellows.

March 15

Close the Call

5:00 PM is the hard deadline for both reverse pitches and fellowship proposals.

May 16

Announce Winners

Winners will be publicly announced.

June 15

Fellowship Begins

September 15

Fellowship Ends

May 1, 2017

You still have a lot of questions

No doubt

We know we haven't answered all of your questions. This is just getting started. You'll learn a lot more about this as we move along, so we invite you to check back, join the METRO email list, and watch our social media channels for updates.

Contact us

Still confused? Reach out to us at info at metro dot org and we'll try to answer any questions.