The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

ITMS Shannon Fellowships


Shannon Fellowships Up to five Shannon Fellowship awards, of a maximum of $750 each, are awarded annually to enable qualified researchers to visit the Thomas Merton Center archives at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, or other repositories of Thomas Merton materials, such as Columbia University, Harvard University and St. Bonaventure University. The awards are named in honor of William H. Shannon, founding President of the International Thomas Merton Society.

Awards must be used between June 1, 2025 and July 31, 2026.  Awards will be based on a) the quality of the proposal submitted and on b) the need for consulting archival materials at the site proposed.  Applicants must be members of the ITMS; they may join the Society at the time of application by including a check for $25, (or $40 to include The Merton Annual) made out to "ITMS", along with their proposals. (Membership Information)  Current officers and Board members of the ITMS, as well as grant committee members, are not eligible for fellowships during their term of office.


The deadline for applications is March 15th, 2025.


Applications for Shannon Fellowships must include the following:

  • a detailed proposal of 500-750 words explaining the subject and goals of the applicant's research and the rationale for consulting primary sources at the Merton collection selected by the applicant. Applicants are strongly encouraged to demonstrate in their application that they have consulted online finding aids for the Merton Center ( or for other archival collections of Merton’s work. (A list of subjects of previous awardees can be found at: Previous Research Topics.)

  • a biographical statement of 100-150 words providing pertinent educational, scholarly and/or professional information about the applicant.

  • a letter of recommendation from a scholar familiar with the applicant's qualifications and research interests

  • a proposed expense budget: grants will cover costs of travel to and from collections; expenses for accommodations and food during time of research at archives; costs of photocopying; disclosure of any other sources of funding awarded or applied for, with amounts received or requested.


Applications are encouraged from established scholars, from researchers without academic affiliation, and from students and younger scholars, including those engaged in research for theses and dissertations.


Successful applicants are required to submit an accurate expense account and a report summarizing the results of their research.


Completed applications for fellowships, or requests for further information, should be sent to the ITMS Resident Secretary for forwarding to the selection committee chair:

        Dr. Paul M Pearson,

        International Thomas Merton Society,

        Bellarmine University

        2001 Newburg Road,

        Louisville. KY. 40205.

        e-mail: [email protected]

"The ITMS has played an essential role in my studies of Thomas Merton's works, beginning with the Shannon Fellowship which launched my research at the archives in Louisville. Since then, I have met a host of fascinating colleagues who work together to further Merton studies and many friends who share in the causes of peace and spiritual hospitality promoted by the ITMS."

- Lynn Szabo, Langly, British Columbia
(Shannon Fellow)