Research Funding

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SCRC and Morris Library provide research grants and scholarships for the use of SCRC materials. See each opportunity for specific details about eligibility and how to apply.


Two separate grants are awarded annually each to an individual or team of individuals for research using the Open Court Publishing Company RecordsEdward Hegeler-Paul Carus Family Papers, and/or another American philosophy collection at the Special Collections Research Center. The research projects will lead to a book, article, dissertation, or other substantive product. Each grant is a monetary award of $500. In addition, there is available up to $1,500 for research materials and/or travel support for non-local recipients. The recipient will deliver a presentation about the project to the Southern Illinois University Carbondale community; this may occur after or in conjunction with the research visit. The award is distributed upon the completion of the main phase of work at the archive. It must be claimed within one year of the acceptance letter.


The Open Court Publishing Company was founded in 1887 in La Salle, Illinois, by Edward C. Hegeler, a zinc manufacturer. Paul Carus served as the editor-in-chief from 1887 until his death in 1919. One of the first academic presses in the United States, the Open Court quickly became a forum for discussing leading ideas in philosophy, science, and religion. It also made philosophical classics of the Western and Eastern traditions widely available at affordable prices. Hegeler and Carus promoted the open exchange of ideas by professionals from different fields and varying theoretical perspectives. The Open Court published books and the two journals The Open Court and The Monist. The company still exists today and The Monist continues to be published quarterly.

The grant honors Paul Carus’s youngest son Alwin and his many interests including history, archeology, and astronomy. Alwin was born in 1901 in La Salle. He majored in chemistry and physics at the University of Chicago, worked in the research laboratory of the Carus Chemical Company, and owned farms and ranches in the Badlands of North Dakota, western Minnesota, eastern Montana, and the Peace River Valley of Alberta. He traveled to Iraq and Turkey in the 1950s to visit ancient archeological sites and joined several professional astronomical expeditions for observing solar eclipses.


Faculty, graduate students, advanced undergraduates, and established independent scholars are eligible to apply.

Application Information

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. These should be submitted at least 3-months (6-months for international applicants) prior to the start of the research visit in order to allow for processing. To be considered, applicants must submit the following items in the form of a single pdf file attention Director of SCRC at (please include as the email subject line "Carus Research Grant application").

  • Complete application form.
  • Statement of intent explaining proposed research, including scholarly significance and relevance to archival holdings (approximately 500 words). This should explain the special relevance of the archival work for your anticipated scholarly output (dissertation, journal article, book, etc.), the groundwork already laid in preparation, and a plan of use of time while at the archive. Please be as specific as possible when indicating the archival materials you wish to consult, such as by naming particular series or boxes.
  • Budget itemizing expenses for research materials and/or travel support (if applicable).
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Letter of recommendation. This should be from a professional in your field who can attest to your special skills in your research area and the unique value of your project. Have it sent confidentially under separate cover.
International scholars will further need to apply for a J-1 Visa upon receiving the grant.


For further information, call the Special Collections Research Center at 618-453-2516, or email Nicholas Guardiano at