JASNA International Visitor Program

The application period for the 2017 International Visitor Program is closed.  Check back next summer to learn about the 2018 program.

Implemented in 2005, the JASNA IVP is generously sponsored by a donation from the New York Metropolitan Region in order to sustain the strong bonds of friendship fostered with Austen-related organizations in England during the 2003 AGM.

Chawton House Library
Chawton House Library
Photo ©Copyright Allan Soedring

General Overview

If your Austen-related project requires study or travel in England, JASNA invites you to apply to spend up to six weeks in Chawton this summer under the auspices of JASNA’s International Visitor Program (IVP).  The program provides a JASNA member the opportunity to work on a creative or scholarly project while also using his or her talents to serve Austen-related institutions in Jane Austen’s village of Chawton, Hampshire.

Grant Support

JASNA will provide the International Visitor with a $3,250 (US currency) grant which is to be used towards round-trip air transportation to England from the continental USA or Canada, housing for six weeks at Chawton House Library, and miscellaneous travel and research expenses.

Austen Projects

The summer program overlaps with the Jane Austen Society’s AGM in July and requires a “full time” commitment to various Austen projects throughout the duration of the fellowship.  While much of the time will be spent working on a self-defined Austen project, the International Visitor will also work one day a week at both the Jane Austen House Museum and Chawton House Library performing duties as designated.  Moreover, the Visitor will attend the Jane Austen Society’s AGM in July and provide such staff assistance to the AGM as the Honorary Secretary of the JAS may request.

Applications will be assessed based on the importance of the project; the applicant’s need to have access to materials in Chawton; the viability of the project (in terms of project parameters, time, resources, and so on); and the useful skills that the applicant brings to the Jane Austen House Museum, Chawton House Library, and St. Nicholas Church.

Austen-Related Institutions

The committee is particularly interested in applicants whose own Austen-related project and/or interests match the needs expressed by our Chawton partners: Jane Austen’s House Museum, Chawton House Library, and/or St. Nicholas Church:

Jane Austen’s House Museum
Photo courtesy of the Jane Austen Memorial Trust

Jane Austen’s House Museum

Many of the items in the Jane Austen’s House Museum collection (some of which are now housed at the Hampshire Records Office http://www3.hants.gov.uk/archives) could benefit from more research.  The museum is also keen to work with anyone who wants the experience of working in a museum with a literary collection and how that is used to educate.

Chawton House Library

Chawton House Library is interested in projects that will take enthusiasm for, and interest in, Jane Austen to the widest possible audience.  In keeping with the unique collection, Chawton House Library is always interested in projects that will promote Austen’s lesser-known contemporaries and predecessors too, perhaps by making use of the primary resources in their collection.

St. Nicholas Church

St. Nicholas Church, Chawton although substantially rebuilt in the late nineteenth century following a fire, is where Jane Austen attended church while living in the village.  The fire destroyed much of the building that Jane Austen knew, but the chancel and many memorials to the Austen and Knight families survived and were incorporated in the present church.  The church is situated close to Chawton House Library and is a short walk from the Jane Austen House Museum.  St. Nicholas Church receives many visitors from all over the world—from comments in the visitor’s book, it is clear that many visit because of their interest in Jane Austen.

An interpretation project highlighting the Austen connections with the church would be of great benefit to visitors.  St. Nicholas Church has created a list of potential projects that they would welcome a JASNA IVP to undertake.

Other Local Archives

Applicants should also consider how their own Austen-related projects might benefit from access to nearby archives such as the Hampshire Record Office in Winchester (http://www3.hants.gov.uk/archives), as well as the wealth of research opportunities London has to offer (by train, London is a little over an hour away from Chawton).

Past International Visitors

Many of our International Visitors have written about their experiences in JASNA News, and PDFs of some articles are linked below.

2005 Carol Chernega
2006 Alice Villaseñor
2007 Terry Hunter
2008 Sheryl Craig
2009 Juliette Wells
2010 Elaine Bander
2011 Kathryn Shanks Libin
2012 (no grant issued)
2013 Linda Slothouber
2014 Amanda Jacobs
2015 Marilyn Francus
2016 (no grant issued)


Candidates for the IVP must be registered members of JASNA who reside in the United States or Canada.  They need not be students or have academic careers, but they do need to be working on a specific, Austen-related project that requires access to resources in England.  Members of any age may apply with the understanding that living conditions will be simple and may not be agreeable to anyone who cannot tolerate summer weather without air conditioning or walk at least a mile on uneven ground without assistance.

Application Materials

The Application Fact Sheet contains detailed information about the application process.

The Application Form is available here.

All completed applications must be received by December 15, 2016.  The IVP Committee will make every effort to announce their decision on or before February 15, 2017.

Questions about the program can be sent to Marilyn Francus at chawtonivp@jasna.org.