Peter K. Simpson Fellowship on the American West

Buffalo Bill Center of the West – Cody, Wyoming

American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming – Laramie, Wyoming

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West (BBCW) in collaboration with the University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center (AHC) invites applications for the annual Peter K. Simpson Fellowship on the American West through March 30, 2024. The fellowship aims to support a 20-day stay divided between the BBCW and the AHC to research extensive collections on the American West in both repositories. Academic scholars at any level, from graduate students to tenured faculty, may apply. Fellowships will fund original research advancing knowledge, understanding, and passion about the history and myths of the American West.

Dr. Peter K. Simpson
Wyoming native Dr. Peter K. Simpson is a University of Wyoming professor emeritus, former state legislator, and an active supporter of the arts and humanities.

BBCW archival materials housed in the McCracken Research Library and the collections held by the BBCW’s five museums support the Center’s mission of connecting people to stories of the American West. Subject strengths include Plains Indian cultures, the history of Euro-American explorers and settlers, western artists, American firearms, and the life and legacy of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody.

AHC archives on the American West include information on the lives of men and women who shaped the West. Strengths are Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain West (including politics, settlement, and western trails) and the “Western image” as represented by writers, artists, historians, and others.


The applicant should have a record of publication in their field of study and show significant potential for publication. Emerging scholars, members of under-represented communities, and multi-disciplinary researchers are encouraged to apply. A selection committee composed of staff from both the AHC and BBCW will choose fellows on the basis of scholarly merit and consider the applicant's ability to complete the research project in a timely fashion.

Features of the Fellowship

The fellowship includes an $8,000 stipend. Fellows will be in residence at the BBCW and the AHC for one month (20 business days) over a 15-month period after notification. Research visits can be non-contiguous, but Fellows must stay at least one week at each institution. For in-residence research of less than 20 days, the stipend will be pro-rated.

As a direct result of the Fellowship award, Fellows are expected to prepare a precis outlining sources consulted in each institution, how those sources shaped the research findings, and how the Fellow will incorporate this information into the final product. Credit the BBCW and the AHC in subsequent publications and provide copies to each institution of final publication or work.

Payment of Stipends

The stipend amount will be divided equally between the BBCW and the AHC. At each institution, the Fellow will receive $2,000 at the beginning of their research stay and $2,000 at the end of their stay and receipt of the precis. No advances will be authorized.

Fellows are responsible for arranging their transportation, lodging, and meals during residency. (Note: Cody housing/lodging demands are very high during the months of June, July, and August. The BBCW recommends Fellows consider scheduling their research during the Center’s off-season, if possible.)



Proposals for the 2024 Fellowship Program (no more than two single-spaced pages) should include a personal statement of purpose, the project parameters, and specific reference to how the BBCW’s and the AHC’s collections or other resources will significantly contribute to the ultimate success of the proposed project. In an attachment to the proposal, please also include the applicant’s CV, a timeline outlining the plan of research and dates for anticipated products, and names and contact information of three references. Proposals will be awarded on the following criteria:

  • A candidate’s professional background and academic accomplishments.

  • The extent to which the proposed project draws upon the collections of both the BBCW and the AHC.

  • The research project’s potential contribution to understanding of the history and culture of the American West and its timeless and global relevance.

  • The potential for professional presentation and/or publication upon completion of the Fellow’s research.


Please submit all application materials electronically by March 30, 2024, to Research Assistant/Fellowship Coordinator Nathan Bender at Candidates will be selected in April and notified by e-mail.

Information about the Buffalo Bill Center of the West

The BBCW is a complex of five museums and a research library featuring art and artifacts of the American West located in Cody, Wyoming. The five museums include the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Plains Indians Museum, the Whitney Western Art Museum, the Draper National History Museum, and the Cody Firearms Museum.  The McCracken Research Library holdings include 30,000 contemporary and rare books, more than 300 manuscript collections, and over half-million historic photographs. Founded in 1917 to preserve the legacy and vision of Col. William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the BBCW is the oldest and most comprehensive museum complex of the West. To learn more about the BBCW, please see

Information about the American Heritage Center

The AHC is a public research institution located on the campus of the University of Wyoming in Laramie. The AHC houses collections of local, regional and national significance. Its holdings emphasize the American West, from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century. It has extensive collections in military history, popular entertainment (including Hollywood and comics), mining and petroleum, as well as the environment and natural resources. The AHC also serves as the University of Wyoming’s manuscripts repository, rare books library, and university archives. With more than 90,000 cubic feet of material and 3500 collections, the AHC stands among the largest non-governmental repositories in the nation. To learn more about the AHC, please see

For more information, please email BBCW Research Assistant/ Fellowships Coordinatorr Nathan Bender or call 307-578-4136.

Contact Us

American Heritage Center

Centennial Complex

2111 Willet Drive

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-4114


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