Michael G. Karni Scholarship

The Michael G. Karni Scholarship supports visiting scholars and researchers, including faculty members, independent scholars, and graduate students,  using the archival sources of the University of Minnesota’s Immigration History Research Center Archives (IHRCA), with the first preference on projects using the Finnish American collection and second preference on a project using the Baltic collections (i.e., Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian). 

Awards are for $2,000 to help defray travel and research-related expenses associated with a term of residence at the IHRC of 5 days or more of research. The award is awarded through the Immigration History Research Center Archives Grant-in-Aid Awards competition.   

The award is a memorial to Michael Karni, a pioneering historian and publisher of Finnish American ethnicity, who was chiefly responsible for the initial development of the Finnish American collection at the IHRC Archives. The fund has been made possible through gifts from friends and members of the Karni family along with other supporters of Finnish American scholarly activity.




The deadline to apply is September 1 of each year. Applicants will receive notification regarding the award in December, and the award must be used during the next calendar year.

Selection Criteria

Selection will be based upon demonstrated connection between the research project and specific collections at the IHRCA, and reading language proficiency of the languages found in the identified collections (consult archivist for details on source languages).

  • First preference is given to projects using the Finnish American collection and second preference to projects using the Baltic collections.
  • Preference is also given to applicants who choose to identify as a person of color, or as a member of a group historically and presently marginalized in academia and archival research.

Application Materials

  • Application letter of 1-2 pages. Include estimated dates of residency; description of research project including goals, framework, and preliminary thesis; specific IHRCA collections to be consulted; and estimated budget.
  • Current curriculum vitae, résumé, portfolio, or similar.

Details, Availability, and Terms

Prior to submitting an application, consult the IHRCA website at https://www.lib.umn.edu/ihrca to learn about collections and consult with staff via ihrca@umn.edu to confirm material availability and relevance to proposed projects; pertinent IHRCA holdings are a required element of the application. The staff are happy to consult with you prior to your application regarding possible pertinent IHRCA material.

Researchers receiving the Karni Scholarship will be expected to:

  • be in residence for 5 working days or more;
  • acknowledge the IHRC, the IHRCA, and receipt of the award in any resulting presentations and publications;
  • donate a copy of resulting print publications; 
  • and allow publicity regarding the visit, unless privacy is requested.

A photo, brief biography, and project description for promotional purposes will be required upon acceptance of the award, unless privacy is requested.

Who May Apply

Those who live outside the Minneapolis - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA metro areas and who wish to make use of the IHRCA collections.

The award is open to international applicants. We are not able to provide visa assistance to our international awardees. NOTE: Depending on tax treaty benefits, non-US taxpayer recipients may be subject to reporting and withholding requirements.

Please note that the award is payable in US funds only; funds are distributed post-visit, based upon receipts provided.

Where to Apply

Applications must be received by September 1, 2024 to ihrca@umn.edu, Attn: Grant-in-Aid Committee OR received at the IHRCA office via postal mail by September 1, 2024.

IHRCA Grant-in-Aid Committee
Immigration History Research Center Archives
University of Minnesota
311 Andersen Library
222 21st Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55455