The National Coalition of Independent Scholars is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization,
founded in 1989 to facilitate the work of independent scholars.  Its goals are to:

  • Provide a sense of community in which independent scholars worldwide can exchange scholarly interests and expertise
  • Improve access to research libraries, institutions and special collections
  • Offer grants or financial assistance to NCIS members and Affiliates
  • Offer benefits specific to the needs of independent scholars
  • Offer information and advice about grants, fellowships, and publishing
  • Encourage the creation of local organizations of independent scholars
  • Encourage foundations and institutes to open competitions to independent scholars and to include them on review committees
  • Encourage the inclusion of independent scholars in professional organizations as Board members and Officers
  • Encourage the inclusion of independent scholars in journal and book publishing editorial boards and as peer readers and reviewers
  • Organize and promote conferences and workshops
  • Serve as financial administrator for members applying for grants from other institutions


NCIS defines its members as scholars whose research, unlike that of full-time faculty, is not supported by an institution.  Membership is open to independent scholars from all disciplines. Applicants are required to submit a CV demonstrating a record of scholarly publications and/or conference presentations. NCIS does not require advanced degrees, but it does expect applicants to show that they are actively carrying out work of scholarly merit. NCIS affiliate members are made up of regional and international independent scholars’ organizations. NCIS is led by a volunteer Board of Directors, elected from the NCIS membership.