The Metchie J. E. Budka Award of The Kosciuszko Foundation

Award Statement

The Metchie J. E. Budka Award has been established to honor outstanding works of enduring scholarship, that contribute significantly to our knowledge and understanding of Polish Literature, Polish History and Polish-American (United States) Relations. These fields of study are those in which Metchie Budka worked as scholar, writer and translator. The Award shall recognize outstanding work in one of these fields by graduate students or recent doctoral degree recipients of American (United States) Colleges and Universities in the earliest stage of their scholarly careers. One Award to be made biennially on and after the year 2006. The Award, initially established in the amount of $1,000, was increased to $3,000 effective the year 2006.

The following criteria have been established with respect to the principal features of the Award.


  • The competition for the Award shall be open to graduate students, for work in the fields of Polish Literature, Polish History and Polish-American (United States) Relations at American (United States) Colleges and Universities and also to postdoctoral candidates who received their Ph.D. degrees for work in these fields from these Institutions and who apply during, or at the close, of the first three years of their postdoctoral scholarly careers in the field. The earliest stages of a candidate's scholarly career are considered here to consist of a specified term as a graduate student followed immediately by three years postdoctoral experience in research and/or teaching.
  • It is recognized that scholarly careers may, within the time frame described above, be postponed, or totally interrupted. Applications will therefore be considered from those graduate students whose studies were totally interrupted by one single leave of absence of not more than six years, as well as, during the first three years of their subsequent scholarly careers, from those postdoctoral candidates who, immediately after receiving their doctoral degrees totally postponed the start of a scholarly career for one single period of not more than six years. Applications will also be considered from postdoctoral candidates who began their scholarly careers immediately after receiving their doctoral degree but who later, at sometime during the next three years, withdrew from all activity in the field for a single period of no more than six years. The three-year postdoctoral period shall be the sum of years before and years after the interval of total interruption.
  • The Award competition is open to all otherwise eligible candidates whether or not they are citizens of the United States and whether or not they are, or have been, members of the Kosciuszko Foundation or associated with it in any way.

All written enquiries concerning questions of candidate eligibility shall be accompanied by a complete and updated C.V. The decision of the Jury on Award shall be final and binding.

Subjects to be Considered

These are Polish Literature, The History of Poland and Polish-American (United States) Relations. Period limitations have been established.

Polish Literature

Polish Literature from the fourteenth century to the year 1956 with particular emphasis on works of the eighteenth, nineteenth and very early twentieth century. 1 This field shall include literary criticism; literary history; studies of Polish men and women of letters; comparative studies of works by Polish authors with those of other Polish, Slavic, East and West European, and/or North American writers; as well as studies of the works of individual Polish writers, dramatists, diarists, essayists, novelists, pamphleteers and poets of the period.

Polish History

The History of Poland: The State, The Nation and The People from 962 A.D. (Mieszko) to the year 1956. This shall also include Polish-American (United States) Relations in the period from the eighteenth to the very early twentieth century (1918): A period largely concerned with the activities of individual Poles and Americans.

Materials to be Submitted

A candidate shall submit original work written in English or translated into English from Polish in one of the fields of Polish Studies described above in Sections 2a and b, This requirement may be filled in one of two ways.

  • A candidate shall submit two original articles, or comparable material as described below, written in a form appropriate for publication in a refereed scholarly journal. 2 These may, but need not, have already been submitted, accepted and/or published. At least one of the articles however shall either have been favorably reviewed by an independent intra or extra-mural panel or, alternatively, submitted to a refereed scholarly journal. 3 It is expected that articles will be works of enduring scholarship which contribute to our knowledge and understanding of the candidate's chosen field. A complete and updated candidate C.V. must accompany each submission.

Possible alternative submissions to the two articles described above are:

  • A Masters thesis (accepted) plus one such article as is described above.
  • A Doctoral dissertation accepted after a successful defense or two separate chapters from the dissertation which are presented as essentially independent articles.

  • A candidate shall submit annotated translations into English, from the original Polish, of one or more significant works which fall within the guidelines of subjects to be considered (Section 2 above). 4 These include i) translations of scholarly publications, or early manuscripts of established provenance, in any one of these fields, ii) translations of the works by Polish men and women of letters in drama, prose or poetry, and iii) translations of diaries, lectures, letters, historically significant speeches, memoirs or pamphlets. Translations shall be in a form ready for publication, accepted for publication, or published in books or journals appropriate to their context. 5 From the character, content and length of the translations submitted it should be evident that the work involved was comparable in magnitude to that required for the preparation of two articles. Documented texts in the original Polish shall accompany the translations. Candidates who choose to submit translations of works which had earlier been translated from Polish into English shall provide a copy of the earlier translation together with a critical commentary in which they discuss the reasons for their decision to prepare a new version. Translations should add to our understanding and appreciation of their Polish authors intent and be faithful to the mood, if not necessarily the idiom, of the original. A complete and updated candidate C.V. must accompany each submission.


Four copies of each complete submission for the 2008 Award should be sent, with a covering letter to:

The Metchie J.E. Budka Award
The Kosciuszko Foundation
15 East 65th Street, New York, New York, 10065-6595
phone: (212) 734-2130, fax: (212) 628-4552.

The closing date for receipt of a submission is the third Wednesday, in July. One Award of $3000, to be made biennially will be presented to the winner in December together with a certificate.

Facsimile and E-mail submissions are not acceptable.

Examples of Annotated Translations

  • Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz. Under Their Vine and Fig Tree. Travels through America in 1797-1799, 1805 with some further account of life in New Jersey. Metchie J.E. Budka, trans. and ed. with an Introduction and Notes. The Collections of the New Jersey Historical Society, XIV, Grassmann Publ. Co., NJ (1965), 398 pp. Niemcewicz initially kept his diaries in French and switched later to Polish. The French text was left untouched in Metchie Budka's doctoral dissertation: Metchie J.E. Budka. "The American Diaries of Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz: (1797-1799, 1805)" with an Introduction and Notes, doctoral diss., Harvard University 1962.
  • Michael J. Mikos. Polish Renaissance Literature: An Anthology, trans. and ed. with an Introduction and Notes. Slavica Publishers, Inc., 1995.


  • All candidate correspondence about the Award must be addressed directly to the Metchie J. E. Budka Award at the Kosciuszko Foundation.
  • All unpublished material submitted will be considered privileged and its circulation restricted.
  • Former Award winners will not be considered eligible candidates.
  • After the close of the competition any and all material may, at the candidate's own expense, be returned. The Kosciuszko Foundation will otherwise direct that all unpublished material, except copies in its own records, be destroyed.
  • The Award to be announced in November will be presented in December.
  • The Donors have stipulated that the funds shall be used to support one and only one annual Award. The Jury on Award may therefore ask, through the appropriate Kosciuszko Foundation correspondent, that one particular candidate be invited to leave his or her unaltered submission in the candidate pool for reconsideration in the following year. This may be proposed even if the original submission was made at the close of a candidate's third year of postdoctoral experience.
  • Unsuccessful candidates may, if they choose, reapply by submitting new or sharply revised material provided that they do so during that period when they still meet the stated requirements for candidate eligibility.


  • All such work shall have been compiled by the end of the year 1956. If not published promptly thereafter, the evidence which established their date of completion should be cited.
  • The term "appropriate for publication in a refereed scholarly journal" shall be assumed to imply the need for notes, and on occasion a bibliography.
  • "An independent intra or extra-mural panel" shall be interpreted to mean two or more scholars in the field who are asked to review the work(s) submitted. Candidates should identify the members of their panel.
  • The term "annotated translations" implies here the need for an introduction, for notes and possibly a bibliography. Two examples of annotated translation are cited above.
  • Many translations are now published without notes or introductions. The requirement here for an annotated translation shall apply both to work already published without such documentation and to work accepted for publication without documentation.

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