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Funding Opportunities

The Dumbarton Oaks fellowship program began in 1940 with a cohort of five junior Byzantinists, its mission to facilitate, disseminate, and advance research in the Humanities. Today, and with this same aim, our programs award over 150 appointments annually in the expanded fields of Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian Studies. Residential fellowships for an academic year, semester, or summer are awarded in all three areas of study to scholars from around the world. In addition, Dumbarton Oaks offers one-month nonresidential awards to researchers and short-term predoctoral residencies to advanced graduate students. A program of project grants primarily supports archaeological research, as well as materials analysis and photographic surveys of objects and monuments. Summer schools and workshops bring together students for in-depth study of languages, material culture, and theory.


“Books, gardens and material culture at the Museum; what else could a humanist ask for? Good conversation, interesting scholars, and most of all, diverse friends.”

—Dumbarton Oaks Fellow, 2019

“The distinction of the scholars themselves as well as of their writings; the interpretation of the texts and the arts; the quality of the music performed; the free discussion within the limits of good deportment, and the whole tempered by the serenity of open spaces and ancient trees; all these are as integral a part of Humanism at Dumbarton Oaks as are the Library and the Collections.”
Mildred Barnes Bliss



Fellowships

Fellowships are awarded to Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian scholars on the basis of demonstrated scholarly ability and preparation of the candidate, including knowledge of requisite languages, interest and value of the study or project, and the project’s relevance to the resources of Dumbarton Oaks. Special opportunities are available through the Mellon-funded Plant Humanities Initiative and the “Democracy and Urban Landscape” programs.

Fellowships are available for the full academic year or for fall, spring, or summer term. Applications are due November 1.


Research Fellowships

Available for scholars at all career stages. Fellows hold a doctorate and pursue their own research. Junior Fellows are degree candidates who at the time of application have fulfilled all preliminary requirements for a PhD or appropriate final degree and will be working on a dissertation or final project at Dumbarton Oaks under the direction of a faculty member at their own university. Fellowships are awarded for an academic year or fall, spring, or (for Byzantine and Pre-Columbian scholars) summer term.

Terms and Application


Plant Humanities Fellowships

Provide nine months of research and professional development opportunities for advanced graduate students (post-generals or third-year MLA), recent PhD graduates (PhD conferred on or after June 30, 2017), and recent Master of Landscape Architecture graduates (MLA conferred on or after June 30, 2017). Fellows will receive structured training in the digital humanities; undertake research in the Dumbarton Oaks special collections; contribute to the identification of priorities for digitization and bibliographic description; and develop content for the digital tool in close collaboration with JSTOR Labs. Learn more about the Plant Humanities Initiative.

Terms and Application


Mellon Fellowships in Urban Landscape Studies

For cross-disciplinary scholars in the field of urban landscape studies; preference will be given to candidates with final degrees such as a PhD or MLA. Fellowships are awarded for a single fall, spring, or summer term. A part of the “Democracy and Urban Landscape” Mellon program, fellows conduct their own research projects and may apply for an additional field research fund. Learn more about the Mellon Initiative in Urban Landscape Studies.

Terms and Application


Mellon History Teaching Fellowships in Landscape Studies

Available to current faculty position holders in universities or other secondary educational institutions for a single fall, spring, or summer term. A part of the “Democracy and Urban Landscape” Mellon program, fellows conduct their own teaching/pedagogy projects and may apply for an additional field research fund. Learn more about the Mellon Initiative in Urban Landscape Studies.

Terms and Application




Short-Term Opportunities

Several opportunities are available for scholars at all career stages who desire to take advantage of the resources at Dumbarton Oaks for periods shorter than an academic year or semester.


One-Month Research Award

Awards of $3,000 available to scholars holding the PhD or other relevant terminal degree (e.g., MLA for Garden and Landscape studies applicants) and working on research projects in Byzantine studies, Pre-Columbian studies, Garden and Landscape studies, or related fields.

Terms and Application

 

Short-Term Predoctoral Residencies

Residencies for advanced graduate students who are preparing for their PhD general exams, writing their doctoral dissertations, or expecting relevant final degrees in the field of Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, or Garden and Landscape studies. Each residency provides two to four weeks of single accommodations and lunches on weekdays (with the exception of scheduled refectory closures). In addition, a Reader badge for access to the Library will be issued for the period of the residency.

Terms and Application


Summer Programs

Summer schools and workshops bring together students for in-depth study of languages, material culture, and theory. Past opportunities have included the Garden and Landscape Studies Graduate Workshop, the Plant Humanities Summer Program, and summer schools in Byzantine Greek, Syriac and Coptic, and Byzantine coins and seals. Opportunities will be posted in the fall.

Symposium Travel Awards for Students

The Bliss Symposium Awards are travel grants for students wishing to attend Dumbarton Oaks’ annual symposia in Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, or Garden and Landscape Studies. Up to six awards will be made for each symposium. Up to three awards will be offered to students of Harvard University, with which Dumbarton Oaks is affiliated, and up to three awards will be offered to students from other US and international institutions.

Terms and Application



Project Grants

Dumbarton Oaks makes a limited number of grants to assist with scholarly projects in Byzantine Studies, Pre-Columbian Studies, and Garden and Landscape Studies. Support is generally for archeological investigation, as well as for the recovery, recording, and analysis of materials that would otherwise be lost. The normal range of awards is $3,000–$10,000. Eligible projects may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • non-destructive investigation, excavation, and/or on-site study of a (Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, Garden) site or component of one
  • surveying or photographing monuments and objects that are at risk (e.g., architecture, gardens, paintings, mosaics, and sculptures in situ), as well as objects that have already been collected but are largely unrecorded and endangered.

Terms and Application