You are here:Home/Research/ Awards and Grants

Awards and Grants

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.

Find descriptions of awards and grants below, and download a summary document here.

“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

Long-Term Opportunities

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 initiatives in Plant Humanities and Urban Landscape Studies.

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

Research Fellowships

Three categories of research fellowships are available for scholars in Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, and Garden and Landscape Studies at all career stages. Fellows hold a terminal degree and pursue their own research. Junior Fellows are degree candidates who at the time of application have fulfilled all preliminary requirements for a terminal degree. Summer Fellows are at any career stage beyond the first year of graduate school. 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) and recent PhD or MLA graduates (PhD or MLA conferred on or after June 30, 2017). These Fellowships are of particular interest to early-career scholars who wish to build their skills in the use and integration of digital tools and special collections into their future research and teaching. 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. 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, and provide an opportunity to focus on landscape history pedagogy through the development of syllabi or course materials. Fellowships are awarded for a single fall, spring, or summer term. 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 are available to scholars holding a terminal degree 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 are available to 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, weekday lunches, and library access.

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.

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.

Terms and Application