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Project Grants

Grants Opportunities

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.

Funding may be used only to cover direct costs for which original documentation must be submitted at the conclusion of the project. Examples of eligible expenses include transportation (excluding students), meals, housing, vehicle rental, workmen’s wages, and technical analysis (as part of the overall project). Grants are not normally made for the purchase of computers or other equipment; or to cover the salaries of the principal investigators. Project grants are not given purely for the purpose of travel, or for work associated with a degree, library or archival research, catalogues, nor for conservation and restoration per se. Priority is given to applicants who have not previously received support from Dumbarton Oaks.

Pre-Columbian project awards are intended only to survey, excavate, and/or document sites, landscapes, or objects that are in imminent danger. Applicants should provide evidence that such sites, landscapes, or objects are under immediate threat.

Garden and Landscape grants are intended to support primary research of a specific site. Project grants may be used for a broad array of projects including field research, site analysis, botanical surveys, heritage conservation and restoration planning, with the goal of promoting the preservation and understanding of historic gardens and other significant designed landscapes. 

For Byzantine project awards, priority is given to small projects, as well as start-up support for new projects, or for the final push for completion. Funding is non-recurring and will be awarded for one season only per project.

Funds can only be disbursed to individuals, not academic or other institutions, and only on a reimbursement basis, upon submission of receipts, and after the final report has been submitted. Funds are available after July 1. The final report and receipts must be received by the relevant Director of Studies before June 1.

Qualifications and Conditions

Project grants are limited to applicants holding a doctorate or the equivalent, and are awarded on the basis of:

  1. ability and preparation of the principal project personnel (including knowledge of the requisite languages) and
  2. interest and value of the project to the specific field of study.

Individuals currently affiliated with Dumbarton Oaks are not eligible. Applications are reviewed by an external committee of scholars in the relevant field. Awards are made for projects conducted within the fiscal year (July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017).

Before applying, applicants must contact the appropriate Director of Studies, no later than October 1, to determine if the project is within the purview of Dumbarton Oaks. Completed applications must include three letters of reference posted directly by the recommenders to the online application. 

The Directors of Studies may be reached by contacting their departments below:

Upon completion of their projects, grant recipients will be asked to submit brief reports of their work suitable for dissemination on the Dumbarton Oaks website. For projects involving photography, Dumbarton Oaks requests that successful applicants provide a set of digital images to document their work. Reports, no longer than 2,000 words, should be submitted as both Microsoft Word and PDF documents, with one to three illustrations sent separately in .tif or .jpg format. All photographs and illustrations for documentation and for project grant reports must be submitted in digital format, and as separate high resolution files—not embedded in another type of document. All images must be of sufficient quality for print publication—at least 7” wide at 300 dpi, or about 2100 pixels wide. Maps, graphs, and line drawings should be supplied as vector graphics, such as Adobe Illustrator .ai or .eps. Byzantine project grant recipients may also be asked to submit longer reports covering more than one season for publication in Dumbarton Oaks Papers; while it does not guarantee publication, Dumbarton Oaks Papers requests first consideration of reports growing out of funded fieldwork.


Please read and follow the online instructions. Applications, in English, must be submitted electronically via the Embark application system by November 1.

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Important Dates for Fellowships and Grants

February 1: Mellon Fellowship applications due

March 1: One-Month Research Award applications due (for July 1–December 20 award periods)

Early March: Fellowship applicants notified (from previous year’s applications)

June 1: Project Grant reports and receipts due (from previous year’s awards)

By October 1: Project Grant applicants contact Director of Studies to discuss project

October 1: One-Month Research Award applications due (for January 15–June 30 award periods)

November 1: Fellowship applications due