Funding Sources for International Research & Academic Collaboration

Prepared by Susan Abbott, Cross-Pollinate Consulting Solutions
for Mentoring Group as part of ICA Pre-Conference 2014

Fellowship Programs:

American Association of University Women

The trend toward globalization and the dominant role of the United States in world affairs inspire AAUW to seek strategic opportunities to increase awareness of issues affecting women and girls worldwide. AAUW fulfills this goal by engaging in targeted activities and projects at every level — national state, and grassroots. At the national and local levels, AAUW promotes programs that address issues of concern to women, hosts international visitors, and promotes global linkages.

The American Council of Learned Societies 

ACLS continues to be the leading private institution supporting scholars in the humanities and related social sciences at the doctoral and postdoctoral levels. In the 2012-13 competition year, ACLS made awards totaling $15.3 million to more than 300 scholars selected from nearly 4,000 submitted applications.

For the purpose of these competitions, the humanities and related social sciences include but are not limited to American studies; anthropology; archaeology; art history and architectural history; classics; economics; ethnic studies; film; gender studies; geography; history; languages and literatures; legal studies; linguistics; musicology; philosophy; political science; psychology; religious studies; rhetoric, communication, and media studies; sociology; and theater, dance, and performance studies.

The Arca Foundation 

The Arca Foundation is dedicated to the pursuit of social equity and justice, particularly given the growing disparities in our world. Moreover, it has been said before but bears repeating that a vibrant democracy requires speaking Truth to Power. In pursuit of these principles, the foundation has adopted experimental, strategic and innovative approaches that give voice to the unheard and raise unasked questions. While the foundation’s specific program focus may change from time to time, it achieves its fundamental purpose by supporting efforts that can affect public policy.

Beginning in 2005, the Arca Foundation will support a new strategic focus on media and democracy, which we anticipate will comprise one-third of our grant-making for the next three to five years. It will continue to fund both policy and content projects, those that fit within a coordinated strategic plan, projects that create and distribute alternative content and projects that influence the content and approach of mainstream media.

Proposal deadlines are March 1 and September 1

Council of American Overseas Research Centers 

CAORC is a federation of independent overseas research centers that promote advanced research, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, with focus on the conservation and recording of cultural heritage and the understanding and interpretation of modern societies. American overseas research centers promote international scholarly exchange, primarily through sponsorship of fellowship programs, foreign language study, and collaborative research projects. The members of CAORC have centers in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Iraq, Jordan, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Turkey, West Africa, and Yemen. They serve as a base for American scholars undertaking research in the host countries. CAORC also administers several funding programs in collaboration with member centers and affiliated partners.

The Ford Foundation 

The Ford Foundation includes goals to: “strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation and advance human achievement.”  See the grant application information.

The Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad 

The goal of the Fulbright-Hays program is to deepen knowledge of areas of the world not generally included in US curricula. This fellowship funds individual doctoral students to conduct research in other countries in modern foreign languages and area studies for periods of 6 to 12 months. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents registered at a US university.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation 

The Hewlett Foundation makes grants to address the most serious social and environmental problems facing society, where risk capital, responsibly invested, may make a difference over time. The foundation places a high value on sustaining and improving institutions that make positive contributions to society.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation  

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation was established in 1950 as a private foundation independent of the Knight brothers’ newspaper enterprises. It is dedicated to furthering their ideals of service to community, to the highest standards of journalistic excellence and to the defense of a free press. Its several programs include:

News in the Public Interest:

The foundation’s News in the Public Interest grants engage in partnerships with others concerned with the maintenance and strengthening of journalism to serve the public interest. They encourage mainstream journalism to get tougher about keeping a critical eye on those in public and private power. They shore up nonprofit news systems, including on the community level. And they increase direct funding of journalism in the public interest.

What is news in the public interest? It is the news good citizens need to run their government and their lives. It includes 1) engaging local, state, national and international government news; 2) explanatory journalism about public policy trends; 3) investigative journalism about abuse of power in all levels of society; and 4) journalism about how and why the news media do what they do.

Electronic and New Media:

The foundation seeks to advance the best values of journalism through the rapidly developing electronic media, especially the World Wide Web. Goals are to gain influence on the lines of what is already done with print media, including but not limited to, existing programs; encourage quality journalism be practiced in all media, by firms and groups big and small; build the capacity and viability of organizations that work in the electronic and new media fields; and help seed and lead the development of new tools, products, approaches and learning to help quality news reach all audiences.

Press Freedom and Freedom of Information:

The foundation’s goals are to protect and expand freedom of the press and freedom of information at home and abroad; increase coordination of existing global programs and increase impact with new media; and target swing countries. Most recently, recognizing a window of opportunity in Eastern Europe and other areas, the foundation has made grants to foster and protect the development of emerging free press institutions. These activities abroad have been and will continue to be the foundation’s primary thrust in international philanthropy.

Education and Training:

Newsroom training and education has been expanding slowly this past decade. American journalists today feel ill-equipped to cover the complexities of the modern world. Eight out of 10 journalists said they want more professional development. Training heads their list of job-improvement needs. Journalism Initiatives, therefore, seeks to emphasize education for current and future journalists, increase the impact and number of journalists reached by existing programs, and encourage the news industry to increase its investment in training.

News and Newsroom Diversity:

The foundation seeks to increase news and newsroom diversity in the United States. It aims to have Knight journalism training programs reflect the populations they serve and national programs reflect the nation’s demographics. Better tools are needed to map diversity, which includes race, gender, generation, class, geography and ideology. Beginning with its high school initiative, the foundation aims to expand the number of students of diverse backgrounds in the employment pipeline.

High School Journalism Program:

With $12 million in grants since 2000, the foundation’s initiative has aimed to strengthen interest in journalism and the importance of the First Amendment among young Americans. It hopes to increase the number of students of color going into journalism, the number of student media outlets, the number of well-trained journalism teachers and the First Amendment and media literacy of students.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation 

The foundation is a private, independent grantmaking institution dedicated to helping groups and individuals foster lasting improvement in the human condition. The foundation fosters the development of knowledge, nurtures individual creativity, helps strengthen institutions, helps improve public policy and provides information to the public, primarily through support for public interest media. Funding programs include:

The Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy 

The Horowitz Foundation, as of the 2011 distribution, approves approximately fifteen grants each year, in the amount of $7500 per grant – $5000 initially and an additional $2500 upon receipt of a final report or a copy of the product of their research.

The Foundation makes targeted grants for work in major areas of the social sciences, including anthropology, area studies, economics, political science, psychology, sociology, and urban studies, as well as newer areas such as evaluation research. Preference will be given to projects that deal with contemporary issues in the social sciences and issues of policy relevance. Awards are not allocated so as to ensure a representative base of disciplines, but are approved solely on merit.

Applicants are not required to be U.S. citizens or U.S. residents. Candidates may propose new projects, and they may also solicit support for research in progress, including final work on a dissertation, supplementing research in progress, or travel funds. Awards are only open to aspiring PhDs at the dissertation level whose project has received approval from their appropriate department head/university.

Grants are normally made for one year on a non-renewable basis. Awards will be made to individuals, not institutions, and if processed through an institution, a waiver for overhead is requested. A copy of the product of their research is expected no later than one year after completion. Upon receipt an additional $2500 will be paid. Recipients are expected to acknowledge assistance provided by the Foundation in any publication resulting from their research. Awards are publicized in appropriate professional media and on the Foundation website,

The Institute for International Education (IIE) 

IIE manages undergraduate and graduate level scholarships at accredited academic institutions throughout the world. IIE implements many of the world’s most prestigious scholarship programs and manages global scholarships through a network of domestic and international offices. A wide variety of programs are sponsored by the IIE, ranging in numerous fields of study including the social sciences, science and technology, the arts, humanities, and education. In addition, a few examples of programs supported by the IIE include the David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships, the Fulbright Scholar Program, and the GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program. Further requirements are specific to each particular program and can be found by visiting the link provided.

International Resources and Exchanges Board (IREX) 

IREX works to bring about positive change around the globe. It has offices and representatives in over 125 cities of Europe and Eurasia and administers programs to advance education, support independent media, promote internet development, and build civil society throughout. Fellowships are available for pre-doctoral and postdoctoral research in various countries.

The Robert S. McNamara Fellowships Program (RSM) 

The RSM Fellowships Program provides funding to help advance doctoral research work through a residency period of five to ten months at a host institution in a country other than the applicant’s home country or country of residence. Fellows are expected to advance their research work mainly by using the facilities and resources provided by the host institution and by interacting with peers. Fellows must be a resident of a World Bank member country which is currently eligible to borrow.

The Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund (MMMF) 

The MMMF grant programs support the education of women from developing countries who are committed to improving the lives of women and children in their home countries. Grants are available to women from developing countries currently enrolled at United States or Canadian colleges/universities. The MMMF also sponsors grants for women from developing countries enrolled as students in South Africa (University of Pretoria or University of Cape Town) and newly-added locations in Latin America.

Mexico-North Research Network 

Mexico North exists to promote research, education, and outreach focused on a more profound understanding of Mexico and the United States through international exchange and collaboration among scholars, students, institutions, and communities.

National Humanities Center 

The National Humanities Center offers residential fellowships for advanced study in the humanities. Young scholars, as well as senior scholars, are encouraged to apply, but they must have a doctorate and a record of publication. The Center does not normally support the revision of a doctoral dissertation. The Center accepts individuals from the natural and social sciences, the arts, the professions, and public life who are engaged in humanistic projects.

National Science Foundation 

The National Science Foundation is an independent US government agency responsible for promoting scientific progress in the United States. Research grants provide funding for doctoral students and senior scholars in cultural anthropology and biological anthropology, as well as archaeology and linguistics. There are   also a number of multidisciplinary grants available.

The Reed Foundation 

The Reed Foundation sponsors the Ruth Landes Memorial Research Fund for interdisciplinary research and publications on subjects that were of interest to Ruth Schlossberg Landes, Ph.D. during her professional and academic career. Grants are available to scholars and other professionally qualified individuals for work toward a doctoral dissertation, for postdoctoral work, or for independent scholarship. Research proposals must engage with any of these topics of interest which included, but were not limited to, aging, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, immigrant and minority populations, culture and education, language and identity, and religion. Eligibility is limited to United States citizens and permanent legal residents.

Social Science Research Council (SSRC) 

The SSRC is an international organization whose mission is to nurture new generations of social scientists, foster innovative research, and mobilize necessary knowledge on important public issues. It has over 30 fellowship and grant programs, many of interest to anthropologists. In particular, the International Dissertation Research Fellowship supports dissertation research conducted, in whole or in part, outside the United States, about non-US topics and is open to graduate students in the humanities and social sciences – regardless of citizenship – enrolled in Ph.D. programs in the United States.

The Spencer Foundation 

The Spencer Foundation supports research that promises to yield new knowledge about education in the United States or abroad and how it can be improved. The Foundation’s Research programs support work that shows promise of contributing new knowledge or understanding that may contribute to improvement of educational thought or practice. Spencer Fellowship programs support educational researchers at different stages of their professional careers, providing resources to both beginning and senior researchers to pursue concentrated intellectual activity.

United States Institute of Peace  

The United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan institution whose mission is to strengthen the nation’s capacity to promote the peaceful resolution of international conflict. The Jennings Randolph Peace Scholarship program supports doctoral dissertations that explore the sources and nature of international conflict, and strategies to prevent conflict and/or sustain peace. The Jennings Randolph Senior Fellowship program permits scholars to be in residence at the Institute in Washington D.C. for up to 10 months. The Institute offers other fellowship opportunities including the Trans-Atlantic Post-Doc Fellowship for Institutional Relations and Security (TAPIR).

Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation prepares the nation’s best minds to meet its most important challenges, working through education. It administers fellowships for doctoral students and faculty members that are divided into specific program areas. In addition, the foundation provides dissertation grants for research dealing in ethics, religious questions, and women’s issues.

The Wenner-Gren Foundation 

The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Inc. is a private operating foundation dedicated to the advancement of anthropology throughout the world. Located in New York City, it is one of the major funding sources for international anthropological research and is actively engaged with the anthropological community through its varied grant, fellowship, networking, conference and symposia programs. It founded and continues to publish the international journal Current Anthropology, and disseminates the results of its symposia through open-access supplementary issues of this journal. The Foundation works to support all branches of anthropology and closely related disciplines concerned with human biological and cultural origins, development, and variation.

USAID Fellowship Program 

World Bank Scholarship and Fellowship Programs

Google Journalism Fellowship

Google Policy Fellowship

Microsoft Fellowship to support Women PhD candidates

Yahoo! Fellowships (at Stanford and Georgetown)

Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University Fellowship Program

Fenton Social Change Fellowship Program

Listservs and Newsletters that feature grants and funding opportunities as well as calls for papers and other publication opportunities:

 The Chronicle of Philanthropy

The Communications Initiative

Communication for Development Network

(more for practitioners, but you will see calls for research related and also useful to follow what is being funded and where there might be opportunities for collaboration)

Global Forum for Media Development

ICT4D Jobs – Wayan Vota

Center for International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy see Media News and Digital Media Mash Up

Foundation Centeralso see Philanthropy News Digest 

Peace and Collaborative Development Network

Created by Dr. Craig Zelizer in 2007, the Peace and Collaborative Development Network (PCDN) is a free professional networking site that works to foster dialogue and sharing of resources in international development, conflict resolution, gender mainstreaming, human rights, social entrepreneurship and related fields.

The types of materials that can be posted to the site include fellowship/scholarship opportunities, information about relevant academic programs, training opportunities, news about new publications (policy and/or academic), questions about new or ongoing research projects, discussion of conflict regions, videos and photos, and more. Check out the Key Resource Guides for additional information.

PCDN seeks to create horizontal networking and information sharing for individuals and groups around the world. Members can chat with each other, create blogs, add to discussion topics, and share current research, experiences and challenges from the field.


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