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Mesopotamian Funding Information

Funding to bring Mesopotamianists to Cambridge

See also the University's Funding Search Page for awards offered by the University.

 

Applicants for Undergraduate study

Undergraduate study of Ancient Mesopotamia is conducted under the aegis of the Archaeology Tripos.  

Funding information is available here

In addition, students at the University of Heidelberg can attend classes in Cambridge via the year-long exchange programme with St John's and St Catherine's College. Deadline usually in November.

 

Applicants for MPhil study

Mesopotamia can be studied at MPhil level in the specialised MPhil in Assyriology, or as part of the broader MPhil in Archaeology.  

General Funding Information

Funding information is available here.

Philological Society Bursaries

The Philological Society awards "a limited number of annual bursaries (£4000) for students embarking on a taught postgraduate programme in the areas of linguistics or philology".  One of these is "given normally to someone working on Ancient Languages (including non-Indo-European ones)".

The Society's Martin Burr Fund "may be used to support a Masters bursary for a mature student".

German Citizens

German Citizens and those having completed their Undergraduate in Germany can apply for a DAAD one-year scholarship (Jahresstipendium), which covers maintenance costs.  Deadline usually in late September.

Greek Citizens

Greek citizens can apply for Onassis scholarships for Hellenes (deadline usually in late February).

Spanish Citizens

The Caixa Foundation offers Spanish citizens grants of 9-24 months for postgraduate study in Europe.

US Citizens

US Citizens can apply for Marshall and Fulbright scholarships.

Students at Heidelberg

Students at the University of Heidelberg can attend classes in Cambridge via the year-long exchange programme with St John's and St Catherine's College.  Deadline usually in November.

 

Applicants for PhD study

Prospective PhD students are encouraged to contact a prospective supervisor in advance of application. 

General Funding Information

Funding information is available here.

Gerda Henkel Foundation

The Gerda Henkel Foundation's PhD grants cover maintenance expenses for two years, in euros, for applicants from any country or University. The Foundation advises that extension to a third year may be possible, via a separate application.

The Trudeau Foundation

The Trudeau Foundation funds PhDs relating to the themes of People and Their Natural Environment and Human Rights and Dignity (as well as other themes, less relevant to Mesopotamian Studies).

Greek Citizens

Greek citizens can apply for Onassis scholarships for Hellenes (deadline usually in late February).

US Citizens

US Citizens can apply for Marshall and Fulbright scholarships.

 

Post-doctoral scholars

Post-doctoral Mesopotamianists in Cambridge are based at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.  Prospective applicants should contact a mentor in advance of application. 

McDonald Institute Renfrew Fellowships

Three-year postdoctoral research fellowship open to all areas covered by the McDonald Institute, including Assyriology.  See the relevant announcement on the McDonald Institute jobs page

British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

Open to UK or EEA nationals and/or to those who have completed a doctorate at a British University. Deadline usually in early October.  See further information here.

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships

The Leverhulme Trust's Early Career Fellowships pay half the costs for early career researcher researchers who either hold a degree from a UK higher education institution or have an academic position in the UK.  Matching funding is provided by the Newton Trust.  Owing to internal pre-selections, the deadline for putting oneself forward is considerably earlier than the Leverhulme Trust's deadline. See the relevant announcement on the McDonald Institute jobs page.

Newton International Fellowships

Newton International Fellowships "support the development and training of postdoctoral researchers at an early stage of their career from any country outside the UK, by providing an opportunity to work at a UK research institution for two years".  Application deadline normally in March, but potential sponsors in Cambridge should be contacted several months in advance.

Marie Curie Individual Fellowships

The European Commission's Individual Fellowships under the aegis of the Marie Curie Actions are for scholars with a PhD or at least four years' research experience, to conduct research at a host institution.  They last one, two, or three years.  Mobility across borders is a prerequisite.

College Junior Research Fellowships

Most Cambridge Colleges offer 3-year Junior Research Fellowships, open to all subjects, for those who are completing or have just completed their PhDs.  The first applications usually open in late August, and subsequent ones appear throughout the Autumn. Holders of such fellowships with Mesopotamian interests are welcome to involve themselves in the Cambridge Mesopotamian Community.

S. A. Cook Bye-fellowship

From time to time, Gonville & Caius College advertises a one-year Bye-fellowship under the will of the late S.A. Cook "for research in one of the following fields: Biblical Studies, including Rabbinics and Patristics;  The comparative study of religion; Ancient Eastern languages and literature".  The Bye-fellowship is "open to University graduates, including those who would be in Cambridge on leave or on secondment from University posts in or outside the UK". "The funds available [are] in of the order of £20,000.  Ten free meals per week in College will also be provided and, accommodation may be available.  The Bye-Fellow is expected to reside in Cambridge, but outside research trips may be permitted.  The funds may be used to supplement an existing salary, or as a research grant."

EURIAS

The European Institutes for Advanced Study offer 10-month junior fellowships, which can be held at CRASSH, in Cambridge.  Applicants must have "2 to 9 years of full-time research experience after obtaining the PhD (PhD training is not considered in the calculation of experience)", and "must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of the selected host institute for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to" a specified date.

Thyssen Stipends

The Fritz Thyssen foundation offers two-year postdoctoral stipends to those who received the PhD within the last two years.  There is no deadline, and decisions are usually reached within eight weeks.  The application should not be under consideration by other funding bodies at the same time.

Applicants from the University of Chicago

A three-year research fellowship at Corpus Christi College, which is advertised from time to time, is reserved for students at the University of Chicago.

Applicants from the Netherlands

The Rubicon programme enables those who "have conducted scientific research at an academic research institute in the Netherlands for a period at least equivalent to three years fulltime" to spend one or two months at an institution abroad.

Applicants from Switzerland

The SNF Early Postdoc Mobility Programme enables Swiss citizens and those who have done "no less than 3 years at a research institution in Switzerland" to spend 18 months conducting research at an institution abroad.

 

Funds available to those in Cambridge

Most of the funds listed below give out quite small amounts (a few hundred pounds).  Funds restricted to members of particular Colleges are not listed.

See also the University's Funding Search Page for awards offered by the University.

  

The Cambridge Assyriology Funds

The Cambridge Assyriology funds support graduate students, the Ancient Near Eastern Seminar Series, and miscellaneous academic projects by members of the Cambridge Mesopotamian community (including Undergraduates).  For more information, see here.

 

The H. M. Chadwick Fund

Based in the Dept of ASNaC, the fund promotes the study of or research in "history, literature, thought, religion, sociology, antiquities, and art of any ... people or peoples of the Near East primarily before 1000 BC".  Deadline is 1st March annually.  

Mesopotamian Undergraduates have successfully applied to it to fund academic projects.

 

The IAA Subsidies for Cuneiform Studies

The International Association for Assyriology awards subsidies for short-term research projects by "advanced students, and scholars within five years of obtaining their doctoral degree", to a total value of 1000 EUR annually.

 

The Gerald Averay Wainwright Fund

The Gerald Avery Wainwright Fund in the University of Oxford makes research grants of up to £4000 to those "ordinarily resident in the UK, or affiliated to a UK institution", for the furtherance of the study of the archaeology of the Near East (excluding language, literature and philology).  "Although we will not provide funding for DPhil [=PhD] core research, we might provide funds for standalone projects, fieldwork and analytical costs, or support for standalone projects resulting in publication. All other related costs such as fees and subsistence at the home institution are excluded."  Annual deadlines: 1st April and 1st October.

 

The British Institute for the Study of Iraq 

Makes grants for outreach initiatives, conferences and pilot projects.

 

The Philological Society

The Philological Society "has established a fund to support public events and outreach events which promote interest in the structure and history of languages, or public support for the teaching and study of languages in the UK".

The Society also uses its Martin Burr Fund to provide "small grants to support activities by members of PhilSoc who do not have an academic affiliation and do not have access to other sources of funding. For example, it may be used to support ... a member of the Society attending a PhilSoc meeting which is of particular interest to them. The PhilSoc welcomes proposals from members."

 

The Henry Sweet Society

The Henry Sweet Society for the History of Linguistic Ideas offers Martin Burr Grants (usually max. £500) "to support any form of activity which brings together language and history and allows them to be enjoyed by a non-academic audience".  Annual deadlines are 30 September and 31 March.

 

ABTA PhD Award

The Association of British and Turkish academics runs an annual award for PhD students at UK Universities (and those in their first postdoc year), open to all subjects.  First prize = £300.

Cambridge Mesopotamianists have been successful in the past.

 

Topic-specific funds and prizes

History of Linguistics

The Henry Sweet Society offers an essay prize on the history of linguistics, broadly defined to include "both of the major subject areas of linguistics and also more specialised topics, such as writing systems, literacy, rhetoric, and the application of linguistic ideas within professional and technical fields."  Essays (max. 8000 words) to be submitted by end September. First prize £200.

Law

The University's Frederic William Maitland Memorial Fund supports "research and instruction in the History of Law and of Legal Language and Institutions".

The University's Yorke Prize is "awarded annually for an essay on a legal subject (including the history, analysis, administration and reform of law) and is open to any graduate of the University or any person who is or has been registered as a Graduate Student of the University. Candidates should first obtain the approval of the Faculty Board of Law for the proposed essay subject and, assuming approval, submit the essay to the Registrary to arrive not later than the last day of the Michaelmas Term"

Literature

The University's Le Bas Prize of £200 "for an essay on a literary subject" is open to "members of the University who are graduates, of this or another university, and who will not have attained the age of thirty years on 30 June of the year of the award".  Title/topic to be sent in by 14th Feb, and, if approved, essay (between 15.000 and 30.000 words) to follow by 30th June. The 2003 advert in the Reporter is accessible here (as a sample) - look out for the up-to-date one.

The University's Jebb Fund makes "grants for maintenance, travel in connection with research, and research expenses" to "persons engaged in study or research in the University in classical or other literary studies".  Annual deadline is 1st May.

Liturgy

The University runs the George Williams Prize, "for some subject connected with liturgical study".  Proposed topic to be sent in February, essay (no longer than 20.000 words) in December.  If your dissertation falls in this area, consider entering.

Oriental Institute Collections

The Oriental Institute in Chicago awards grants to Master's and beyond to work on its collections. (Not guaranteed to run in perpetuity, but so far has done for several years.  Deadline in April, announcement in June).

Palaeography and Manuscript Studies

The University runs the Gordon Duff Prize (£500) for an essay on "bibliography, palaeography, typography, book-binding, book-illustration, or the science of books and manuscripts and the arts relating thereto".  Word limit = 10.000 words.  Title/topic to be proposed by end of Michaelmas, and, if approved, essay to be submitted by end of Lent.  [The University Library confirms that cuneiform tablets (and indeed papyri) count as manuscripts].

Philology

The Robins Prize of the Philological Society - runs every two years (deadline in November).

Philosophy of religion

The University runs the Gregg Bury Prize, for submissions between 10.000 and 20.000 words.  If your dissertation falls in this area, consider entering.  The 2009 advert in the Reporter is accessible here (as a sample) - look out for the up-to-date one.

Sculpture

The Henry Moore Foundation gives research and travel grants of up to £2500 to support research into the history and interpretation of sculpture.

Semitic Studies

The Jonas Greenfield Prize ($5,000) is awarded periodically "to a younger scholar for the best article in any area of Semitic studies that has been published during the most recent three-year period".

Social History of Medicine

The Society for the Social History of Medicine runs a prize (£500) "open to undergraduate and post-graduate students in full or part-time education".  Winning entries may be published.  All candidates must join the Society for the Social History of Medicine by the date of submission.  Length should be 5000-9000 words inc. footnotes.

Syro-Palestinian Archaeology

The Albright Institute in Jerusalem offers the Sean Denver Prize ($650) to PhD students, for a publication on Syro-Palestinian (or Biblical) Archaeology. Deadline 31st December, with the winner announced in March.

  

Funds for travel

Albright Institute

The Albright Institute for Archaeological Research offers a range of fellowships to be held in Jerusalem, some of which are open to doctoral students.

The Getty Foundation

The Getty Foundation offers pre-doctoral scholarships to enable PhD students to conduct research in Los Angeles, on a topic related to the annual research theme.  Fellows "are in residence at the Getty Research Institute or Getty Villa for nine months, from late-September to late-June, and receive a stipend of $25,000".  Applicants "must have advanced to candidacy by the time of the fellowship start date and should expect to complete their dissertations during the fellowship period".

The Henry Sweet Society

The Henry Sweet Society for the History of Linguistic Ideas awards up to two bursaries (max £200) "to assist younger scholars and other deserving candidates" to attend the Society's annual Colloquium in order to present a paper there.

The Huntington Library

Doctoral students are eligible to apply for short-term fellowships (up to 5 months) at the Huntington Library.  Salary $3000 per month.  Applications usually open in September and close in November.

IAA travel grants

Up to five grants annually, of 400 EUR each, to enable recent PhDs (i.e. within 8 years of completion) to attend the Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale.

LCANE grants

The London Centre for the Ancient Near East makes grants to research students, to enable them to attend conferences.  The deadline usually falls in November, for events in the subsequent calendar year.

Martin Hinds Travel Fund

Provides grants of up to £100 to graduate students for "travel and residence in the Islamic Middle East and North Africa for those graduate students who wish to pursue the study of the languages, cultures or history" of these regions.  Assyriology students are eligible to apply, but preference is given to FAMES students.

The Philological Society

The Philological Society awards travel and fieldwork bursaries: "Student associate members who are enrolled on a doctoral programme are eligible to apply for bursaries to cover the cost of: (a) giving a paper at a conference in the UK or overseas, or (b) carrying out fieldwork (of long or short duration) in the UK or overseas."

Student Travel Awards

Through these awards of up to £1200, the University's Development Office links up current students with alumni in Europe.

Thyssen Travel Subsidies

Thyssen Travel Subsidies are "generally" only available to those who already have a PhD. They may not be used for "General educational travel, excursions or lecture or congress-related travel".  There is no deadline, and decisions are usually reached within eight weeks.  The application should not be under consideration by other funding bodies at the same time. 

Worts Travelling Scholars Fund

Up to £600.  Managed by the University.  Preference given to Undergraduates, but Graduate Students will also be considered.  Does not support: "participation in study programmes or language courses; volunteer work with established charities; conferences (either to present a paper or to attend); fieldwork for M.Phil. theses; medical electives; seeing veterinary practice; laboratory visits or work experience".

The 2010 advert in the Reporter is accessible here (as a sample) - look out for the up-to-date one.  See also here.

 

Funds for internships 

Elizabeth Bartman Museum Internship

This grant ($2,000 - $4,750) is managed by the Archaeological Institute of America, and only open to those who have joined (but nationality and place of study are irrelevant).  It is "to help graduate students, or those who have recently completed a master’s degree, in Archaeology or a related field to meet expenses associated with undertaking a museum internship (minimum duration a summer or semester)."  Deadline usually in early April.

The Metropolitan Museum

The Met offers paid and unpaid internships to Graduates and Undergraduates, open to international applicants.

 

The Judith Wilson Fund

Supports "activities relating to poetry and drama, in the Drama Studio and in Cambridge more widely".  Further information here.

 

The Rose Book-Collecting Prize

Through this prize, the University Library "is offering students the chance to win £500 by building their own book collections." Entries (a list of the collection together with a short essay, explaining the theme and significance of the collection) are due by the first day of the Lent full term. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to talk about their collection to the judges.

 

The Gorgias Press book grant

Gorgeous Press run a yearly competition for Graduate Students - the two winners get $500 of GP titles.  Application process not onerous.  Deadline in April.

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Note: enquiries have elicited the information that the University's Horst Fund (which supports Hellenistic research) is only available to members of the Divinity faculty; ditto the University's Consort Fund (which supports historical research) and the History Faculty.

 

Funding for study and research after Cambridge

The following lists pertain only to opportunities which apply year-on-year.  Ad hoc opportunities are advertised on the Mesolist, as and when they come to our attention.

Internships

The British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara annually advertises the position of Research Scholar/Assistant for those who are completing / have completed their Master's, and intend to progress to Doctoral research.  The position is based in Ankara, and lasts 7-12 months.  Applications usually open in October.

Master's Funding

Philological Society Bursaries

The Philological Society awards "a limited number of annual bursaries (£4000) for students embarking on a taught postgraduate programme in the areas of linguistics or philology".  One of these is "given normally to someone working on Ancient Languages (including non-Indo-European ones)".

The Society's Martin Burr Fund "may be used to support a Masters bursary for a mature student".

Postdoctoral Funding

Albright Institute

The Albright Institute for Archaeological Research in Jerusalem offers a range of fellowships, some of which are open to applicants of all nationalities.

BIAA

The British institute for Archaeology at Ankara offers one or two year postdoctoral positions to those within two years of receipt of the PhD.  Applications normally open in February.

Chicago

The University of Chicago offers four-year postdoctoral teaching fellowships.  "In most years, Fellows teach two courses (usually of identical preparation) for each of three quarters. Each Fellow also has the opportunity to design an independent course and each is eligible for one quarter of research sabbatical in the third year of residence".  Applications open in August, deadline in October.

Columbia

The Columbia Society of Fellows offers one-year postdoctoral fellowships (which automatically renew for a second and third year) for those who have recently completed their PhD. The application involved a fee of $25. Fellows are required to do some teaching.  Deadline usually in early October.

Cornell

Cornell University's Society for the Humanities offers one-year postdoctoral fellowships in connection with a specified theme.  Salary is $50.000.  "Fellows ... offer one seminar related to their research [and] are encouraged to explore topics they would not normally teach and, in general, to experiment freely with both the content and the method of their courses."  Applicants must have "one or more years of teaching experience, which may include teaching as a graduate student."

Dartmouth

The Dartmouth College Society of Fellows offers three-year postdoctoral fellowships.  Holders are expected to do some teaching.  "The program ... benefits Dartmouth by complementing existing curricula with underrepresented fields". Deadline normally in mid-September.  "Applicants are expected to consult with a relevant faculty colleague at Dartmouth before submitting an application."

Durham

The Addison Wheeler Fellowship is a three-year post-doctoral position open to all subjects.  Deadline normally in early December. 

EURIAS

The European Institutes for Advanced Study offer 10-month junior fellowships, which can be held at participating institutions.  Applicants must have "2 to 9 years of full-time research experience after obtaining the PhD (PhD training is not considered in the calculation of experience)", and "must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of the selected host institute for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to" a specified date.

The Getty Foundation

The Getty Foundation offers postdoctoral scholarships to enable those who acquired the PhD within the last five years to conduct research in Los Angeles, on a topic related to the annual research theme.  Fellows "are in residence at the Getty Research Institute or Getty Villa for nine months, from late-September to late-June, and receive a stipend of $30,000".  

Harvard

The Harvard Society of Fellows offers three-year postdoctoral fellowships intended to start just before receipt of the PhD, in July.  There is no formal application procedure: nomination is through the PhD supervisor (deadline in August), who must also give the names of three people who have agreed to write references by mid-September.

Hong Kong University

Hong Kong University's Society of Fellows in the Humanities offers three-year fellowships for those who complete the PhD in the last years prior to application.  Fellows are expected to teach two courses.  Application in January, decision in March.  Their list of target areas is Asia-heavy.

Humboldt

The Alexander von Humboldt foundation offers postdoctoral fellowships for those who obtained their PhD in the last four years.  Fellows spend 6-24 months at an academic host of their choice in Germany.  There is no deadline, but decision time is between six and ten months.

The Foundation also offers Sofja Kovalevskaja Awards (1.65 million Euros), which allow you "to spend five years building up a working group and working on a high-profile, innovative research project of your own choice at a research institution of your own choice in Germany".  You must be "a successful top-rank junior researcher from abroad, [have] completed your doctorate with distinction in the last six years, and have published work in prestigious international journals or publishing houses".  Applications open in the spring.

The Huntington Library

Doctoral students are eligible to apply for short-term (up to 5 months) and long-term (9-12 months) fellowships at the Huntington Library in California.  Short-term salary $3000 per month, long-term $50.000.  Applications usually open in September and close in November.

ISAW

The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World in New York offers one and two year positions for Visiting Research Scholars.  Deadline usually in November.

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships

The Leverhulme Trust's Early Career Fellowships pay half the costs for early career researcher researchers who either hold a degree from a UK higher education institution or have an academic position in the UK.  The other half of the costs is borne by the host institution.

Library of Congress Kluge Fellowships

The Library of Congress offers 4-11 month fellowships in the humanities and social sciences, to those who have received a PhD in the last seven years. "Interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, or multi-lingual research is particularly welcome."  Annual deadline is 15th July.

Marie Curie Individual Fellowships

The European Commission's Individual Fellowships under the aegis of the Marie Curie Actions are for scholars with a PhD or at least four years' research experience, to conduct research at a host institution.  They last one, two, or three years.  Mobility across borders is a prerequisite.

Michigan

The University of Michigan Society of Fellows offers three-year research fellowships across all subjects.

NHC

The National Humanities Centre in North Carolina offers one-year fellowships. "Applicants must have a doctorate or equivalent scholarly credentials. Mid-career scholars as well as senior scholars are encouraged to apply. Emerging scholars with a strong record of peer-reviewed work may also apply."  Deadline usually in October.

Paris

The Institute of Advanced Studies in Paris offers 5 or 9 month postdoctoral positions.  One selection criterion is the applicant's contacts to French academia.  Comprehension of French is necessary.  See the 2018-2019 call here.  Deadline usually early March.

Princeton

The Princeton Society of Fellows offers three-year postdoctoral fellowships for those who are completing or have just completed their PhD.  One can only apply once. Deadline usually mid-September.

Southern California

The University of Southern California Society of Fellows offers two-year postdoctoral fellowships. Fellows "are appointed for two-year terms during which they pursue research and teach three courses over four semesters, with one semester for full-time research".  Salary is "$57,500 per year plus fringe benefits, with an additional research and travel account of $6,000 per year".  PhD must be from the four years previous to application.  Deadline usually in early December.

Swiss National Science Foundation

The Ambizione scheme is a three-year post-doc open to all subjects to be spent at a host in Switzerland.  To be eligible, one has to have spent at least a year away from the institution where one gained one's doctorate.  Deadline usually 1st November.

Sydney

The University of Sydney's Society of Fellows offers three-year postdoctoral fellowships open to any subject.  Applications usually open in May and close in July.

Thyssen Stipends

The Fritz Thyssen foundation offers two-year postdoctoral stipends to those who received the PhD within the last two years.  There is no deadline, and decisions are usually reached within two weeks.  The application should not be under consideration by other funding bodies at the same time. 

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Disclaimer: the information on this page is offered in good faith, but no responsibility can be taken for its accuracy.  If you spot errors or links that no longer work, please notify , who will also be glad to hear of any additions.