The SVA/Robert Lemelson Foundation Fellowships are designed to provide graduate students working in the field of visual and multimodal anthropology with funding to pursue exploratory research for planning their doctoral dissertation research and/or methods training to prepare for their doctoral dissertation research. Research projects supported by the funding should have the potential of advancing the field of visual anthropology.
Normally, fellows receive their awards after their first or second year of graduate training as they begin to develop their dissertation research projects. We expect to award up to six fellowships in 2018 with each fellow receiving up to an amount of $6,000 depending upon need. Of the total amount granted, up to $2,500 may be used for video/film equipment.
- Fellowships are open to all graduate students without regard to citizenship or place of residence.
- Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate program at the time of application and during the period of the fellowship.
- Applicants’ proposed research must be in the field of visual anthropology, broadly defined, but they do not need to be students in departments of anthropology.
- Applicants cannot have completed more than four years of graduate education, including all institutions that they have attended. The funding cannot be used to collect data for the fellow’s master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation.
- Applicants must be current members of the Society of Visual Anthropology (SVA), a section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) as of May 18, 2018. Details on joining the AAA and the SVA can be found here. Note: If the applicant is not a current member, we suggest submitting the membership application well in advance to be sure that the membership is current by the deadline.
- Fellows are prohibited from accepting the Robert Lemelson Foundation Fellowship in conjunction with any other summer or research funding for the same project over the same time frame as the proposed research supported by the Robert Lemelson Foundation Fellowship.
- All fellows are required to attend the 2018 AAA Annual Meeting to be held in San Jose, CA (November 14-18, 2018).
Permissible Uses of Robert Lemelson Foundation Fellowship
Funding: Financial support can be requested to support all travel expenses, including airfare, ground transportation, and visa application fees; living expenses and housing; fieldwork expenses such as gifts for participants, translator and field assistant fees; and all other reasonable and justified expenses. Funds may not be used to pay for graduate school tuition.
Budgets must include financial support up to a maximum of $600 to attend the 2018 AAA Annual Meeting to be held in San Jose.
Funding cannot be used to support language training in more commonly taught languages, such as Spanish, French, and Arabic. Some funding can be used to support language instruction for languages where formal instruction is limited, but the focus of the project should be on pursuing exploratory research rather than strictly language instruction. Funding can be used for methods training, but the methods in question must be tied directly to the larger research project and it will be this project that is the focus of the selection committee’s review. Proposals for general methods or statistical training, for example, are unlikely to be funded.
We expect to fund proposals between $3,000 and $6,000. You may request a larger amount than the stated limit, but it is very unlikely that an award over $6,000 will be made.
- Application form: Download the fellowship application from the Robert Lemelson Foundation Fellowship website, complete the form using Adobe Acrobat or Reader, and save it with your last name in the title.
- Project statement: In 750 -1,000 words (excluding references), please describe the specific research activities or training that you will carry out with support from the SVA/Robert Lemelson Foundation Fellowship. Explain in detail how you will use your time, including any preliminary data you will collect and analysis you are considering. Please specify the ways in which this preliminary research and/or methods training has the potential to make your dissertation research more successful. Please indicate whether you have ever spent time in the field site in question. If so, please indicate the length of time and experience you have there, and how this bout of research will be different from previous visits. Finally, your proposal should specifically address how your research program has the potential to advance the field of visual/multimodal anthropology. The statement should be single-spaced, and use a 12-point font and one-inch margins on all sides. Any references included should be narrowly focused, and should not exceed 300 words.
- Brief curriculum vitae: In one single-spaced page, provide details on your education with dates of enrollment; any research funding, fellowships, and awards you may have received, including amounts and dates, and any academic publications and presentations you may have completed. Include details on prior employment, volunteer work, and other experience only if it is directly relevant to the proposed research. Other information such as teaching experience should not be included.
- Budget and budget justification: In one single-spaced page, provide a detailed and specific budget with justification for the items and amounts included. Justification should include mention of how costs were estimated. Your budget must include support up to $600 for attendance at the 2018 AAA meetings, and this amount can be listed as a single item in your budget.
- Letter of recommendation: Applicants must obtain a letter written in support of their application from a faculty member familiar with their work and research aspirations. Normally, this will be the chair of the student’s graduate research advisory committee. Please provide the attached information sheet to the individual who is writing the letter. It is the applicant’s responsibility to be sure that the letter is received by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Only one letter of recommendation will be accepted.
Deadline and Submission Details
The deadline for application submission is Friday, May 18, 2018 at 5 PM.
Your application should consist of only two files: (1) a PDF of the completed application form (section #1 above), and (2) a single PDF file that includes sections #2 (project statement and references), #3 (curriculum vitae), and #4 (budget and justification). Please include your last name in the name of both files. To submit your application, please email both files as an attachment to the SVA’s President Matthew Durington by the deadline.
Applications received after this time and date will not be reviewed. We expect to contact awardees by the end of April, and hope to contact all applicants by May 25, 2018. Please contact Matthew Durington or Stephanie Takaragawa with any questions or if there are any changes to your application, including receipt of other funding.
Letter of Recommendation Instructions
Your graduate student is applying for a SVA/Robert Lemelson Foundation Fellowship, which is designed to provide students working in the field of visual anthropology with funding to pursue exploratory research for planning their doctoral dissertation research and / or methods training to prepare for their dissertation research. Research projects supported by the funding should have the potential of advancing the field of visual/multimodal anthropology. Normally, fellows receive their awards after their first or second year of graduate training as they develop their dissertation research projects. Funds cannot be used to collect data for the student’s master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation.
We ask that you complete a letter of recommendation in support of the student and their proposed research project. In the letter, please describe the circumstances under which you have come to know about the applicant’s academic potential. You may wish to discuss the applicant’s academic strengths and weaknesses, their relative success in meeting degree progress timelines, professional accomplishments to date, and career goals. Please evaluate the importance of the work they propose to do, and the likelihood that the award will lead to a stronger dissertation. These awards are specifically intended to further research in visual anthropology, so please be sure to indicate how the student’s proposed project may do so. You may submit your letter via email as a PDF or MS Word document to the SVA President, Matthew Durington by May 18, 2018 5PM EST.
This is a hard deadline, and unfortunately incomplete applications will not be reviewed. All letters of reference will be kept strictly confidential. Thank you very much on behalf of the Society for Visual Anthropology and the Robert Lemelson Foundation Student Fellowship program!