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Summer Funding

Pivot (, the searchable grants database to which all faculty have access using their Vanderbilt e-mail address, contains hundreds of funding opportunities for short-term funding for summer research and writing according to your specific topic and interests. Because of the relatively short time frame available to work over the summer months, it is particularly important to provide a well-defined work plan and schedule; to clearly describe your methodology; to demonstrate that your plan is realistic and feasible, with a defined product or stated goals; and to describe how the proposed work fits into your broader research and writing project(s).

Below are a few illustrative examples, by donor category:

U.S. Government:

Fulbright Scholar Program:   The Fulbright program offers teaching, research, or combination teaching/research awards in more than 125 countries. The proposal must, in addition to clearly demonstrating intellectual merit, “recognize and promote the critical relationship between educational exchange and international understanding.” Applications are usually due in early August.

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend: This is a limited submission award; Vanderbilt chooses a preferred candidate in July who is invited to submit a full application to NEH, which is typically due in October.

State entities:

Tennessee State Arts Commission: Colleges and universities may apply for activities that address the needs of surrounding communities or the state, and that are designed to involve a broad audience. First-time applicants must contact the Commission before submitting an application. Deadlines vary.

Professional organizations:

American Historical Association: These mostly small-scale grants are most commonly awarded to AHA members including “…nontenured faculty, and unaffiliated scholars and individuals with specific research needs such as the completion of a project or discrete segment thereof.” Deadline is usually mid-February.

American Philosophical Association: There are several fellowship awards with varying deadlines.

Private foundations:

The Getty Foundation: The Foundation provides “partial, short-term support for costs relating to travel and living expenses for scholars whose research requires use of specific collections housed in the Getty Research Institute.” Information about the application process and deadlines are usually posted in the fall.

Gerda Henkel Stiftung: This foundation offers support for the historical humanities, primarily history, archaeology, the history of art, and other disciplines with a historical component. Proposals for short-term research or writing enjoy an expedited review process, which takes only three to four months.