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Symposium Travel Awards for Students

Available to currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students to attend Dumbarton Oaks’ annual symposia in Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, and Garden and Landscape Studies.

Due to the present circumstances surrounding COVID-19, Dumbarton Oaks is not currently accepting applications for this award. In the meantime, we invite you to visit our online resources found here. 

Dumbarton Oaks is proud to offer the newly expanded Bliss Symposium Awards, designed to engage advanced undergraduates and graduate students in our three areas of specialization through supported attendance of Dumbarton Oaks annual symposia in Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, and Garden and Landscape Studies. Up to six awards will be made for each symposium. Up to three awards will be offered to students of Harvard University, with which Dumbarton Oaks is affiliated, and up to three awards will be offered to students from other US and international institutions.


The awards offer up to $600 for students traveling domestically, and up to $1,200 for students traveling from abroad. The symposium registration fee will be waived for Bliss Award holders. Funds will be disbursed on a reimbursement basis upon submission of original receipts and a completed travel reimbursement form. Eligible expenses include the cost of economy travel to Washington, DC, local accommodations, and other approved expenses related to symposium attendance. All receipts and signed forms must be submitted within 30 days of travel. Funds are disbursed as a check in US dollars and mailed to the candidate’s specified home address. We regret that we cannot accommodate wire transfers.


Currently enrolled graduate students in good standing are eligible to apply. Preference will be given to students in fields related to the Dumbarton Oaks areas of study. Advanced undergraduates with demonstrated interest in our three fields (e.g., through significant relevant coursework) will also be considered. Students from both US and international institutions are encouraged to apply. Awardees are responsible for their travel and housing arrangements; Dumbarton Oaks does not sponsor J1 visas for Bliss Award holders. Bliss Awardees will be expected to assist with light conference logistics, such as registration and facilitation of discussion, and may also be asked to write a short feature about their symposium attendance for the Dumbarton Oaks newsletter.

To Apply

Applications should include (a) a cover letter that provides a brief summary of the candidate’s research interests, plans for future research, and an explanation of why conference attendance is important to the candidate’s intellectual and professional development; (b) a résumé; and (c) a letter of support from the applicant’s thesis advisor or department chair, sent directly to the study program. All materials should be submitted to the study program organizing the symposium:, or


Further information on these symposia, including their topics, is available under Upcoming Events.

  • January 31 for Byzantine Studies symposium (held annually in April)
  • March 15 for Garden and Landscape Studies symposium (held annually in May)
  • August 1 for Pre-Columbian Studies symposium (held annually in October)