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Project Grants

Available to cover direct costs of scholarly projects in the areas of study Dumbarton Oaks supports. Restrictions vary by program. Grants provide $3,000–10,000 in reimbursement upon submission of receipts. Apply by November 1.

Current Grants

Dumbarton Oaks makes a limited number of grants to assist with scholarly projects in Byzantine Studies, Pre-Columbian Studies, and Garden and Landscape Studies. Support is generally for archeological investigation, as well as for the recovery, recording, and analysis of materials that would otherwise be lost. The normal range of awards is $3,000–$10,000. Eligible projects may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • non-destructive investigation, excavation, and/or on-site study of a (Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, Garden) site or component of one
  • surveying or photographing monuments and objects that are at risk (e.g., architecture, gardens, paintings, mosaics, and sculptures in situ), as well as objects that have already been collected but are largely unrecorded and endangered.

Pre-Columbian project awards are intended only to survey, excavate, and/or document sites, landscapes, or objects that are in imminent danger. Applicants should provide evidence that such sites, landscapes, or objects are under immediate threat.

Garden and Landscape grants are intended to support primary research of a specific site. Project grants may be used for a broad array of projects including field research, site analysis, botanical surveys, heritage conservation and restoration planning, with the goal of promoting the preservation and understanding of historic gardens and other significant designed landscapes. 

For Byzantine project awards, priority is given to small projects, as well as start-up support for new projects, or for the final push for completion.

Funding may only be used to cover direct costs for which original documentation must be submitted for reimbursement. Examples of eligible expenses include transportation (excluding students), meals, housing, vehicle rental, workpeople’s wages, and technical analysis (as part of the overall project). Grants are not made for the purchase of computers or other equipment, or to cover the salaries of the principal investigators. Project grants are not given purely for the purpose of travel, or for work associated with a degree, library or archival research, catalogues, nor for conservation and restoration per se. Priority is given to applicants who have not previously received support from Dumbarton Oaks.

Funds can only be disbursed to individuals, not academic or other institutions, and only on a reimbursement basis (upon submission of receipts). Submission of a final report is obligatory. Funds are available July 1 – June 1 of the award year. Funding is non-recurring.

Qualifications and Conditions

Project grants are limited to applicants holding a doctorate or the equivalent, and are awarded on the basis of:

  1. ability and preparation of the principal project personnel (including knowledge of the requisite languages) and
  2. interest and value of the project to the specific field of study.

Individuals currently affiliated with Dumbarton Oaks are not eligible. Applications are reviewed by an external committee of scholars in the relevant field. Awards are made for projects conducted within the span of one fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).

Completed applications must include three letters of reference posted directly by the recommenders to the online application system.

To Apply

Please read and follow the online instructions. Applications, in English, must be submitted electronically via the Embark application system by November 1.


2020–2021 Project Grants

Paul Dilley, University of Iowa  
Byzantine Studies
Revealing the Unreadable: X-Ray Tomography of the Manichaean Synaxeis Codex

Heather Hurst, Skidmore College
Pre-Columbian Studies
Stelae Documentation: The New Monuments of Xulbe, Guatemala

Brita Lorentzen, Cornell University       
Byzantine Studies
Building a Dendrochronological Timeframe for Byzantine Painted Churches in Cyprus

Paolo Maranzana, Koç University
Byzantine Studies
The Emergence of Local Industry: Production and Circulation of Fine Ware in Late Roman Central Anatolia

Cristina Stancioiu, College of William and Mary
Byzantine Studies
Salvaging Crete: Late Byzantine Churches and the Legacy of Artist Ioannis Pagomenos

Rabun Taylor, University of Texas at Austin      
Garden and Landscape Studies
The Aqua Traiana in Context