Collaborative Research Grants


Collaborative research grants are intended to stimulate cooperative research among scholars who have a focus on a clearly identified research project. They may also be used for interdisciplinary work with scholars outside the field of religion, especially when such work shows promise of continuing beyond the year funded. Collaborative project proposals are expected to describe plans for having the results of the research published.

These grants can provide funds for networking and communication. Funds may also be used to support small research conferences. Conference proposals will be considered only if they are designed primarily to advance research. Conferences presenting papers that report on previous research will not be considered. Funds are not provided for research assistance, supplemental salary, stipends, released time, publication and/or subvention costs, transcription costs, or travel to attend the AAR Annual Meeting. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions for additional information. You can also view a list of past winners.


A group must apply through an AAR member designated as the Project Director. The Project Director must meet the qualifications and membership eligibility requirements. Not all project collaborators need to be AAR members.

  • All Project Directors must be current members of the AAR and must maintain their AAR membership throughout the grant period.
  • The Project Director must be a current AAR member and have been a member for at least the previous year. To be eligible to apply for the 2021-2022 grant cycle, a Project Director must be a 2021 AAR member and have been a 2020 AAR member as well. Applications submitted by members who do not have 2021 and 2020 memberships will not be considered. 
  • Groups cannot have a Project Director or collaborator who has received an AAR research grant in the previous five (5) years. For the 2021–2022 grant cycle, this includes any previous research grants received after 2016.
  • Project Directors must have completed the doctorate.

All eligible research grant proposals will be reviewed and assessed by the AAR Research Grants Jury using the following criteria:

  • Clarity and focus of the research to be pursued
  • Contribution to scholarship in a field or subfield of religion and significance of the contribution for advancing the understanding of religion or for advancing interdisciplinary discussions between religion and other humanistic and social science disciplines
  • Adequacy of the overall work plan, including goals, objectives, and time frame for the completion of the project

How to Apply

Applicants must submit their application and materials through the online form provided. Hard copies or emailed copies of application materials will not be accepted. Incomplete proposals will not be considered.

Applicants should be prepared to upload the following required materials, all of which should be compiled into a single document in PDF or Word format:

  • Cover page that includes:
    • Project Director's name
    • Project Director's institutional affiliation (if applicable)
    • Project title
    • Grant type—individual or collaborative
    • Requested grant amount (USD)
  • Abstract - 50 words or fewer describing the project
  • Project budget
    • List budget items with amounts; explanation of these expense items can be included in the two-page description of the project
    • List other sources of support—e.g., funds granted by your institution, funds requested from outside agencies—and indicate the total award amount sought from the AAR
  • Two-paged focus description
    • Description of the research project with details about the aims and significance, and explanation about how the award would be used
    • Collaborative project descriptions should include brief descriptions of the scholarly role of each collaborator and a plan to have the research published
  • Curriculum Vitae
    • A CV of no more than two pages for the Project Director
    • A CV of no more than two pages for each collaborator

Additional materials will not be considered.

Winner Notification and Expectations

  • Notification of the application status will be sent to the Project Director by January 31, 2022.
  • For awarded projects, funds are disbursed January 1 through June 30 of the award year.
  • For awarded projects, expenses can be undertaken anytime within the calendar year of the award year.
  • By January 31 of the following calendar year, awardees must submit an expense report as well as a brief report on the research supported by the AAR grant.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I apply for a research grant without an institutional affiliation?
YES – There is no institutional affiliation requirement.

I am working on multiple research projects. Can I apply for more than one grant?
YES – AAR members who meet the eligibility requirements may submit more than one research grant proposal. If selected however, only one grant proposal will be funded to a member who submits multiple proposals.

Can I submit my proposal to more than one AAR grant program?
YES ­­– AAR members who meet the eligibility requirements may submit a grant proposal to more than one grant program. If selected however, a member may only receive funds for one grant program.

Not all of our Collaborative Research Grant project participants are AAR members. Are we still eligible to apply for a grant?
YES – For a Collaborative Research Grant, only the Project Director must meet the AAR membership eligibility qualifications.

Can we apply for a Collaborative Research Grant if one/some of our participants have not received the doctorate?
YES – For a Collaborative Research Grant, only the Project Director must have the doctorate.

Grant Expenses

If I am seeking funds for my project from other institutions/agencies, do I need to include the other sources of funding in my budget proposal?
YES – When submitting your budget proposal, please include information about any other sources of funding or possible funding.

What are the research expenses that are not allowed?

Ineligible grant expenses include the following:

  • Dissertation Research
  • Indirect and/or Overhead Costs
  • Publication and/or Subvention Costs
  • Release Time
  • Research Assistance
  • Stipends
  • Supplementary Salary
  • Transcription and/or Translation Costs
  • Travel to attend the AAR Annual Meeting


Questions may be sent to [email protected].


August 3

Award Amount

$500 to $5,000


The 2021-2022 cycle is now closed.