Luce-AAR Advancing Public Scholarship Grant Program


With funding from the Henry Luce Foundation, the Luce-AAR Advancing Public Scholarship Grant program offers grants to support scholars of religion who are working to engage publics in innovative ways, through projects designed for presentation in public spaces and outreach through publicly accessible sites.

The grant program is available to AAR members in any country/location.

The program consists of five grant cycles: 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, and 2026. 

For the 2024 cycle, up to 25 grants of $5,000 (USD) will be awarded.

Notification of the application status will typically be made by May 31.

AAR members who received an AAR/Luce Advancing Public Scholarship grant for the 2022 cycle cannot apply again to the program until the 2025 cycle. AAR members who received an AAR/Luce Advancing Public Scholarship grant for the 2023 cycle cannot apply again to the program until the 2026 cycle.


To be eligible to apply to the grant program, applicants must:

  1. have an active AAR membership at the time of application and throughout the grant period; and
  2. be developing work or a project toward advancing public engagement with scholarship.

Types of projects may include (but are not limited to):

  • Projects designed to present scholarship on religion in public spaces as a means to generate public engagement. Examples include (but are not limited to) development and presentation of a museum exhibit or other exhibition at a community center or public property such as a community garden, monument, or library.
  • Projects that engage a specific community in learning about and interpreting their own history as it pertains to religion, as a series of in-person events or maintenance of an archive.  Projects with an outreach and engagement plan intended to transition from a scholar-community collaboration into a community-led program are encouraged.
  • Scholars working on public outreach and engagement through podcasts and other media-based sites.
  • Funds may be used for services or training that will further the goals of, or address the risks and challenges associated with, projects intended to advance public scholarship and engagement.  These include, but are not limited to, media consultant or training fees, online presence auditing services, cybersecurity training, online services to scrub online presence, trainings on how a scholar can protect themselves.  Funds might also be used for other expenses including stipends/honoraria for collaborators, production costs, funds for individual or collaborative research, travel, convening or a course release to work on the project.

Please note the following:

  • Projects may take place in any country/countries.
  • Projects may be in any language.
  • Projects may be individual or collaborative.  
  • Individual applications submitted by collaborators applying for the same collaborative project cannot be considered.
  • AAR members may submit more than one proposal. If selected however, only one grant proposal will be funded to a member who submits multiple proposals.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit an application form and the required materials through the AAR Grant Application Submission System.

Late, emailed, or incomplete applications or materials cannot be accepted. 

Application Requirements

  • Completed application form
  • Required proposal documents as outlined below 
  • Current CV(for collaborative projects, a CV is required for each collaborator)

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

Required Proposal Documents

  • Cover Page
    • Applicant name
    • Applicant’s institutional affiliation (if applicable)
    • Project title
    • Project abstract (2-3 sentences)
    • Project Type – Individual or Collaborative
  • Project Description
    • 2-3 page project description that includes a description of the project that details its aims and significance; describes the publics intended; explains details about how the award would be used for advancing public scholarship and engagement and outlines the project’s workplan and timeline.

Please note: It is up to the applicant to decide on their project and the description content. The AAR staff cannot make recommendations about the project and/or what should/should not be included in an applicant’s project description.

  • Budget
    • Description of the project expenses may be included in the 2-3 page project description or submitted as a separate page/document. It is up to the applicant to decide on the formatting of the budget description.
  • Signed Consent
    • Signed consent that the project information (including grantee name, project title, project abstract, and portions of the project report) may be used on the AAR website and in AAR reports to the Henry Luce Foundation. There is no required formatting but the signed consent must be included as a separate document/page.

The application form and the required proposal documents must be in English.

Eligible grant proposals will be reviewed by an AAR jury of scholars with a history of public engagement using the following criteria:

  • Clarity and focus of the project and engagement with publics
  • Contribution to innovative public scholarship and engagement
  • Adequacy of the overall work plan, including goals and timeline for completion of the project

Winner Notification and Expectations

  • Notification of application status will be sent to the applicant via email.
  • For awarded projects, expenses can be undertaken anytime within the calendar year of the award year.
  • For awarded projects, funds may be used for expenses directly related to the execution of the proposed grant as outlined in the budget proposal.
  • Indirect or overhead costs are ineligible expenses and cannot be funded by the grant.
  • For awarded projects, grant funds will be remitted to the individual grantee.
  • For awarded projects, grant funds cannot be made payable to a grantee’s institution.  
  • For awarded projects, grant funds cannot be remitted to a collaborator or someone other than the applicant/grantee.
  • By January 31 of the following calendar year, grantees must submit an expense report along with a detailed report on the project.
  • For awarded projects, the grant will be disbursed in two installments: the first installment of $4000 when the grant is awarded and the second installment of $1000 once the project has been completed and the grant report has been received.* 

* Exceptions may be considered.

Grant Reports

Grantees should submit the following items:

  • A 2-3 page narrative description of the project and outcomes
  • A financial report detailing expenses

Reports will be submitted through an online form.  Awardees are encouraged to submit a report that the AAR can share publicly on the AAR website and at AAR membership events.  All work will be credited.


Questions may be sent to [email protected].




To Be Announced

Award Amount


Past Winners