Individual Research Grants


Individual research grants provide support for important aspects of research, such as fieldwork or travel to archives and libraries. Funds are not provided for dissertation research, research assistance, stipends, released time, publication expenses, or travel to attend the AAR Annual Meeting. Grants range from $500 to $5000. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions for additional information. You can also view a list of past winners.


  • Applicants must be current AAR members and have been an AAR member for at least the previous year. To be eligible to apply for the 2020–2021 grant cycle, applicants must be 2020 AAR members and have been a member in 2019 as well. Applications submitted by members who do not have 2020 and 2019 AAR memberships will not be considered.
  • Applicants who have received an AAR research grant award in the previous five (5) years will not be considered. For the 2020–2021 grant cycle, this includes any previous research grants received after 2015.
  • Applicants must have completed the doctorate.
  • Grant recipients must maintain their AAR membership throughout the grant period.

All eligible 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:
    • Your name
    • Your 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-page focused description
    • Description of the research project that details its aims and significance and explains how the award would be used
  • Curriculum Vitae
    • No more than two pages

Additional materials will not be considered.

Winner Notification and Expectations

  • Notification of application status will be sent to the applicant via email by January 31, 2021.
  • 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 along with 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.

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


August 3

Award Amount

$500 to $5,000


The 2020-2021 cycle is closed.