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Collaborative Research Grants

Successful Grants from Prior Years

Application Deadline: August 1

To fulfill its commitment to advance research in religion, the AAR each year grants awards ranging from $500 to $5000 to support projects proposed by AAR members and selected by the AAR Research Grants Jury. These projects can be either collaborative or individual.

Collaborative 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.

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 publication costs, research assistance, or released time. Please view the Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.

Examples of recently funded projects include:

  • Symposium to comment on and critique chapters for an edited book
  • Developing a typology of religious board games and toys
  • Research, interviews, and observations of reconciliation programs in Ireland
  • Compiling material for a CD that will accompany a textbook
  • Conference to discuss approaches to translating, and writing interpretive chapters for, a book

A group must apply through an AAR member designated as the Project Director. Not all participants need to hold AAR membership.

Grant awards will range from $500 to $5000.

Grant Cycle

2016–2017 Research Grant Application Cycle: May 1 to August 1, 2016

Proposals must be uploaded to the AAR website by August 1, 2016.

Notification of the application status will be sent to the Project Director by December 31, 2016.

Award notification letters will be sent by December 31, 2016.

Project award funds are disbursed January 1 through June 30 of the award year. The research project expenses can be undertaken anytime within the calendar year of the award year.

Awardees must submit an expense report as well as a brief report on the research supported by the AAR grant by January 31 of the following calendar year.


A group must apply through an AAR member designated as the Project Director. Not all participants need to hold AAR membership.

  • All Project Directors must be current members of the AAR and must maintain their AAR membership throughout the grant period.
  • Project Director must be a current AAR member who has been in good standing for at least the previous three (3) years.
  • Applicants will not be considered who have received an AAR Research Award in the previous five (5) years.
  • Applicants must have completed the doctorate.

Application Process

Applicants must submit their materials through the online research grants proposal submission form. The research grants online submission system is open between May 1 and August 1.

Applications must uploaded by August 1.

Hard copies or e-mailed copies of application materials will not be accepted.

Applicants should be prepared to upload the following materials:

  • Cover page that includes the following:

    • Project Director's name
    • Project Director's institutional affiliation (if applicable)
    • Title of the project
    • The grant type—Individual or Collaborative
  • Abstract of 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 of the research project that details its aims and significance and explains 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 of no more than two pages. Collaborative project proposals should include CVs of no more than two pages for each collaborator.

Additional material will not be considered. Incomplete proposals will not be considered.

Criteria for Evaluation

All grant proposals (collaborative and individual) will be 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.

Notification of application status will be sent by December 31, 2016.

Contact Information

Send direct inquiries to Elizabeth Hardcastle at or call 404-712-6654.