Pre-Dissertation Travel Grant

This fellowship is open to U.S. citizen pre-doctoral candidates who have completed all coursework prior to arriving in Egypt. S/he may have passed his or her comprehensive exams and/or been granted approval for the dissertation proposal. It is not necessary to have advanced to ABD status. The grantee will conduct exploratory research to identify sources, build professional networks and visit heritage sites, research libraries and archives in Egypt. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs funds the fellowship through a grant to the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC).  Minimum one month, maximum two months stay.

  • One $2,400 grant plus round trip airfare is awarded in years when qualified candidates apply.

A limited number of pre-dissertation research travel grants will be offered again this year. This grant is designed to support pre-dissertation research travel to Egypt for a 4-8 week period. During this period the grantee will conduct exploratory research to identify sources, establish contacts, identify and visit various sites and institutions and test the feasibility of their initial research methodologies on the ground in Egypt.

Fields of Study: Anthropology, Archaeology, Architecture, Art, Art History, Comparative Literature, Coptic Studies, Economics, Egyptology, Ethnomusicology, Gender Studies, History, Humanistic Social Sciences, Islamic Studies, Literature, Music, Political Science, and Religious Studies.


  • Applicant must be an American citizen
  • Applicants must be enrolled in a Ph.D. program at an accredited university in the U.S. or abroad
  • Applicants must be available to conduct 4-8 weeks uninterrupted research in Egypt;
  • Applicants must have completed all coursework prior to arriving in Egypt
  • An applicant may have already passed their comprehensive exams and/or been granted approval for the dissertation proposal

Award: Not to exceed $2400 plus round-trip economy airfare.

The Application: 

A completed Pre-dissertation Travel Grant application consists of the following components:

  • An online application form
  • Two letters of recommendation are required. All applicants will be best served by referrers who are fully aware of your knowledge, experience, and capacity to successfully engage in research in Egypt.
  • If you are a dissertation scholar, your proposed project should be addressed by both referrers, one of whom is preferably your advisor, as the scholar who presumably knows your project the best; additionally, at least one referrer should specifically address your language skills.
  • Graduate transcripts. Please remove all password protections from transcripts prior to submission.
  • Statement of purpose (1200 words) that:
  • Describes the goals and objectives of the proposed research travel
  • Describes how the proposed research trip fits within the development of your dissertation proposal and your overall research plan
  • Describes how this trip fits within the structure of your university’s doctoral program towards the development of your dissertation proposal
  • Describes the concept, methodology and significance of the proposed research project in relation to your academic field
  • Includes a simple budget with a description of estimated costs

Ministry Security Forms:

Review Criteria:

  • Validity, significance and feasibility of proposed dissertation topic
  • Faculty support as indicated by letters of reference
  • Connection between the travel grant plans and dissertation proposal development;
  • Scholarly achievement
  • Requisite language capability

Important Note: All scholars conducting research with ARCE’s administrative or financial support require security clearance from the Egyptian government. If your research relies on interviews, public observation, questionnaires, participant observation, visual anthropology, or attending public events or if your research focuses on the military, religious movements, civilian-military relations, or politics in the current century it is unlikely you will gain clearance. Applicants should consult the Academic Programs Coordinator, Nesma Attiatalla ( prior to completing your application if any of those scenarios applies to you.

Attention antiquities applicants:  Grants are not intended to support participation as an expedition member. If your proposals includes visits to heritage sites or fieldwork and you have questions, contact Academic Programs Coordinator, Nesma Attiatalla,

Application Submission Deadline: January 31, 2024 11:59 PM EST.