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The American Academy of Religion announces the 2010 International Dissertation Research Grants Program. This program is designed to support AAR Student members whose dissertation research requires them to travel outside of the country in which their school or university is located. Grants are intended to help candidates complete their doctoral degrees by offsetting costs of travel, lodging, and other dissertation research-related expenses. (Grant monies may not be used for tuition, computer hardware, or meals.) This is a competitive program: applications will be reviewed by a jury of senior scholars appointed by the AAR President.


The Academy will make two grants in 2010.

A. The Academy will award one International Dissertation Research Grant to a student working in any sub-discipline within religious studies, and

B. The Academy will also award the Selva J. Raj Endowed International Dissertation Research Fellowship, which is described as follows:

The Selva J. Raj Endowed International Dissertation Research Fellowship honors the life and work of Professor Selva J. Raj, a prolific scholar, a gifted teacher, and a magnificent human being who passed away unexpectedly in 2008. A graduate of the University of Chicago Divinity School and a long-time member of the American Academy of Religion, Selva held several prominent leadership positions in the Academy and at Albion College, where he was Chair of the Religious Studies Department as well as the recipient of an endowed professorship and several other honors, grants, and student awards. Selva’s excellent scholarly contributions, his tireless passion for promoting scholarly exchanges, and his extraordinary collegiality are warmly remembered in the Academy and beyond. His ground-breaking field research-based scholarship on ritual boundary-crossings in Indian popular Catholicism greatly advanced our understanding of Indian Christianity, Hindu-Christian Studies, religious syncretism in India, popular religiosity in India, as well as ritual studies, interreligious dialogue, and religious pluralism. In awarding the Selva J. Raj Endowed International Dissertation Research Fellowship, priority will be given to graduate students working in one or more of these areas.


$5,000 each. Checks will be made payable to the individual student recipient. The Academy will issue recipients a Form 1099 in the amount of the grant for income tax use.


Applicants for International Dissertation Research Grants must have been AAR student members for at least two years and must have completed all requirements for the PhD degree except the dissertation. Recipients of International Dissertation Research Grants are not eligible to make subsequent applications. The Academy will award grants only if there is a sufficiently diverse and rich pool of applicants.

Application Materials

Candidates must submit:

  • A letter of application (no longer than 3 pages) that describes their research project and how support for on-site research is critical for the completion of their dissertation;
  • A current curriculum vitae;
  • A proposed budget; and
  • A letter of support from their dissertation supervisor.

Application, Notification, Expenditure, and Reporting Timeline

Applications for the Grants Program must be received or postmarked no later than April 15, 2010. Notification of awards will be made by May 21, 2010. Funds awarded must be expended by December 31, 2010. Recipients will be expected to submit a written report of their research, including a budget narrative, no later than January 31, 2011. Application materials may be sent electronically (to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), by fax (to 404-727-7959), or by mail (to International Dissertation Research Grants Program, American Academy of Religion, 825 Houston Mill Road NE, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30329-4205, USA.)

For further information, contact:
Margaret Jenkins
Director of Development and Membership
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