ARISC Graduate/Postdoctoral Fellowship

Deadline: This funding opportunity is closed.

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) announces the availability of graduate/postdoctoral fellowships in support of research in the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia).


The ARISC Graduate/Postdoctoral Fellowships are open to U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, Canadian citizens, or Canadian permanent residents. Projects in all fields in the social sciences, humanities, and related sciences are eligible. Proposals will be judged on their quality and on the potential of the research to strengthen scholarship on the South Caucasus.

Award Amount:

Awards will be made for a maximum of $1500 each. The purpose of the fellowship is to help cover travel and/or living expenses in the South Caucasus.

Additional Requirements:

During their stay in the South Caucasus, the fellow is expected to give an ARISC-sponsored presentation on a subject related to their research. The fellow will acknowledge ARISC in any publication that emerges from the research carried out during the fellowship.

Application requirements:

Please send a complete application including the application form*, a project statement of not more than 3 pages, work schedule, itemized budget (see sample here), and curriculum vitae to, with the subject, “ARISC Graduate/Postdoctoral Fellowship.” Two letters of recommendation must also be submitted directly to ARISC from the recommenders. We accept applications on a rolling basis and applicants are notified of the decision within four weeks of submitting a complete application.

*This form needs to be downloaded to be completed. You will need to use Adobe Reader (free) to complete the form. This link shows how to type into the document using the free Adobe Reader DC.

Special notes during Coronavirus pandemic:

Applicants are encouraged to submit two research design and methodologies sections with matching budgets for each:

  1. Scenario A: scenario with travel to the South Caucasus; and
  2. Scenario B: scenario with work from home or within the US. Scenario B allows for research to be conducted in the case that travel to the South Caucasus cannot be carried out during the project timeline due to the pandemic. In this scenario, consider the following questions: How can you address your research question if you cannot travel to the South Caucasus? What methods, tools, and analyses can you conduct from home or in the US? Please be certain to adhere to appropriate safety protocols.  

For Scenario B, instead of funding travel costs (transportation, lodging, M&IE), the budget may cover costs such as rent, childcare, etc. so that the fellow may focus on their research during the time period of their fellowship. The Scenario B option budget may include translation costs, hiring a research assistant in the South Caucasus to do archival research if the fellow cannot travel, digital research projects, or publication fees for research. Publication fees could include website registration/server fees, or open access fees. Think of this the same way you would think about the costs of research in another country: What are the costs that would allow you to focus on and conduct research in the context of the pandemic? Attach a separate sheet to address Scenario B.

If awarded and fellows may to travel to the South Caucasus, then Scenario A will be in effect. If not, then Scenario B comes into effect.

Note that due to the current COVID-19 crisis, fellowship travel will resume when travel restrictions are lifted. Please list a tentative travel plan and dates in your application. ARISC will continue to monitor the situation and will work with fellows to confirm travel plans when the fellowships are awarded.

Additional Terms and Conditions

  1. The ARISC Graduate/Postdoctoral Fellowship is limited to ARISC members: student, individual, or institutional members. If your current institution is not a member (see, you can sign up for an annual student membership for $10, or individual membership for $40. Information on membership is available at
  2. Fellows must complete their fellowships by August 31, 2022. Any unused portion of the stipend must be returned to ARISC by this date.
  3. A report is required to be submitted to ARISC within 30 days of fellowship completion and no later than September 30, 2022.
  4. All applicants must be either graduate students enrolled in accredited degree-granting programs in the U.S. or Canada, or postdoctoral scholars or junior scholars, who have received their PhD since 2017. Students graduating in spring 2022 are eligible to apply.
  5. Fellowships will be awarded to U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, Canadian citizens, or Canadian permanent residents only. Proof of citizenship or permanent resident status (i.e., photocopy of passport, etc.) must be shown upon award notification.
  6. A portion of the fellowship stipend will be withheld until the recipient submits their Final Report on their fellowship.
  7. Fellows are expected to make contact with the ARISC country representative in each country or countries where they will be traveling as soon as possible upon arrival.
  8. Given changing travel restrictions and/or travel warnings to many countries, fellows must contact ARISC prior to purchasing airfare. Fellows are encouraged to use
  9. Proof of Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval must be provided, if relevant, upon receipt of fellowship.
  10. While ARISC encourages scholars to apply to other federal and private sources in addition to the ARISC graduate/postdoctoral fellowships, ARISC fellows who receive additional awards must contact ARISC immediately to discuss possible date and stipend adjustments.
  11. ARISC is unable to provide health or other insurance to its fellows. Fellows are required to supply ARISC with proof of health insurance as well as emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains insurance before leaving the United States or Canada.
  12. Fellowship recipients are eligible to reapply for a second Graduate/Postdoctoral Fellowship three years after completion of their most recent award.
  13. ARISC does not provide tax advice on fellowship payments. Fellowship stipends are not considered income. Fellows are encouraged to consult with their own tax advisors prior to filing.

ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, gender, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran.

Selection Process

Fellows will be selected by the ARISC grants panel made up of scholars with experience conducting regional and trans-regional research. Please note that readers may not be specialists in your field. Applicants will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • Merits of the proposal for significance, relevance, and potential contribution to regional and/or trans-regional scholarly research;
  • Applicant qualifications;
  • Research design and methodology;
  • Significance to the applicant’s field;
  • Significance to needs and interests of host country and ARISC;
  • Feasibility in terms of resources and amount of time allocated to the project;
  • Need for residence in host country to accomplish the project;
  • Proficiency in language required to complete research project, if applicable.


Notification of fellowship status will be made available to each applicant via email within four weeks of submitting a complete application. If you would like to receive any updates to this fellowship, please email with your name, contact information, and the subject “Updates to Grad/Postdoctoral Fellowships 2021-22.”

Important Notes Regarding Applications

  • The applicant is responsible for notifying referees of their request for letters and for ensuring those letters are submitted to ARISC by the deadline.
  • All references must be in English.
  • Applicants may submit one of the letters from their academic advisor.
  • ARISC’s method of submission is via email. Once an application is submitted it cannot be resubmitted or edited. This also applies to letters of recommendation.
  • Notification of fellowship status will be made available to each applicant via email within four weeks of submitting a complete application. Fellows are advised that it can take up to six months to obtain the necessary research clearance and should plan accordingly.

Note: Applicants may apply to more than one funding opportunity, if eligible. If awarded more than one fellowship, the awardee will be asked to select one.

Past Awards


– Kwan-Lamar Blount-Hill (Borough of Manhattan Community College): Building a Caucasian Criminology: A Study of Crime and Justice Attitudes in Azerbaijan

– Rikki Brown (University of California, Santa Cruz): Bottling up Georgian-ness: Wine and Tourism in the Reformation of a Sovereign National Identity in the Post-Soviet Republic of Georgia

2020: – – Benjamin Bamberger (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): A “Kingdom of Ice and Death”: Svan Alpinists and the Development of Mountaineering in Svaneti.

– Evangeline McGlynn (University of California at Berkeley): The Destruction of Space: Spitak Earthquake Recovery in Peace and War 1988-2018

– Angela Wheeler (Harvard University): Constructing Old Tbilisi: Socialist and National Narratives in Georgian Architectural Preservation, 1959-2013


– Rayya El Zein (University of Pennsylvania): Fighting for the Future: Georgian Creative Industries after the Rose Revolution.
– Anahid Matossian (University of Kentucky): Making a “Home” in the “Homeland”?: Syrian Armenian Women in Yerevan, Armenia.
– Erin Piñon (Princeton University): Painting Narrative, Performing History: Early Modern Armenian Illumination in Liturgical and Paraliturgical Manuscripts.


– Jonathan Hollis (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): Mugham in Armenian Music: Echoes of Conflict in Exile.

– Jonathan Sicotte (Georgetown University): Baku: Violence, Oil, and Promise: 1917 – 1940.

– Stephen Riegg (Texas A&M University): In the Imperial Vise: The South Caucasus between Russia and Persia, 1785-1917.


– Alyssa Mathias (University of California, Los Angeles): Shared Culture and Musical Diplomacy Between Armenia and Turkey.

– Jesse Quinn (Syracuse University): Geopolitical Ecologies: Re-Territorializing Mining Governance in the Republic of Georgia.

– Richard Tate (University of Florida): Linking Botanical and Cultural Conservation in Adjara, Georgia.


– Bamberger, Benjamin (University of Illinois): In the Mountains of Georgia: Alpinism, Tourism, and the Making of Soviet Georgia, 1923-1955.

– Fittante, Daniel (University of California, Los Angeles): Connection without Engagement: The Paradoxes of North American Armenian Repatriation.

– Otruba, Ariel (Rutgers University): The Elastic Geography of the South Ossetian Administrative Boundary Line: A Study of the Lived Geopolitics of Borderization and Creeping Occupation in Georgia.


– Elizabeth Anderson (Yale University): Syriac Manuscripts in the Matenadaran

– Alexander Balistreri (Princeton University): From Baku to Kars: Muslim Solidarity Across the Southern Caucasus, 1910–1922

– Claire Kaiser (University of Pennsylvania): Lived Nationality: Policy and Practice in Soviet Georgia, 1945-1978


– Nathaniel Erb-Satullo (Harvard University): Metals, Mining and Movement: Landscape Archaeology in Kvemo Kartli, Georgia

– Lara Fabian (University of Pennsylvania): Between East and West in Transcaucasia: Regional Perspectives on the Roman-Parthian Borderland

– Susannah Fishman (University of Pennsylvania): Ceramic Entanglements at the Urartian Periphery: Technological Analysis in Naxçıvan, Azerbaijan

– Hannah Chazin (University of Chicago): The Politics of Pasture: The Political Economy of Herding in the Late Bronze Age.
– Hannah Lau (University of California, Los Angeles): Feasting and Emergent Political Complexity in the Late Neolithic Ancient Near East: Evidence from Kamiltepe.
– Jesse Quinn (University of Arizona): Forests, State and Territory in the Republic of Georgia.

– Emily Hammer (Harvard University): Archaeological Landscapes of Highland and Steppe Zones in Northwestern Naxcivan, Azerbaijan.
– Caitlin Ryan (University of Colorado Boulder): State Formation and Property Relations in Georgia: A Case Study of IDP Housing.
– Beverly Schmidt (University of Connecticut): Middle Paleolithic Lithic Technology and Behavior in the Hrazdan River Gorge, Armenia.

– Eli Feiman (Brown University): Cohesion, Coercion, and Compromise: Parties of Power in the South Caucasus, 1988-Present.
– Melissa Gayan (Emory University): The Forgotten Revolt: The 1956 Pro-Stalinist Protests in Soviet Georgia and its Cold-War Implications.
– Tamrika Khvtisiashvili (University of Utah): Documentation of Khinalug.

– Megan Dean (Stanford University): Neither Empire Nor Nation: Networks of Trade in the Caucasus, 1750-1925.
– Aimee Dobbs (Indiana University – Bloomington): Negotiating Public Schools for Muslims among Russian Imperial Bureaucrats, Local Administrators, and Azerbaijani Elites, 1862-1890.
– Sarah Garding (University of California, Berkeley): Courting the Nation Abroad: Diaspora Policies in Postcommunist Armenia, Croatia, Serbia, and Ukraine.