ARISC Short Term Research Fellowship

Deadline Extended to Thursday, December 23, 2021

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

Eligibility and Priority:
The Short Term Research Fellowships (STRF) are open to U.S. citizens who are doctoral candidates or postdoctoral scholars conducting research in the South Caucasus. Priority will be given to projects proposing research on countering disinformation through programs that develop critical thinking and media literacy skills, entrepreneurship, science and technology, and youth leadership.

Award Amount:
Research awards will be made for $5,000 per full (30-day) month, for a maximum of 3 months total to cover transportation, lodging, and meals and incidental expenses during the scholar’s time conducting research in the South Caucasus. Scholars are expected to be in the South Caucasus for the duration of the project for a minimum of 30 days, up to 3 months total. Stipends will be pro-rated. Remote research projects will not be funded.

Additional Requirements:
Fellows are required to present a lecture or workshop during their stay in the South Caucasus. ARISC encourages fellows to present their research findings in cities, towns, and villages outside of the capitals in order to engage with underserved communities.

Proposals will be peer-reviewed and judged on their quality and on the potential of the research to strengthen scholarship on the South Caucasus. Learn more about the selection process below. This funding opportunity does not allow for a remote option. A fellow must be in the South Caucasus for the entirety of the time they are conducting research on this fellowship.

Application Requirements:
Please send a complete application including the application form*, a project statement of not more than 2000 words, work schedule, a diversity statement discussing how their experiences and projects promote diverse perspectives, experiences, and ideas, and curriculum vitae, by Thursday, December 23, 2021, to info “at” Two letters of recommendation must also be submitted. Letters of recommendation are required for graduate students only and should be sent directly from your referee via email to info “at” All information must be received by Thursday, December 23, 2021, in order for the applicant to be considered for the fellowship.

*This form needs to be downloaded to be completed. You will need to use Adobe Reader (free) to complete the form using the add text comment tool.

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.

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.

Terms and Conditions

  1. All applicants must be citizens of the United States of America. Student applicants must have fulfilled all requirements for the doctorate except the dissertation by March 2022, and before beginning any ARISC-sponsored research. Students who are graduating before the start of their field research project should indicate future study plans and how the field research fellowship will fit into those plans.
  2. Priority will be given to projects proposing research on countering disinformation through programs that develop critical thinking and media literacy skills, entrepreneurship, science and technology, and youth leadership.
  3. Awards are made for up to $5,000 per full month (30 days) for a maximum of 3 months. Scholars are expected to be in the South Caucasus for the duration of the project for a minimum of 30 days, up to 3 months total. Funding will be pro-rated. Fellows may stay in-country longer than 3 months, visa permitting, but the stipend will be capped at 3 months.
  4. Fellows must present an ARISC-sponsored public lecture or workshop on a subject related to their research during their residency in the South Caucasus and acknowledge ARISC in any publications and presentations. Fellows are encouraged to present their research findings in cities, towns, and villages outside of the capitals in order to engage with underserved communities
  5. Fellows are responsible for obtaining the appropriate research permissions and visas. In general, researchers should seek permission to carry out research directly from the director(s) of the institution(s) where they intend to work, including most libraries housed within local museums. If the material they wish to study is part of an excavation or survey, researchers must submit a letter with their application that is signed by the project director giving permission to carry out the research.
  6. Fellows must complete their fellowships and submit a Final Report to ARISC by August 31, 2022. Any unused portion of the stipend must be returned to ARISC by this date.
  7. A portion of the fellowship stipend will be withheld until the recipient submits their Final Report on their fellowship.
  8. Funding from this award cannot be used to cover visa expenses or the purchase of insurance.
  9. Meals and Incidental expenses may not exceed the rates set by the US Department of State: see
  10. 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.
  11. Award recipients are responsible for ensuring proper medical and evacuation insurance coverage during their time in the field in the South Caucasus. Proof of insurance coverage will be required before disbursement of fellowship funds.
  12. Fellowship recipients are eligible to reapply for a second ECA-funded fellowship three years after completion of their most recent award. Awardees of the Research Fellowships are presently ineligible to apply. Fellows cannot hold two-federally funded fellowships or funding opportunities simultaneously.
  13. Selected fellows must work on their research full-time during their period of funding.
  14. All travel between the US and South Caucasus that uses funds from the fellowship program must meet the provisions of the “Fly America Act.”
  15. Given changing travel restrictions and/or travel warnings to many countries, fellows should contact ARISC prior to purchasing airfare.
  16. Proof of Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval must be provided, if relevant, upon receipt of fellowship. Fellows are responsible for determining through their home institution whether IRB approval is required for their project. If unsure, the fellow should apply to the IRB program at their university.
  17. ARISC fellows who receive additional awards must contact ARISC immediately to discuss possible date and stipend adjustments. Fellows may not hold another federal grant concurrently with the ECA-funded ARISC Research Fellowship.
  18. ARISC reserves the right to adjust the amounts and types of awards given under this program, as well as the general terms and conditions, before award agreements are reached with each recipient.
  19. Fellows are responsible for securing their visas.

Selection Process

Fellows will be selected by the ARISC grants panel made up of scholars working in the South Caucasus with experience conducting regional and trans-regional research. Please note that readers may not be specialists in the applicant’s 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;
  • Potential for the project to diversify perspectives, experiences, and ideas in the scholarship of the region;
  • Applicant qualifications;
  • Research design and methodology;
  • Feasibility in terms of resources and amount of time allocated to the project;
  • Proficiency in language required to complete research project, if applicable. If language competence is needed for this project, one of the letters of recommendation must address this.


Notification of fellowship status will be sent to each applicant via email in February 2022. If you would like to receive any updates to this funding call, please email with your name, contact information, and the subject “Updates to Short Term Research Fellowships 2021-22.”

Additional Information

The ARISC Resident Directors in Baku, Tbilisi, and Yerevan are available to assist the scholars chosen for the program to prepare for their research in the South Caucasus by assisting with logistics such as visa requirements, travel arrangements within the country, and helping to locate research materials and local contacts. Note that ARISC does not have a branch in Azerbaijan and awardees will need to coordinate with a host institution to obtain an invitation letter for a visa.

Funding for this fellowship is provided by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) through a grant to the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC).

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


  • James Nadel (Columbia University): Jewish Baku: Economy, Culture and Minority Life at the Edge at the Russian Empire, 1872-1921
  • Paul Werth (University of Nevada, Las Vegas): Russia’s Enclosure: The World’s Longest Border and Its Caucasus Link