ARISC Short Term Research Fellowships 2023-24

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). Projects proposing research on studying climate change as well as pandemic response are especially encouraged, but all strong proposals on other topics will be given full consideration.Fellows are required to present a lecture or workshop during their stay in the South Caucasus that is open to the public and acknowledge ARISC in any publications and presentations. ARISC encourages fellows to present their research findings in cities, towns, and villages outside of the capitals in order to engage with underserved communities. 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).

Deadline: Friday, December 8, 2023


  • Projects in all fields in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences are eligible.
  • Citizenship: U.S. citizens only
  • Status:
    • PhD students who are doctoral candidates. (Student applicants must have fulfilled all requirements for the doctorate except the dissertation by March 2024, 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 short term research fellowship will fit into those plans.)
    • Scholars who have completed their PhDs
    • In exceptional cases, awards will be granted to applicants who do not meet status requirements included above. If you would like to apply, but do not meet stated status requirements, include a separate, brief statement that explains how the award will benefit this phase of your work.

Invitational Priority:

Projects proposing research on studying climate change as well as pandemic response are especially encouraged, but all strong proposals will be given full consideration.

Award Amount:
Research awards will be made for $4,200 per full (30-day) month, for a maximum of 2 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 2 months total. Stipends will be pro-rated. ECA-funded programs do not support remote research projects. A fellow must be in the South Caucasus for the entirety of the time they are conducting research on this fellowship. ARISC expects to award between two and four Short Term Research Fellowships in 2023-24.

Application Requirements:

  • application form*,
  • a project statement* of not more than 2000 words (not including bibliographic references, tables, charts, or other supporting information). In a separate document, please provide a full description of the proposed project addressing the following specifically:
    • Research question, design, and methodology
    • The significance of the project, relevance, and potential contribution to regional and /or trans-regional scholarly research.
    • Does your project relate to climate change or pandemic response?
    • What are your qualifications for this project and how will they enable you to do your proposed project?
    • Please also identify potential obstacles or issues (for example, geopolitical instability, archive closures, difficulty finding interlocutors, permissions required by local agencies) that may delay your research and how would you meet the challenges of your project should one of these factors be an issue.
    • Please note that application reviewers may not be specialists in your field. The language of your statement should be clear and free of jargon.
  • work schedule,
    • Scholars are expected to be in the South Caucasus for the duration of the project – ECA-funded programs do not support remote research projects.
    • Please be specific about the number of days per week and number of hours during the day that you will spend on this research project, as well as the location for this research project.
    • Your work schedule should demonstrate that you have checked availability of resources.
    • Archives may not be open year-round, and local scholars may be traveling in the summer. Check on availability ahead of time.
    • Be aware that it can take up to six months to obtain the necessary in-country research clearance and plan accordingly. We recommend beginning the process early.
    • Applicants with questions about timing and feasibility, or any other issues relating to working in-country, are encouraged to contact ARISC’s Resident Directors:,, or
  • a diversity statement
    • discuss how your experiences and projects promote diverse perspectives, experiences, and ideas.
  • curriculum vitae
  • Doctoral candidates only: Two letters of recommendation must also be sent directly to ARISC from the recommenders. Applicants should download and share this cover sheet* with letter writers.
    • 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;
    • One letter must be from the applicant’s academic advisor.

This fellowship competition does not require the submission of a budget. Funding from this award cannot be used to cover visa expenses or the purchase of insurance.

Application materials should be emailed to, with the subject, “ARISC Short Term Research Fellowship.” Applications are processed manually. Applicants should expect to receive an email from ARISC indicating receipt approximately 2-3 days after submission. If you do not receive a response, check your spam filter, then contact

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

Additional Requirements, Terms, and Conditions

The following requirements, terms, and conditions apply to applicants selected for awards. Applicants should be aware of the following prior to submitting their application.

  1. Applicants must be US Citizens. Proof of citizenship must be shown upon fellowship notification.
  2. Applicants may apply to more than one ARISC funding opportunity, if eligible. If awarded more than one fellowship, the awardee will be asked to select one.
  3. 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. We recommend applicants begin the IRB process at their home institution as soon as they submit their application to ARISC.
  4. Fellows must submit a Final Report to ARISC within 30 days of fellowship completion, and no later than August 31, 2024. Any unused portion of the grant must be returned to ARISC by this date. A portion of the fellowship stipend will be withheld until the recipient submits their Final Report on their fellowship.
  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, fellows’ funding will be conditional upon submission of a letter with their application that is signed by the project director giving permission to carry out the research. We recommend applicants begin the process of obtaining research permissions as soon as they submit their application to ARISC.
  6. ARISC does not provide tax advice on fellowship payments. Fellows are encouraged to consult with their own tax advisors prior to filing.
  7. Award recipients are responsible for ensuring proper medical and evacuation insurance coverage during their time in the field in the South Caucasus. ARISC funds cannot be used to cover medical, emergency evacuation and repatriation, or other insurance. Proof of insurance coverage will be required before disbursement of fellowship funds. Your university may provide this for your research. Please consult with them first.
  8. Fellowship recipients are eligible to reapply for a second Department of State Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)-funded fellowship three years after completion of their most recent award. Fellows cannot hold two-federally funded fellowships or funding opportunities simultaneously.
  9. Selected fellows must work on their research full-time during their period of funding.
  10. ECA requires that all travel between the US and South Caucasus that uses these funds must meet the provisions of the “Fly America Act” or “Open Skies Agreements.”
  11. Given changing travel restrictions and/or travel warnings to many countries, fellows must contact ARISC prior to purchasing airfare. ARISC will not fund projects taking place in locations designated as Level 4 (Do Not Travel) by the U.S. Department of State. Fellows are encouraged to use to monitor travel advisories.
  12. Fellows are expected to make contact with the ARISC Resident Director in each country or countries where they will be traveling prior to arrival.
  13. Fellows may not hold another federal grant concurrently with the ECA-funded ARISC Short Term Research Fellowship. While ARISC encourages scholars to apply to other federal and private sources in addition to the ARISC fellowships, ARISC fellows who receive additional awards must contact ARISC immediately to discuss possible date and stipend adjustments.
  14. Projects cannot incur expenses prior to the date listed on the award notification letter.
  15. Employees of the U.S. Department of State are not eligible for consideration. This provision includes all employees, paid or unpaid (including part-time or temporary employees, consultants, and contract employees). This provision does not apply to interns.
  16. 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.

Selection Process

Proposals will be peer-reviewed and judged on their quality and on the potential of the research to strengthen scholarship on the South Caucasus. Fellows will be selected by an ARISC fellowships 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 2024. 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 2023-24.”


For questions, see our new Frequently Asked Questions page, or please contact

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 is unable to issue a letter of invitation, so awardees will need to coordinate with a host institution to obtain an invitation letter for a visa.

We are also hosting virtual, open-house Question & Answer sessions on Mondays (beginning from November 6th) from 10-11am EST (7-8pm Tbilisi time). Registration required at–rrDwpHNMew1OA11dFn5YRk2Xp3G_r

Important Notes Regarding Applications

  • 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.

Funding Source

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).

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