ARISC Small Grants 2022-23

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) announces the availability of small grants in support of research in the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia). The purpose of the grant is to help offset research costs for student scholars in the South Caucasus. Grantees are expected to give an ARISC-sponsored public presentation on a subject related to their research upon completion of their project. The grantee will acknowledge ARISC in any publication or presentation that emerges from the research carried out during the grant. Funding for this fellowship is provided by ARISC General Funds and private donations.

Deadline: Friday, December 9, 2022

Eligibility:

  1. Projects in all fields in the social sciences, humanities, and related sciences are eligible
  2. Status
    1. Degree
      1. Bachelor’s,
      2. Master’s, or
      3. Ph.D. students
    2. enrolled in degree-granting programs in Armenia, Azerbaijan, or Georgia
    3. Students graduating in spring 2023 are eligible to apply.
  3. Citizenship
    1. Armenian citizen
    2. Azerbaijani citizen
    3. Georgian citizen

Invitational Priority:

Project proposed by Master’s and Ph.D. students are especially encouraged, but all strong proposals will be given full consideration.

Award Amount:

Research awards will be made for up to $300 each, to help cover transportation, lodging, meals and incidental expenses, and other expenses needed to support a scholar’s research in the South Caucasus.

Application requirements:

  • application form*,
  • a project statement* of not more than 1500 words (not including bibliographic references, tables, charts, or other supporting information),
    • Research question, design, and methodology
    • The significance of the project, relevance, and potential contribution to regional and /or trans-regional scholarly research.
    • 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.
    • Statement should clearly indicate whether the application is submitted for Option A (travel in the region), or Option B (remote research), with relevant research design and methodology for that option.
    • Please note that application reviewers may not be specialists in your field. The language of your statement should be clear and free of jargon. Please see special notes during Coronavirus pandemic on the ARISC website.
  •  work schedule,
    • 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. Be sure to verify that the resources you need access to will be available to you.
    • 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.
    • Work schedule should clearly indicate whether the application is submitted for Option A (travel in the region) or Option B (remote research).
    • Applicants with questions about timing and feasibility are encouraged to contact ARISC’s Resident Directors: Armenia@arisc.org, Azerbaijan@arisc.org, or Georgia@arisc.org
  • itemized budget and budget narrative (see sample here),
    • Allowable costs include airfare, ground transportation, lodging, meals and incidental expenses (if traveling), and/or research costs;
    • Funds may be requested for travel to training workshops.
    • Budgeted amounts for meals and incidental expenses may not exceed those set by the US Department of State for the location of travel. See this website.
    • If the cost of the project exceeds the maximum allowable in this funding opportunity, applicant should explain other sources of funding, as well as how the project can be scaled if they are only awarded ARISC funds.
    • The budget should clearly indicate whether the project is for Option A (travel in the region) or Option B (remote option).
    • Applicants with questions about budgeting for specific in-country costs are encouraged to contact ARISC’s Resident Directors: Armenia@arisc.org, Azerbaijan@arisc.org, or Georgia@arisc.org.
  • curriculum vitae, and
  • two letters of recommendation must also be submitted 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. If the reference is in any language other than English, an English translation must be provided;
    • One letter must be from the applicant’s academic advisor.

Application materials should be emailed to info@arisc.org, with the subject, “ARISC Small Grants.” 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 info@arisc.org.

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

Remote Option:

The remote option allows for research to be conducted without having to travel throughout the South Caucasus during the project timeline. In this option, consider the following questions: How can you address your research question if you cannot travel? What methods, tools, and analyses can you conduct from home or the country where you live?  

For the remote option, instead of funding travel costs (transportation, lodging, M&IE), the budget may cover costs such as

  • transportation, lodging, and M&IE to archives and libraries in the US
  • childcare, so that the fellow may focus on their research during the time period of their fellowship
  • translation costs,
  • hiring a research assistant in a different South Caucasus country 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 while working remotely?

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 citizens of either Armenia, Azerbaijan, or Georgia. Proof of citizenship must be shown upon award notification.
  2. Grantees must submit a final report to ARISC within 30 days of grant completion and no later than August 31, 2023. A report and final accounting with original receipts are required to be submitted to ARISC August 31, 2023. Any unused portion of the stipend must be returned to ARISC by this date.
  3. Grantees are expected to make contact with the ARISC Resident Director in each country or countries where they will be conducting research as soon as possible upon acceptance of the award.
  4. Grantees are responsible for obtaining the appropriate research permissions. Funding will be conditional until grantees have permission(s) to carry out their research. In general, grantees 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, grantees’ funding will be conditional upon submission of a letter that is signed by the project director giving permission to carry out the research. If the study involves living human subjects, proof of Institutional Review Board (IRB) or the equivalent from your institution approval must be provided, if relevant, upon receipt of grant. Grantees are responsible for determining through their home institution whether IRB approval is required for their project. If unsure, the grantee should apply to the IRB program at their university. If the university does not have an IRB process, grantees will be asked to submit a letter written by their faculty advisor addressing any ethical issues.  
  5. 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 US Department of State. Fellows are encouraged to use https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html
  6. ARISC funds cannot be used to cover medical, emergency evacuation and repatriation, or other insurance.
  7. While ARISC encourages scholars to apply to other sources in addition to the ARISC Small Grants, ARISC grantees who receive additional awards must contact ARISC immediately to discuss possible date and stipend adjustments.
  8. ARISC is unable to provide health or other insurance to its grantees.
  9. Grant recipients are eligible to reapply for a second ARISC Small Grant three years after completion of their most recent award.
  10. ARISC does not advise grantees on tax questions concerning their stipend.
  11. 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 judged on their quality and on the potential of the research to strengthen scholarship on the South Caucasus. Grantees will be selected by an ARISC fellowships panel made up of scholars with experience conducting regional and trans-regional research. Please note that readers may not be specialists in your field, so applicants are advised to write for a general professional audience. Proposals 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’s mission;
  • Feasibility in terms of resources and amount of time allocated to the project;
  • Proficiency in the 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

Notification of grant status will be made available to each applicant via email in February 2023. If you would like to receive any updates to this fellowship, please email info@arisc.org with your name, contact information, and the subject “Updates to Small Grants 2022-23.”

Questions

  • Questions? See our new Frequently Asked Questions page, or email info@arisc.org
  • 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, and helping to coordinate the talk. 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 if they expect a lengthy stay.

We are also hosting virtual, open-house Question & Answer sessions on Mondays from 10-11am EST (7-8pm Tbilisi time). Register at register at https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAlf-ysrToqH9zWIEi6bf61jZksud01cGl3

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: ARISC General Funds and private donations

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.

Helpful Resources for Grant Writing

Past Awards

2022:
– Arthur Adamyan (Yerevan State University): The challenges of participatory Democracy in Armenia
– Vusala Azizli (Baku State University): Why is the formation of a juvenile justice system significant in the legislative system of Azerbaijan?
– Lisa Basishvili (Tbilisi State University): Importance of TV media for democratic deliberation and civic engagement – A case of Georgia
– Khatuna Buskivadze (Tbilisi State University): Academic code-switching in pro-western Georgia: functions, attitudes and policies
– Giorgi Orkodashvili (Ilia State University): Influence of Frozen Conflicts in the South Caucasus on Education Policy: Ethnic Exclusion in the Unrecognized States

2021:

– Khanim Askarova (Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Arts): Research of Azerbaijani Professional Music of Oral Tradition in American Ethnomusicology

– Tofig Shahniyarov (ADA University): Why is it crucial for Azerbaijan to have the European Convention on Human Rights as a Part of its Legislation System?

2020:

– Sose Grigoryan (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, NAS RA): A Religious Culture of Armenian Catholics of South Caucasus

– Maryam Topchishvili (Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University): Causes of Armenia’s economic growth between 2009-2019 years