Collaborative Heritage Management Fellowship in Azerbaijan, Georgia 2022-23

The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus invites proposals from collaborative teams in support of the preservation and conservation of Azerbaijan’s or Georgia’s archaeological and historical heritage. This ARISC program seeks to foster joint work between American and Azerbaijani or Georgian scholars and institutions dedicated to the proper curation and preservation of heritage materials such as artifacts, sites, and manuscripts. These fellowships require active participation of both American and Azerbaijani or Georgian principal investigators (PIs) in all aspects of the collaborative project.

Examples of potential projects include:

  • Restoration of threatened archaeological remains
  • Stabilization of historical resources
  • Long-term protection for archaeological sites or historical monuments
  • Curation and permanent exhibition of heritage materials
  • Cataloging and recording of collections
  • Digitization of heritage materials for wider public access
  • Enhancement of conservation lab facilities
  • Advanced training for specialists

Given the level of funding, these awards can also be used as seed funds to demonstrate the feasibility of a pilot program and/or in concert with funds from parallel sources. Scholars are expected to be in the South Caucasus for the duration of the project – remote research projects will not be funded. Fellows will be required to either give a public talk or run a workshop pertinent to the subject of the fellowship while in Azerbaijan or Georgia. Fellows must acknowledge ARISC in any publications and presentations.

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 9, 2022

Eligibility:

  1. Citizenship: Proposals are submitted jointly by a team of two or more scholars and/or specialists. At least one must be a citizen of the U.S. and one a citizen of Azerbaijan or Georgia.
  2. Status: applicants must have a master’s degree or higher
  3. Project requirements:
    1. These fellowships are not intended for primary research.
    2. The participants must demonstrate that the project requires true collaboration between both PIs, as well as active participation by both PIs in all aspects of the work required to complete the project. 
    3. Proposals must show evidence of endorsement from all relevant institutions in Azerbaijan or Georgia in order to demonstrate the feasibility of the undertaking.

Award Amount:

Fellowships are made for an amount up to $4000, for a period of up to three months during which the work described in the proposal must be completed. Award checks will be sent to the US collaborator.

Application Requirements:

  1. Application Form*
  2. A project statement or narrative description of the project (not to exceed 1500 words, not including bibliographic references). In a separate document, please provide a full description of the proposed project addressing the following specifically:
    1. A full description of the proposed project, design and methodology
    2. The significance of the project, relevance, and potential contribution to regional and /or trans-regional heritage management.
    3. What are both co-applicants’ qualifications for this project and how will they enable you to do your proposed project?
    4. Please also identify potential obstacles or issues (for example, geopolitical instability, difficulty finding materials, permissions required by local agencies) that may delay your project and how would you meet the challenges of your project should one of these factors be an issue.
    5. Please note that application reviewers may not be specialists in your field. The language of your statement should be clear and free of jargon.
  3. Supporting documents: up to 2 pages of illustrative materials such as photos or maps.
  4. Work schedule,
    1. Scholars are expected to be in the South Caucasus for the duration of the project – ECA-funded programs do not support remote projects.
    2. Please be specific about the number of days per week and number of hours during the day that you will spend on this project, as well as the location for this project.
    3. 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.
    4. Be aware that it can take up to six months to obtain the necessary in-country project clearance and plan accordingly. We recommend beginning the process early.
    5. Applicants with questions about timing and feasibility, or any other issues relating to working in-country, are encouraged to contact ARISC’s Resident Directors: Azerbaijan@arisc.org, or Georgia@arisc.org
  5. Itemized budget and budget narrative (see sample here)
    1. Allowable costs include airfare, ground transportation, lodging, meals and incidental expenses, and project costs. Funding from this award cannot be used to cover visa expenses or the purchase of insurance. Funds may not be used to pay a PI’s salary.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Itemized budget may list costs in local currencies, but must also include costs in USD as well as specify the conversion rate.
    5. Applicants with questions about budgeting for specific in-country costs are encouraged to contact ARISC’s Resident Directors: Azerbaijan@arisc.org, or Georgia@arisc.org
  6. Curriculum Vitae for all participants, including associated personnel
    1. Limit to 2 pages each including most relevant experience and publications.
  7. Evidence of endorsement from all relevant institutions in Azerbaijan or Georgia, depending on where project will be taking place.

Application materials should be written in English and emailed to info@arisc.org, with the subject, “ARISC CHM Fellowship Azerbaijan, Georgia.” 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.

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. The team of applicants must be composed of least one citizen of the U.S. and one a citizen of either Azerbaijan or Georgia. Proof of citizenship must be shown upon award 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.
  4. Fellows must submit a Final Report to ARISC within 30 days of fellowship completion, and no later than by August 31, 2023. Any unused portion of the fellowship must be returned to ARISC by this date. A portion of the fellowship will be withheld until the recipient submits their Final Report on their fellowship.
  5. Fellows are responsible for obtaining appropriate project permissions and securing their visas. ARISC Resident Directors can help facilitate the visa process.
  6. If any item of equipment or supplies purchased with fellowship funds at an original cost in excess of $750 still has monetary value at the end of the project period, the resale value must be returned to ARISC; or, upon approval by ARISC, such equipment may be donated to an educational or research institution in the South Caucasus in the name of ARISC.
  7. ARISC does not provide tax advice on fellowship payments. Fellows are encouraged to consult with their own tax advisors prior to filing. Awardees should be aware of tax implications in Azerbaijan, or Georgia.
  8. 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.
  9. Fellows who received a prior Department of State Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)-funded fellowship that ended less than two years ago are ineligible to apply for this Collaborative Heritage Management Fellowship.
  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 US Department of State. Fellows are encouraged to use https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html 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 Collaborative Heritage Management 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. 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:

Successful applications will demonstrate active, substantive collaborations that not only contribute to heritage conservation but also demonstrate efforts to build capacity and enhance local knowledge of current techniques and approaches to heritage management. Proposals will be evaluated by ARISC’s 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 your field. Applications will be judged according to the following four primary criteria:

  • Contribution to the preservation of Azerbaijan’s or Georgia’s heritage
  • Promotion of local skills in current techniques of heritage management and curation
  • Development of substantive collaborative ties
  • Advancement of public understanding

Notification:

Notifications of fellowship status will be sent to each applicant via email in March 2023. If you would like to receive any updates to this funding call, please email info@arisc.org with your name, contact information, and the subject “Updates to CHM Fellowships Azerbaijan, Georgia 2022-23.”

Questions:

Questions? See our new Frequently Asked Questions page, or email info@arisc.org

The ARISC Resident Directors in Baku and Tbilisi are available to assist the scholars chosen for the program to prepare for their projects 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.

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:

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, color, sex, gender, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran.