Research grants for language documentation projects

small grants :: medium grants :: large grants :: grants for graduate students :: "alternative" grants

Unless otherwise noted, money amounts are in US dollars. In general, these funding agencies favor underdocumented and endangered languages.

Small grants

(under $3,000)

ELF Language Legacies

  • Restrictions: "The language involved must be in danger of disappearing within a generation or two."
  • Grant type: one-year period, average of $2,000
  • Typical deadline: mid March
  • Special application requirements: two letters of support (including one from a community member, if the researcher is not part of the community)

Foundation for Endangered Languages

  • Restrictions: FEL members only; priority to revitalization projects
  • Grant type: $1,000 grants

Medium grants

($3,000-$10,000)

Jacob's Research Fund

  • Restrictions: "linguistic and anthropological research on aboriginal peoples of North and South America" (priority given to Pacific Northwest); may be used for research and documentation, but not purely applied research
  • Grant type: $3,000 for individuals, $6,000 for groups
  • Special application requirements: 2 letters of recommendation
  • Typical deadline: mid February

ELDP Small Grants

  • Restrictions: specific to language documentation projects
  • Grant type: maximum £10,000, 12 months
  • Special application requirements: 1 letter of recommendation; statement of support from host institution
  • Typical deadline: mid January

ELF Native Voices Endowment Grants

  • Restrictions: restricted American Indian Nations whose ancestors had contact with the Lewis & Clark Expedition; grantees must be enrolled tribal members or associated with tribal government/school language programs; grants may be used for education programs, individual language study, or documentation
  • Grant type: 1-3 years, $2,500-$10,000 per year
  • Special application requirements: supporting letters (including one from appropriate governing body); statement of ethics approval
  • Typical deadline: mid October

Jacob's Research Fund Kinkade Grants

  • Restrictions: "linguistic and anthropological research on aboriginal peoples of North and South America" (priority given to Pacific Northwest); may be used for research and documentation, but not purely applied research
  • Grant type: $9,000 for an intense period of fieldwork
  • Special application requirements: 2 letters of recommendation
  • Typical deadline: mid February

Firebird Fellowship

  • Restrictions: for documentation of oral literatures and traditional ecological knowledge; ideally for 9-12 months of fieldwork
  • Grant type: up to $10,000

Large grants

(over $10,000)

ELDP Major Documentation Project Grants

  • Restrictions: specific to language documentation projects;
  • Grant type: £150,000 (may include salaries/stipends), 6-36 months
  • Special application requirements: 2 letters of recommendation; statement of support from host institution
  • Typical deadline: mid January

Laura W.R. Appell Fellowships

  • Restrictions: for documentation of oral literatures and traditional ecological knowledge; for building a long term relationship with a community
  • Grant type: up to $40,000

NSF Documenting Endangered Languages Senior Research Projects

  • Restrictions: US-based researchers only
  • Grant type: $12,000-$150,000, 1-3 years
  • Special application requirements: data management plan & letter of collaboration from archive
  • Typical deadline: mid September

ELDP Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • Restrictions: specific to language documentation projects; early stage researchers (less than 5 years post PhD)
  • Grant type: maximum £150,000 (may include salary), 12-24 months
  • Special application requirements: 2 letters of recommendation; statement of support from host institution
  • Typical deadline: mid January

Grants for graduate students

(Of course, graduate students may also be elligble for grants in the other categories.)

Louis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research

  • Restrictions: US-based students only
  • Grant type: up to $5,000
  • Special application requirements: 2 letters of recommendation
  • Typical deadline: mid October

Tinker Field Research Grants

  • Restrictions: for early fieldwork in Latin American
  • Grant type: awarded through a university's Latin American studies program; usually for less than $2,000

ELDP Individual Graduate Scholarships

  • Restrictions: specific to language documentation projects
  • Grant type: 12-36 months, may include stipend
  • Special application requirements: 2 letters of recommendation; statement of support from host institution
  • Typical deadline: mid January

NSF Documenting Endangered Languages DDRIG

  • Restrictions: US-based students only; restricted to dissertation research
  • Grant type: maximum $15,000 in direct costs; up to 24 months
  • Special application requirements: requires advisor as PI; data management plan & letter of collaboration from archive
  • Typical deadline: rolling deadline

International Dissertation Research Fellowship

  • Restrictions: US-based students only; restricted to dissertation research conducted outside the US
  • Grant type: 9-12 months (minimum of 6 months research outside the US); average $22,000 (may include living expenses)
  • Special application requirements: 2 letters of recommendation; potentially a language evaluation
  • Typical deadline: early November

"Alternative" grants

(These grants are "alternative" in that are not specifically restricted to research projects.)

Awesome Foundation

  • Grant type: $1,000
  • Special application requirements: must be awesome!
  • Typical deadline: rolling deadline (grants awarded monthly)