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A photo of the 2018 AAA Executive Board.
A photo of the 2018 AAA Executive Board.

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Palestine-Israel Fellowship Fund for Travel (PIFFT)

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Palestine-Israel Fellowship Fund for Travel (PIFFT)

The Palestine-Israel Fellowship Fund for Travel (PIFFT) emerged as one among eight actions AAA has taken in response to conditions on the ground in Israel-Palestine. PIFFT is designed to ameliorate the obstructions and obstacles embedded in the government policies and practices that inhibit Palestinian and dissenting Israeli academics from effectively collaborating with colleagues internationally.

Read more about PIFFT's origins in this full letter from past AAA President Alisse Waterston (PDF) in Anthropology News.

The 2017 Awardee was Rami Salameh.

: The AAA recognizes government policies and practices that make it difficult for Palestinian and dissenting Israeli academics to: travel to international conferences; host international scholars in the West Bank and Gaza; afford membership in international organizations; and effectively collaborate with colleagues internationally. In the first instance, PIFFT is designed to support Palestinian scholars. It may also support those dissenting Israeli scholars whose academic freedom is limited. As documented by the AAA Task Force on Israel Palestine report (PDF), there are Israeli scholars who feel silenced—unable to speak up against Israeli policies and practices. When they "dissent," they are punished or threatened with punishment; it is these Israeli scholars that the Fund seeks to support. Finally, the Fund may support visiting scholars to the region who face the obstructions and obstacles noted above.

The Palestine-Israel Fellowship Fund for Travel (PIFFT) seeks to address these obstacles and obstructions. 

PIFFT is intended to create a travel fellowship award program that will aid and support any or all of the following:

Amount and frequency of the award

PIFFT is an annual award funded by donations received for this purpose. The amount and number of awards will depend on the availability of funds. The awardee(s) will be acknowledged at the AAA Annual Meeting awards ceremony. 

Eligibility and selection criteria

Background on eligibility criteria: Among its findings, the Task Force on Israel-Palestine report documents that life conditions and the social and political subordination of Palestinian academics make it unlikely that Palestinian anthropologists will be able to afford membership to AAA. The intention of the PIFFT is to help ameliorate those conditions and remove obstructions for scholarly exchange. Thus, eligibility criteria must facilitate and not hinder such exchange.

Eligibility: Open to all AAA members and to otherwise eligible nonmembers for whom the cost of membership constitutes a hardship. Nonmembers who are otherwise eligible may apply for a one-year free membership through the fund as part of their application.

Selection Criteria: Applications must be focused on scholarly exchange that will build understanding on topics of anthropological interest in Israel-Palestine. Specific selection criteria are as follows:

Application Process: Applicants will submit a two-page letter proposal that describes the purpose and cost of the proposed travel to one of the following:

Application Components: 

  1. Application form: The online application form is available on the AAA website. 
  2. Application statement: In 500-1000 words, describe the purpose of your proposed travel. Please include in your description the value of the trip to scholarly exchange on topics of anthropological interest in Israel-Palestine, and the benefit of the travel to your research, teaching or mentoring work in the field.
  3. Additional required information. See application form for additional required information.
  4. Brief curriculum vitae: In one single-spaced page, provide details on your education, research, publications, teaching and presentations. Include details on prior employment, volunteer work, and other experience only if it is directly relevant to scholarly exchange on topics of anthropological interest in Israel-Palestine.
  5. Letter of recommendation: Applicants must obtain a letter written in support of their application from a scholar familiar with their work and research aspirations. In those cases where a letter of support from a hosting scholar is required, this letter of recommendation should be from a different scholar. It is the applicant’s responsibility to be sure that the letter is received by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Only one letter of recommendation will be accepted.

Applications for visiting scholar support will include evidence of a local collaborator who will serve as host.

All applications will include a CV or resume. 

Applications will be evaluated using the PIFFT Rubric (PDF). 

Selection Committee

A three-person committee made up of the AAA VP/President-Elect, the Awards Committee Chair and a member of MPAAC who represents Human Rights will review all applications. This three-person committee will recommend applications to be funded and the amounts to be awarded for Executive Board approval. 

Terms of office for selection committee members will coincide with the terms of their respective positions. 

Termination of the endowment:

AAA requirements: Funds designated for an endowment must reach a minimum corpus requirement of $10,000 within five years of approval. Upon request, the AAA Executive Board may approve one two-year extension to this five-year term.  The endowment will be terminated if it does not meet the minimum corpus requirement and/or is inactive for five years. Donors will be consulted about the disposition of all funds remaining on a terminated or unqualified account.

A minimum corpus of $10,000 must be maintained.  As such, expenditures will not be made: a) until the minimum endowment corpus is achieved; or b) if such expenditure, including general and administrative fees, would reduce the corpus below its minimum requirement. 


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