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AAA Minority Dissertation Fellowship Program

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The Award

The American Anthropological Association invites minority doctoral candidates in anthropology to apply for a dissertation writing fellowship of $10,000. The annual AAA Minority Dissertation Fellowship is intended to encourage members of racialized minorities to complete doctoral degrees in anthropology, thereby increasing diversity in the discipline and/or promoting research on issues of concern among minority populations. Dissertation topics in all areas of the discipline are welcome. Doctoral students who require financial assistance to complete the write-up phase of the dissertation are urged to apply.

A nonrenewable dissertation fellowship of $10,000 will be provided annually to one anthropology graduate student.  In addition, the fellowship award winner will receive paid registration to the annual meeting and reimbursement travel to the annual meeting from the Yolanda T. Moses Minority Travel Fund.

Read About Past Minority Dissertation Fellowship Winners


An applicant must be:  (1) a member of an historically underrepresented U.S. racialized minority group such as African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians or Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latino/as, Chicano/as, or Pacific Islanders; (2) graduated from a U.S. high school or completed a GED certificate in the U.S.; (3) enrolled in a full-time academic program leading to a doctoral degree in anthropology at the time of application (4) admitted to degree candidacy before the dissertation fellowship is awarded; and (5) a member of the American Anthropological Association. The dissertation proposal must be approved by the applicant's committee prior to application. Students of any subfield or specialty in anthropology will receive equal consideration.

Eligibility Requirements

Checklist of materials necessary for the Minority Dissertation Fellowship.

  1. Cover letter describing your research interests and experience, as well as career plans, and outlining how the proposed research addresses issues of concern to anthropology at large and to a culturally diverse agenda (1,000 words max);
  2. Research plan summarizing the dissertation research completed, including an explanation of  research design and other important aspects of the project. The summary should not  include  a separate list of references (although citations within the text are appropriate) (1,000 words max, including any figures or tables);
  3. Curriculum vitae including scientific publications and presentations. The curriculum vitae may contain only highlights and may not be a complete version (1,000 words max);
  4. Statement regarding employment attesting to the applicant's ability and commitment to complete the writing of the dissertation during the fellowship period (500 words max);
  5. Disclosure statement providing information about other sources of available and pending financial support (500 words max);
  6. Three (3) letters of recommendation from the dissertation advisor or committee chair and 2 other professors familiar with applicant's work (500 words max). Note, applicants must first complete their application before recommenders will be issued access to the website to upload their letters.
  7. Bibliography of references and citations used in the dissertation;
  8. Unofficial transcript from doctoral institution. Scan your transcript and save as a pdf. An official certified copy is not preferred at this point in the application process. Finalists will be required to submit official copies. Please be sure that the filename includes your first and last name.

Decisions will be based upon the quality of the submitted information and the likelihood that the recipient will have a good chance at completing the dissertation. The AAA Minority Dissertation Fellowship Advisory Panel will serve as the selection panel, with the panel’s selection being forwarded to the Awards Committee for final approval. The award recipient will be notified by telephone and mail as soon as the decision is made, no later than the 1st week of July. The award will also be announced in the October or November Anthropology News.

After completion of the dissertation, by June 15th of the following year, the award recipient must submit a 1-page report specifying the status of the degree and the dissertation's defense, along with a copy of the dissertation abstract, to the Executive Director of the AAA. The dissertation committee chair or head of the department should cosign this report. Highlights of this report may be published in AN.

Fellowship funds will be paid directly to the awardee (rather than the institution) in three installments: one by September 10th and the second by January 10th. The third installment will be received upon receipt of final report. Award will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service.

Apply Today!


If you have any questions, please contact Resat Mursaloglu at or 703-528-1902.

Previous Winners

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