Resident Scholar Application

How to Apply

All application materials must be submitted through the online application system. E-mailed, mailed, or faxed application materials, including letters of recommendation, will not be accepted. Supplementary materials will not be considered. In fairness to all applicants, we do not grant on- or off-campus interviews.

Online applications will be accepted from September 1 through the first Monday in November each year. Only fully completed applications that adhere to SAR’s guidelines and deadlines will be considered.

All proposal components should be in 12-point type with at least 1-inch margins on all sides. Applicants must create an account on the online application system before materials can be uploaded for submission.

All applications must include:

  • An abstract, not to exceed 150 words, describing the purpose and goals of the project.
  • A proposal, no more than four double-spaced pages in length, describing the research project, key questions to be addressed, methodologies, and significance. The proposal should also explain what is to be accomplished during the fellowship year and the status of the applicant’s research on the topic.
  • A short bibliography, not to exceed one single-spaced page, of references cited in the proposal.
  • A curriculum vitae, not to exceed four single-spaced pages.
  • Three letters of recommendation, not to exceed two pages in length each. Letters must be requested and submitted through the online application process and uploaded by the application deadline. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that references send their letters on time. Additional reference checks may be conducted for finalists.

Additional Requirements for Specific Fellowships:

For Lamon and Anne Ray applicants:

  • A brief statement of tribal affiliation.

For Anne Ray applicants:

  • A statement describing experience and interest in serving as mentor, not to exceed three double-spaced pages.

For predoctoral applicants:

  • A brief letter of nomination from the applicant’s degree granting department, written by the department chair certifying that the applicant:
  • (a) Is the department’s designated nominee
  • (b) Is in good academic standing
  • (c) Has completed all PhD requirements except completion of the dissertation

The letter should confirm that the candidate has completed data collection and analysis and is ready to focus on writing. This letter must be requested and submitted through the online application process and is in addition to the three required for all applicants, as described above. A department may recommend only one nominee per year. Nominees must have completed all requirements, except for the dissertation, by the application deadline.

Selection Criteria

Fellowships are awarded competitively based on evaluations by a specially convened panel of external reviewers who represent a broad spectrum of intellectual expertise. Composition of the panel changes each year.

The program supports scholars whose work is broad, synthetic, and interdisciplinary and promises to yield significant advances in understanding human culture, behavior, evolution, or critical contemporary issues. Projects that are narrowly focused geographically and theoretically or that are primarily methodological seldom receive strong consideration. Each year the program supports a mix of social science and humanities oriented scholars.

Preference is given to applicants whose research and analysis are complete and who need time to prepare manuscripts or dissertations. Applicants for doctoral level fellowships must have their PhD in hand at time of application.

Applications are evaluated by the following criteria:

  • Proposal Presentation: Proposals should explain the research topic, key questions to be addressed, and methodologies in a clear and organized manner. Competitive proposals are jargon free.
  • Significance of Project: Proposals should make a strong case for the intellectual significance of the project. How is the research exciting, innovative, and important in a broad anthropological and humanistic perspective?
  • Appropriateness for SAR: The proposed project should clearly align with SAR’s Mission.
  • Quality of Research: Research questions and goals should clearly align with the project’s methodologies and stated outcomes. Expected results should be realistic and achievable and the project should be professionally responsible.
  • Project Completion Timeline: Data collection for the project should be completed before the fellowship begins so the scholar can reasonably complete his or her writing project within the fellowship term or within one to two years after the fellowship ends.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation should be highly enthusiastic and thoughtfully written, with sufficient detail to illustrate why the candidate is outstanding.
  • Publication Record: The applicant’s publication record should be strong relative to his or her discipline and career stage. Competitive applicants are those who have published in well-known, prestigious journals in their field and/or with highly regarded book publishers.

For questions, please call (505) 954-7201 or email scholar[at]

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