Phillips Fund for Native American Research

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The Phillips Fund of the American Philosophical Society provides grants for research in Native American linguistics, ethnohistory, and the history of studies of Native Americans, in the continental United States and Canada.

The grants are intended for such costs as travel, audio and video recordings, and consultants' fees. Grants are not made for projects in archaeology, ethnography, or psycholinguistics; for the purchase of permanent equipment; or for the preparation of pedagogical materials. The committee distinguishes ethnohistory from contemporary ethnography as the study of cultures and cultural change through time.

Deadline: March 1, 2023
Notification: May 2023

Applicant Information


The committee prefers to support the work of younger scholars who have received the doctorate. Applications are also accepted from graduate students for research on master’s theses or doctoral dissertations.

Applicants conducting research with Indigenous communities should provide information on appropriate contacts and the current state of consultation or arrangements made with those communities on any issues of research approval and ethical access that pertain to the proposed research. Details of preparations and plans will be requested within the application.

The committee sometimes approves two awards to the same person within a five-year period.

Award and Duration

The average award is about $3,000; grants do not exceed $3,500. Grants are given for one year following the date of the award. Grants are taxable income, but the Society is not required to report payments. It is recommended that grant recipients discuss their reporting obligations with their tax advisors. Grant funds are not to be used to pay income taxes.


Recipients of awards are expected to provide the American Philosophical Society with a brief formal report.  In addition, the American Philosophical Society Library requests physical or digital copies of any field notes, audio-visual recordings, transcriptions, analyses, or other original materials produced in the process of the grant-funded research for archiving among the Library's extensive research collections as part of the growing Phillips Fund for Native American Research Collection (Mss.497.3.Am4). Deposit and access conditions can be arranged as needed for archived materials, such as embargo periods, requirements for permission to access or use from the depositor or Indigenous community entities, retention of copyright, co-archiving with local or regional repositories, and other related options. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the APS Center for Native American and Indigenous Research ahead of time with any questions about archiving and access parameters. Brian Carpenter, Curator of Native American Materials, may be reached at or 215-440-3418.


PNA 2022 sample app (143387 B)

Grant reporting instructions (202652 B)


Q. May I apply for funding to cover work in Mexico or South America?

A. No, work in Mexico and South America is not covered by the Phillips Fund.

Q. Are the letters of support due after the application deadline?

A. Letters of support are due on the application deadline. As soon as you fill in the contact information for your letter writers, the system will send a message to them containing complete instructions on how to submit a letter on your behalf. You may want to fill in this section before completing the rest of the application in order to give your letter writers ample time to compose and submit their letters.

Q. Will my letter writers see my proposal when they log into the portal?

A. No, the proposal will not be available to the letter writers at that time. The best approach is to send them a copy of your statement or otherwise discuss the project with them ahead of the deadline.

Q. Must I wait until the letters have been received before submitting my application?

A. No, you may submit the application as soon as you are finished with it. Check the status of your letters by logging into your account and using the “track references” link.

Contact Information

Questions concerning the eligibility of a project, applicant, or use of funds, as well as requests to confirm receipt of the application and required two letters of support, should be directed to Linda Musumeci, Director of Grants and Fellowships, at, or 215-440-3429.

Application date
Up to 1 year
Humanities : Anthropology & Ethnology, Arts and Art history, History, Linguistics, Philosophy, Theology and religion
Social sciences : Psychology & Cognitive Sciences, Sociology