Terra Foundation Research Travel Grants on American Art and Visual Culture


The Terra Foundation for American Art Research Travel Grants provide support to doctoral, postdoctoral, and senior scholars from both the US and outside the US for research topics dedicated to the art and visual culture of the United States prior to 1980. The grants foster firsthand engagement with American artworks and art-historical resources; build networks for non-US-based scholars studying American art; and expand access to artworks, scholarly materials, and communities for US-based scholars studying American art in an international context.


All application materials (including letters of recommendation) must be submitted in English.  

Application components: 

  • Applicant information
  • A copy or scan of a government-issued picture ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.)
  • Two letters of recommendation (for doctoral students, one letter should be from their dissertation advisor or professor)
  • A project proposal which includes:
    • An overview of the research project, outlining which part of the research is expected to be accomplished during the travel period 
    • An explanation for why the research requires study in the US/outside of the US, highlighting the archives or other resources to be consulted 
    • An explanation for the need of the grant to complete the project successfully 
    • A summary of the anticipated outcomes of the travel period 
    • A detailed description of the proposed itinerary with destinations and travel dates 
  • An itemized travel budget 
  • A curriculum vitae


Projects eligible for consideration meet the following criteria: 

  • Research topics are dedicated to the art and visual culture of the United States prior to 1980 (i.e. visual art dating from c. 1500 to 1980, made by artists from what is now the geographic area of the United States).
  • All visual art categories are eligible except architecture and commercial film/animation. Projects should place objects and practices in an art-historical perspective. 
  • For projects with transnational or transcultural content, eligibility will be determined on the significance of the topic for US art history.

Eligible candidates include: 

  • For research travel grants to the US: doctoral students, postdoctoral scholars (having completed their degrees within the last 5 years), and senior scholars enrolled in or working at universities located outside the US or independent scholars with a PhD residing outside of the US.
  • For International research travel grants for US-based Scholars: doctoral students, postdoctoral scholars (having completed their degrees within the last 5 years), and senior scholars enrolled in or working at universities located in the US or independent scholars with a PhD residing in the US.

Note: Candidates that are not based in the country of their institutional affiliation should provide further clarifications on their funding needs. 

Unsuccessful candidates may reapply annually as desired. Recipients may not reapply for the same project in subsequent years; however, they may submit a new application for a substantially different project once every four years. 

Doctoral candidates who have applied for and received both research travel grants grants and TFAA-funded Immersion Semesters (administered by the Courtauld Insitute of Art, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Université Paris Diderot, and Université Paris Nanterre) may only participate in one of the programs within a 12-month period. If an applicant is selected for multiple programs, they must select only one in which to participate. 


Up to 25 grants are awarded annually as follows:

  • Up to $6,000 per grant for doctoral students from Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand; 
  • Up to $7,000 per grant for doctoral students from Asia, Africa, and Latin America; 
  • Up to $9,000 per grant for all postdoctoral and senior scholars. 

Grant funds will be disbursed in two installments. The first installment (80% of the total grant) is paid before the recipient’s departure to the United States. The second installment (up to 20% of the total grant) is paid to the recipient after receipt of the final report. 

Funds can be used for related transportation, lodging, meals, and research fees and expenses of the Grantee only (not of family, travel companions, etc). They cannot be used for the purchase of computers or other equipment. Book purchases in excess of $500 must be approved by CAA. Applicants can refer to GSA estimates for per diem rates: https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/per-diem-rates 


Final report must be submitted within three months of completion of travel. It should include a description of the travel undertaken as a result of the grant, an assessment of the research accomplished, and a financial report detailing grant expenditures.

Recipients must acknowledge the support of the Terra Foundation in any publication that results from research conducted during the grant.

Travel should be undertaken within one calendar year (June through May) after the announcement of the selection.



The deadline for application materials is January 15.

This grant was formerly administered by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Past recipients of the award for travel to the US can be found here and those who received international travel awards can be found here

Questions? Please contact Cali Buckley, Grants and Special Programs Manager, at cbuckley@collegeart.org.

Date de candidature
Humanités : Anthropologie & Ethnologie, Art et histoire de l'art, Histoire
Sciences sociales : Sciences de l'information et de la communication