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Program Changes in 2010

January 28, 2010

Program Changes

The Wenner-Gren Foundation is pleased to announce an increase in the maximum grant amount for the Dissertation Fieldwork Grant from $15,000 to $20,000 for applications submitted by the May 1, 2010 deadline. This brings the maximum amount for this program in line with the maximum for Wenner-Gren Post-Ph.D Research Grants and for National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grants in Anthropology, Archaeology and Biological Anthropology.

This increase is made possible by improvements in the financial markets over the past year. The Foundation is dependent entirely on the income generated from its endowment, which declined meaningfully during the recent financial crisis. This forced very difficult funding decisions in 2009, including reductions in maximum grant amounts as well as reductions in success rates across all of our programs.

Financial recovery also has allowed us to restore success rates across all of our programs to those in force before the financial downturn while retaining the Osmundsen Initiative program.

The Osmundsen Initiative was introduced in 2009 (click here for information on its introduction). It provides up to an additional $5,000 of support for select applicants who receive either a Dissertation Fieldwork Grant or a Post-Ph.D. Research Grant. Applicants must demonstrate how their work 1) scales up from a local situation or focused topic to address broader social or intellectual issues, and 2) engages the unique value of the anthropological approach to illuminate these broader issues.

Applicants who are successful in receiving either a Dissertation Fieldwork Grant or a Post-Ph.D. Research Grant, together with an Osmundsen Initiative Supplement, can receive up to a maximum of $25,000 for their project.

Over the past year, the Foundation has been pleased with the responses to the Osmundsen Initiative Supplement. In the most recent funding season, over 50% of the Dissertation Fieldwork applicants also applied for an Osmundsen supplement. The Foundation believes that retention of the Osmundsen supplement ensures that we continue to support the highest quality anthropological research that at the same time demonstrates the unique qualities of anthropology to make a significant contribution to contemporary concerns and/or interests.

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