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General Criteria of Evaluation

  1. As with all Wenner-Gren awards, the main criteria of evaluation are the quality of the research and its potential contribution to anthropological knowledge.  We are interested in funding innovative researchers whose work brings new insights to the field and helps the discipline live up to its full potential.
  2. There is no preference for particular geographic areas or topics.
  3. Successful proposals share the following characteristics:
    • A well-defined research question
    • A detailed description of appropriate evidence to answer the research question
    • A feasible plan for gathering and analyzing this evidence
    • Evidence that the applicant is singularly qualified to carry out the research.
    • Evidence that the research and researcher have the potential to advance anthropological knowledge and transform debates in the field.
  4. Applicants whose primary objective is to “fill in” knowledge about a culture, a region, a language, a site, or a primate species aren’t likely to succeed in this competition unless they can show how they will use their findings to address broader issues in anthropology.
  5. Applicants whose research focuses on primatology should ensure that their proposals emphasize the specific ways in which their research relates to humanity's cultural and/or biological origins, development, and/or modern variation. The Foundation does not fund basic research in primatology or research that is primarily orientated towards primate conservation.
  6. Linguistic anthropologists should also be aware that the Foundation does not fund applied work on endangered languages, such as the preparation of dictionaries and/or grammars.  It also does not fund descriptive research on languages or work on language structure that is not grounded in anthropological concerns.

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