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General Criteria of Evaluation


  • As with all Wenner-Gren awards, the main criteria of evaluation are the quality of the research and its potential contribution to anthropological knowledge, theory, and debate.
  • There is no preference for particular geographic areas or topics.
  • The writing project or projects that form the basis of a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship application should be based on well-defined research questions. It is important to demonstrate that the research that forms the basis of the writing project/s is appropriate to answer the research questions that are posed. It is also important to demonstrate the significance of the research to important theoretical and methodological issues in anthropology.
  • The Foundation pays particular attention to the feasibility of the writing project. It is important to have realistic goals in relation to the amount of writing that you will be able to achieve within the time period of the fellowship.
  • Priority is given to those applicants that at the time of application have a book contract in hand, have been in contact with publishers or have detailed writing plans (e.g., developed book, monograph, or article outlines), and show evidence of these in their application.
  • The Foundation is interested in funding proposals where there is a reasonable probability that the published outcome will have a significant and broad-ranging effect on the field of anthropology. It is important to make such a case for your work. Proposals with a narrow regional or topical focus are normally not competitive.
  • Writing projects whose primary objective is to “fill in” knowledge about a culture, a region, a language, a site, or a primate species will not be competitive unless a further case can be made for the importance of their data to broader issues in anthropology.
  • Those applicants with applied anthropological objectives should emphasize the theoretical and methodological impact of their research for the discipline as opposed to its applied value only.
  • Applicants whose research focuses on primatology should ensure that their application emphasizes 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 oriented towards primate conservation.
  • Linguistic anthropologists should also be aware that the Foundation does not fund salvage work on endangered languages (e.g., preparation of dictionaries and/or grammars). It also does not fund other descriptive research on languages or work on language structure that is not grounded in anthropological concerns.
  • Our evaluation process is guided by the principles articulated in our mission (link here), which include a commitment to fostering an inclusive vision of anthropology.   We expect applicants to draw inspiration from a broad range of scholarship, including relevant work in English and other languages by anthropologists from the regions where they work.  See Motion of the 32nd RBA: Diversify Information and Education about the Global Anthropologies of Foreign Researchers and Anthropology Students (link here).

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