The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago is an interdisciplinary research center whose goal is to integrate archaeological, textual, and art historical data to understand the development and functioning of the ancient civilizations of the Near East from the earliest Holocene through the Medieval period.  

With more than 300,000 registered objects and many more to be catalogued, the Museum collection at the Oriental Institute is one of the most important resources for research in the world. 

The Oriental Institute wishes to provide researchers with financial support to carry out discrete research projects that incorporate the study of artifacts and related archival documents within our museum collections. 

This year (2014), through the generosity of Jim Sopranos and the Oriental Institute, one or more Museum Collections Research Grants will be available to researchers.  We welcome applications from a wide spectrum of researchers, from those at the graduate student level (i.e. Masters Degree or PhD candidates) to well-established professional researchers in their field of study.  Applications are welcome from researchers from all nationalities. Applicants may also include researchers affiliated with the University of Chicago, including the Oriental Institute.   

We allow for the broadest possible selection of potential projects that will heighten the level of intellectual discourse and collaboration within the Oriental Institute.  Invitations may be made to share research with faculty, staff, and students through informal presentations during the research visit.  We encourage use of our online Integrated Database (https://oi.uchicago.edu/idb/) and online publications (https://oi.uchicago.edu/research/pubs/), and welcome enquiries about our collections (oi-museum@uchicago.edu) in the preparation of applications.

A committee comprised of Oriental Institute faculty members and museum staff will review proposals and may award either a single grant of up to $10,000, or may opt to provide smaller awards to more than one individual per year.  Decisions concerning the outcome of awards will be made in May each year, with the grant being awarded from July 1st each year. The grant must be fully utilized and completed prior to June 30th of the following year.  The expected duration of the research visit is flexible within this period, but must be stipulated in the application. Other research funds may be used in combination with this grant to increase the duration of a research visit, but must be stipulated (if known) at the time of application.  The selection process will take into consideration the scope and types of material being studied, the sites, periods, or sub-collections of material, as well as detailing potential requirements for special equipment or scientific analysis of material. 

Funding is primarily aimed to help support the costs of travel, accommodation, subsistence, to supplement student salaries, and to cover relevant research costs for the researcher during the appointed period.  The grantee will not be appointed an office, desk space, or computer, although access will be provided to our Research Archives (Oriental Institute library) and Collections study areas.

Requirements: Candidates must hold at least a Bachelor’s Degree in a field of study. Applications are open to students enrolled in a relevant Master’s Degree or Ph.D Program (i.e. graduate student level), as well as to established professional researchers with a University affiliation. 

Grantees must submit an interim report at the end of their research visit, and a final report at the conclusion of their research.  Publications resulting from this research grant must acknowledge the grant from the Oriental Institute appropriately, and grantees must provide a digital and/or hard-copy of any publications resulting from their research to the Oriental Institute. Appropriate permissions must be sought for studying unpublished material and images of documents or objects taken during the course of research through consultation with the Museum. Copies of images of Museum documents or objects taken by the grantee during the course of their research will be provided to the Museum for potential inclusion on its Integrated Database.


To apply:   

Please send your applications and enquiries by email only to:  oi-administration@uchicago.edu including the subject line:  “Collections Research Grant” 

The application must include in one single document (Word or pdf.):

  • A cover letter indicating your research interests and suitability for the grant.
  • A two page proposal outlining the proposed research topic, collections of interest in the Oriental Institute, duration of project and suggested dates, and relevant publication plans. 
  • A curriculum vitae (2 pages maximum).
  • A budget (1 page maximum), including other grants that may be contributing to this research.
  • Contact details for two referees.

Application Deadline:  5pm (US Central Daylight Time), Monday May 26 2014