Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ethnographic Film
We will ask you to tell us about yourself. Our reviews are all double anonymous. Our reviewers will not have access to any of the following information:
Applicant Contact Information. This includes your full legal name (first, middle, and surname), e-mail address, and other contact details.
Applicant Educational History and Current Position. This includes your highest academic degree, the discipline of your degree, the year it was awarded, the institution where you received it, and your current academic appointment. We will also ask whether English is your and/or your institution’s primary scholarly language.
Applicant Personal Information (optional). In an effort to promote greater equity in funding, we ask whether you are willing to share some confidential demographic information about yourself. We will remove any identifiers and analyze this data in the aggregate. This section of the application is entirely optional. Your answers to these questions will have no bearing on the success of your application. Our questions concern citizenship, gender identity, pronouns, sexual identity, disability, caregiving responsibilities, your parents’ highest level of education, income insecurity, race and ethnicity, indigenous affiliation, and how you decided to apply for this program.
Project title. This should be 15 words or fewer and contain enough information to tell us what your project is about.
Three keywords or phrases that best describe your research.
Your subdiscipline and region or topical area.
Beginning date and duration of film project for which support is requested. Enter the expected beginning date, end date, and expected duration of the fellowship period. The beginning date of the fellowship must be after January 1 of the year following the May 1 application deadline. The total fellowship period cannot exceed nine consecutive months. The amount of the award is pro-rated according to the duration of the writing period. The maximum award is $40,000 for a nine-month project.
Location where the film project will take place. If primarily for post-production, clarify if you have access to studios.
Does your project include any additional research or filming time? If yes, please indicate the amount of time to be devoted to these activities.
Research permits and ethical approvals. You do not need to submit copies of research permits and permissions at the application stage. If your application is successful, the Foundation will request copies of the relevant documents when we notify you of your award. We will not release grant funds until we have received these materials.
In your application, we do ask you to list the permit(s) required for the proposed project and the estimated date(s) by which you expect to secure them. Your knowledge of the required permits will help demonstrate your awareness of ethical issues your research could raise. This information allows us to evaluate whether your project is feasible and whether you are prepared to begin conducting research. Depending on the project, examples of permits include research visas, approvals or exemptions from institutional review boards and other ethics committees, human subject approvals, animal care and use approvals, government clearances, excavation permits, letters of affiliation, and permissions from the local scientific, academic, museum, institutional, or tribal authorities who oversee your research area. Please do not contact the Foundation to ask which permits you need; instead, consult with your contacts and/or advisors.
Other sources of aid received or requested for the period of this film project. Include any support you have received or applied for that relates to this fellowship application. Here, we have in mind grants you might receive from other agencies and/or any compensation that might come with a sabbatical or other academic leave.
Your abstract is a very important component of your application. In language that an interested layperson could understand, you need to convey what’s at the heart of your project. Your abstract should begin broad and go narrow, communicating the major theme or debate in anthropology your research addressed, then explaining the particular question you investigated. It should convey the “why,” “what,” “where,” and “how” of your research, while giving the reader a strong sense of the film project(s) you plan to finish to communicate your results. Your abstract will be the shortest part of your proposal, but it will also the hardest to write. You will need to have a very clear idea of your plans to do a good job. You probably should write it last. [Limit: 250 words]
If you are resubmitting an application that was unsuccessful in a previous funding cycle, you will need to submit a resubmission statement. In it, you’ll have an opportunity to tell us about the progress you’ve made since you last applied. How has your thinking developed? How have you refined your plans? How does this application differ from the previous one? How have you addressed the reviewers’ concerns? [Limit: 1000 words]
Project Description Questions
Question 1: Describe the research that forms the basis of this film project, its academic context and the conclusions that you have drawn. What ethical issues has your research raised and how have you addressed them? [Limit: 750 words]
When answering this question, applicants should clearly describe the research that underlies the film project, including the specific research questions and conclusions. They must make clear how their findings further anthropological debates and add to the existing academic literature. Applicants are advised to make sure that their theoretical claims are supported by appropriate evidence from their research. Be as detailed as possible in answering this question. The Foundation looks for proposals that acknowledge and discuss an applicant’s research in the context of the large body of work done by international scholars. If aspects of this research have been published in the academic literature, please include references here and in the bibliography. We also expect a discussion of the filmic/media work that already exists on this topic or made in the area of the world where you do your research and a clear statement as to how your project builds on this work. For the second part of this question, we encourage you to think broadly about your ethical obligations to research participants, descendant communities, local stakeholders, and others affected by your work.
Question 2: Describe in detail the film or films that you plan to make during the Fellowship period. If you plan to integrate your film with other forms of media or traditional scholarly output please also describe this in detail. It is essential to demonstrate precisely how your film is derived from and reflects the academic research that forms its basis, and what it adds to our understanding of your findings beyond traditional written publication. [Limit: 1000 words]
It is important to be as detailed as possible in answering this question to convey a sense of the academic basis of the film as well as its innovative nature and its potential to convey the results of your research to the anthropological audience and beyond. If you plan to integrate your film with other forms of media, please describe the explicit nature of this integration and the added value of the integration.
Question 3: One of our goals at the Wenner-Gren Foundation is to make films available for academic purposes. Describe how you plan to disseminate your film within the field of anthropology, to your film participants/community and beyond. Who will own rights to the film material and will compensation and rights be offered to the people represented in the film? [Limit: 250 words]
Please be as explicit as possible. We are not looking for generalities in the answers to this question, but rather for a well thought-out and creative plan. The Foundation is interested in funding projects that have the widest possible impact and the potential to bring anthropology and its relevance to the largest possible audience. The Foundation also takes seriously anthropology’s ethical obligations to share results with all relevant stake-holders.
Question 4: Describe the nature of the footage that will be employed and your timetable for the project. Is the footage already in hand? If not, what new or additional filming (and/or research) is necessary? Describe what needs to be achieved to bring the project to fruition. [Limit: 250 words]
It is important to give a good sense of the material that will be included in your film project. Endeavor to bring this material alive and demonstrate how it will enhance your cinematographic goals as outlined in Question 2. It is also necessary to demonstrate that you can complete the project within the funded time period. Remember that the underlying objective of the award is to support the final phase of film production. We would expect any extra filming and/or research to take up no more than one month of your time.
Question 5: Describe the resources at your disposal for film production and any aspects of digital media that you intend to integrate into this project. If you intend to collaborate with your subjects, other academic or film personnel, please describe their role/s in the project and the nature of the collaboration. If additional funding is needed, please describe what is required and your strategy for obtaining these funds. [Limit: 500 words]
One of the Foundation’s primary funding criteria is feasibility. This question is your chance to describe the feasibility of your project. It is important to demonstrate that you have the skills and resources to complete your project within the allotted time period.
Question 6: The goal of the Wenner-Gren Foundation is to support original and innovative anthropology. What contribution will your film project have on the field of anthropology and beyond? [Limit: 250 words]
The Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship is very competitive. While many applications are examples of excellent research and interesting case studies, applicants must also be clear as to the uniqueness of the work and/or why it is an important contribution to the discipline of anthropology and beyond.
The Wenner-Gren Foundation defines anthropology in its broadest terms as a discipline that advances significant and innovative research about humanity’s cultural and biological origins, development, and variation.
A successful application is one that emphasizes the contribution of the proposed project not only to the specific area being addressed but also to the broader field of anthropology.
Applicants should be explicit about the potential contribution of their film to anthropological theory and debate in the broadest possible sense. What relevance and/or impact would your film have for the field, the film participants and beyond? Applicants should note that the answer to this question must build on the arguments presented earlier in the proposal and clearly demonstrate how the film project will contribute to the relevancies claimed in the answer to this question.
You must submit (1) a sample of your prior work that illustrates your approach to film-making and (2) a sample of footage for the current project that illustrates the potential quality and innovation of the work that you intend to complete under the Fejos Fellowship. We carefully consider these elements of your application; put some thought into the material you include.
Optional URL for Access to Figures
You will have a chance to upload charts, maps, or graphs that you reference in your response to the project description questions. Please use this option sparingly. Only include figures that are essential for communicating your plans and goals.
You should tailor your bibliography specifically for this proposal. Focus on your central research question and the broader conversations and debates that have inspired you. You’ll want to cite literature related to your approach to your topic, your research context, your methods, and any ethical issues raised by your research.
You’ll have a chance to upload your bibliography on our online system. Please use a format compatible with Microsoft Word.
Only list the sources that you cite in your resubmission statement or your responses to the project description questions. In-text citations should take the form of the authors’ name/s followed by the date and, where relevant, page number(s): (Baviskar 1995), (Friedner and Osborne 2015), (Nelson et al. 2017), (Zee 2020: 1068).
Your bibliography should not exceed ten pages in length, using single-line spacing and 10-point font or larger.
Make sure your bibliographic references are complete, listed in alphabetical order, and presented in one of the bibliographic formats found in major English language anthropological journals (such as Current Anthropology, Ethnos, or the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, among others). Whichever model you choose, be consistent throughout.
An annotated filmography should be prepared specifically for this proposal and should focus on films that illustrate your approach to film-making and have inspired you.
The filmography should be prepared in a Microsoft Word (or compatible) format or as a PDF file, and attached to the application following the directions provided during the online submission process.
The filmography should not exceed five pages in length, using single-line spacing and 10-point font or larger, with 1-inch (2.5 cm) left, right, top and bottom margins.
Filmographic references should be complete, be listed in alphabetical order by title and be presented in the MLA-style (according to the 7th edition of MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers) or other appropriate format, including the following information: 1) the title of the film (italicized), 2) the name of the director/film-maker, 3) the original film studio/s and/or distributor/s of the film, and 4) the original year in which the film was first released.
Each entry should be accompanied by no more than one or two sentences indicating why it inspired you or influenced your approach.
Please also include in the filmography any films that you have completed.