Wadsworth Institutional Grant


The Wadsworth Institutional Grant helps cultivate a culture of grant writing in countries where anthropology is underserved or under threat. Historically, the Wenner-Gren Foundation has not proven successful in funding applicants from institutions in the Global South. This has particularly been the case in the competition for our Dissertation Fieldwork Grants, where the vast majority of awards goes to students based in Europe and North America. This is no accident; in this region, doctoral students receive training in proposal writing and the funding they will need to conduct preliminary research. Students in other regions rarely enjoy these advantages.

Through the Wadsworth Institutional Grant program, the Foundation works in partnership with an anthropology department in the Global South to address this inequity. The award provides 4 years of proposal writing training and pilot research funding for doctoral students, who then participate in the competition for a Dissertation Fieldwork Grant or an Engaged Research Grant. The goal is to provide these students with the skills they need to secure international funding for their work. Graduates from the program go on to share their skills with other students and colleagues as they proceed with their career.


A single anthropology department receives the grant over the course of 4 years, so that four cohorts of students benefit from the training. The Foundation issues a call for letters of intent 6 months before the close of the previous grant.  We invited full proposals from a limited number of departments.

We take three factors into account in selecting a departmental partner: (1) the quality of the proposed training program; (2) the degree to which this award will help remove barriers in the way of its students’ success; and (3) the program’s potential to have a broader impact by enriching the anthropological conversation and cultivating skills that can be shared.