Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ethnographic Film

  • Doctorates in Anthropology
  • Doctorates in Related Fields
  • Independent Scholars


Early-career scholars frequently lack the time and resources needed for film production. Through this program, we support projects that will impact the field of anthropology and beyond through innovative work in film and other media.

The Foundation has no preference for any methodology, research location, or subfield. We encourage the use of novel production strategies in terms of technique, process, approach, and the integration of film and video with other media suitable to anthropology. We encourage new solutions to the challenge of ethically representing diverse communities—for instance, by seeking their permission through public forums, guaranteeing their right to the materials produced, and releasing copyrights to them.

Award Money

Fejos fellowships provide up to $40,000 for a 9-month stipend, toward the completion of an ethnographic film or multimedia project that is based on anthropological research already completed by the applicant. Wenner-Gren awards do not include funds to cover institutional overhead or any fees related to the administration of our grants and fellowships.

Application Deadline

The application deadline is May 1 for fellowships beginning between January 1 and December 31 of the following year. The application portal opens 2 months before the deadline. It takes us 6 months to complete the review process and arrive at a final decision. The Foundation awards a maximum of four Fejos fellowships annually.

Who Can Apply

Doctorates in Anthropology, Doctorates in Related Fields, Independent Scholars

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we are temporarily extending the eligibility for this fellowship from up to 12 years after earning your PhD rather than 10 years. The Foundation will make allowances for periods of caregiving. Qualified scholars of any nationality or institutional affiliation may apply. The Foundation gives preference to applicants who are untenured or do not yet have a permanent academic position.

We expect applicants to have already finished the inquiry that forms the basis of their film project. Recipients may use part of their stipend for additional research or filming, but this should not absorb the lion’s share of their time. No funds in addition to the basic stipend are available as part of the fellowship. Film projects not derived from the applicant’s prior academic research are ineligible.

Applicants must be ready to devote a continuous block of time to the fellowship. They may request support for a project requiring less than the full 9 months available, in which case the Foundation will prorate the fellowship so the monthly stipend remains the same.

Most grantees must complete all requirements of their existing award, including submission of the final report, before applying for a new award. But if you have a Conference and Workshop Grant, a Global Initiatives Grant, or a Historical Archives Program grant, you are welcome to apply; if so, please contact us for more information. Prior recipients of a Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ethnographic Film are not eligible to apply.

The quality of the proposed project, its potential to advance anthropological knowledge, and its adherence to the principles articulated in our mission are the main criteria of evaluation. We expect the proposed project to be firmly rooted in the applicant’s completed research, be innovative in approach, and have the potential for broad impact both within and beyond the discipline. Please refer to “Motion of the 32nd RBA: Diversify Information and Education about the Global Anthropologies of Foreign Researchers and Anthropology Students.”

This fellowship supports a wide range of film and multimedia projects, from experimental film and audio ethnographies to more classically crafted works. There is no preference for particular geographic areas or topics.

Successful projects do one or more of the following:

  • Use audiovisual media to communicate and build on the applicant’s anthropological research
  • Represent a culture, event, practice, and/or group of people through an evocative use of images and sound
  • Illustrate collaboration between an anthropologist and their interlocutors
  • Experiment with film style and documentary approaches to create theoretically rich and ethically engaged content
  • Demonstrate a capacity to utilize multimedia resources and technology for social engagement and analysis
  • Integrate film or audio recordings with other media, including written publications.

Additionally, the research that underlies successful proposals should have:

  • A well-defined focus
  • Sufficient engagement with existing literature on the topic and region
  • Appropriate methodological approach(es)
  • Theoretical significance within the discipline of anthropology.
  • Applicants should have realistic goals when it comes to the amount of work needed to complete the project.

The Foundation prioritizes applicants (and applicant teams) with a demonstrated background in filmmaking or multimedia production. We judge applicants’ facility with film, video, or audio in part on the quality of the sample reels they provide.

To present your project in the best possible light, please follow all instructions for completing your application. Use all the available space to describe your project. If you have questions, contact us at applications@wennergren.org or (+1) 212.683.5000.

The application asks for the following:

  • General information about you and your project
  • An abstract of the project
  • Answers to six questions about your project
  • A resubmission statement if we declined a Fejos fellowship application you submitted previously
  • Samples of your film or multimedia work, submitted as links to Vimeo or other online media-sharing platforms, along with passwords and any other relevant access information or instructions; if a web link is not possible, you must submit five copies of your samples on DVD to circulate to reviewers
  • A bibliography relevant to your proposed project
  • A filmography illustrating your approach to filmmaking.

The application also asks you to list the permits and permissions required for the proposed project, with the estimated dates by which you expect to secure them. However, please do not submit these documents with your application. If your application is successful, we will request copies of all relevant materials when we notify you of your award.

Applications must be in English. Applicants must submit all forms and other required materials online. If you don’t have adequate internet access to use our system, please contact us at least 1 week before the deadline and we’ll help arrange an alternative method. The online portal opens for applications 2 months before the application deadline.

Before submitting your application, please refer to the U.S. tax information on our website. Non-U.S. applicants should read the information on visa requirements for non-U.S. citizens present or coming to the U.S. as part of their project.

The Foundation requires successful applicants to comply with all U.S. laws. These include but are not limited to regulations governed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which administers U.S. government sanctions programs and regulations relating to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List). Please see the OFAC Guidelines page on our website and consult the U.S. Department of the Treasury for more information.

In compliance with OFAC regulations, the Foundation requires special documentation for projects located in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Crimea (including Sevastopol), the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic regions of Ukraine, and Russia. The Foundation does not require this documentation at the application stage, but we must receive it before we can release funds.

Please do not send any other materials beyond what the application requests. Do not send transcripts, letters of reference, manuscripts, publications, or photographs. We will not use this material in the review process, and we cannot return it to you.