Wenner-Gren Fellowship in Anthropology and Black Experiences

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


The purpose of this fellowship is to expand the anthropological conversation and build capacity in anthropology as a career and field of study, amplifying perspectives previously underrepresented in the discipline.

The School for Advanced Research (SAR), in Santa Fe, New Mexico, administers this award in collaboration with the Wenner-Gren Foundation. SAR is eager to support individuals whose research draws on Black studies, critical race studies, diasporic Africana studies, the vernacular insights of communities of color, and other sources of inspiration growing out of global Black experiences, to advance new lines of scholarship in any of anthropology’s subfields. SAR hopes to attract applicants working in diverse areas, including but not limited to Black communities.

Applicants should show how this support will enable them to succeed at a critical juncture in their career and alter their trajectory in the field. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

The successful applicant is welcome to spend the 9-month fellowship term with a cohort of scholars at SAR’s residential campus in Santa Fe. However, the program will also consider applicants who can only participate through a combination of remote gatherings and an in-person residency of several weeks.

Award Money

Fellows receive a stipend of $50,000 over 9 months. Resident scholars also receive low-cost housing and free office space at the SAR campus. Fellows who opt not to relocate receive a travel subsidy covering the cost of a short-term, in-person residency at the SAR campus. 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 the first Monday in November for fellowships beginning September 1 of the following year. SAR and the Foundation collaboratively complete the review process and arrive at a final decision 6 months after the application deadline. We make one award annually.

Who Can Apply

Doctorates in Anthropology, Doctorates in Related Fields, Independent Scholars

This opportunity is open to anthropology PhDs of all ranks. Qualified scholars with U.S. citizenship or residency are welcome to apply.

The winner of the Wenner-Gren Fellowship in Anthropology and Black Experiences joins a cohort of scholars supported by SAR and its partners. SAR prioritizes applicants whose work is broad, synthetic, interdisciplinary, and promises to yield significant advances in understanding human culture, behavior, evolution, or critical contemporary issues. Each year’s cohort includes scholars in both the social sciences and humanities. Proposals for projects that are narrowly focused geographically and theoretically or that are primarily methodological seldom receive strong consideration.

Preference is given to applicants whose research and analysis are complete and who need time to prepare manuscripts or dissertations. Applicants must have their PhD in hand at the time of application.

Applications are evaluated by the following criteria:

Proposal presentation: Proposals should explain the research topic, key questions to be addressed, and methodologies in a clear and organized manner. Avoid jargon.

Significance of the project: Proposals should make a strong case for the intellectual significance of the project. Describe why your research is exciting, innovative, and important from a broad anthropological and humanistic perspective.

Appropriateness for SAR: The proposed project should clearly align with SAR’s mission.

Quality of research: Research questions and goals should clearly align with the project’s methodologies and stated outcomes. Expected results should be realistic and achievable and the project should be professionally responsible.

Project completion timeline: Data collection for the project should be completed before the fellowship begins so the scholar can reasonably complete their writing project within the fellowship term or within 1 to 2 years after the fellowship ends.

Letters of recommendation: Letters of recommendation should be highly enthusiastic and thoughtfully written, with sufficient detail to illustrate why the candidate is outstanding.

Publication record: The applicant’s publication record should be strong relative to his or her discipline and career stage. Competitive applicants have published in well-known, prestigious journals and/or with highly regarded book publishers.

Impact of the award: Applicants should show how this support will enable them to succeed at a critical juncture in their career and alter their trajectory in the field.

The application process is administered by SAR. All application materials must be submitted through the SAR online application system. Emailed, mailed, or faxed application materials, including letters of recommendation, will not be accepted. Supplementary materials will not be considered. In fairness to all applicants, we do not grant on- or off-campus interviews. If you have questions, contact Wenner-Gren at inquiries@wennergren.org or (+1) 212.683.5000, or SAR at scholar@sarsf.org or (+1) 505.954.7201.

Applicants must create an account on the SAR online application system before materials can be uploaded for submission. Applications, which must be in English, will be accepted from September 1 through the first Monday in November each year. Only fully completed applications that adhere to SAR’s guidelines and deadlines will be considered.

All applications must include:

  • An abstract that summarizes the purpose and goals of the project
  • A proposal that describes the research project, key questions to be addressed, methodologies, and significance; explains the current status of your research and what is to be accomplished during the fellowship period; and includes a discussion of how this support will allow you to succeed at a critical juncture in your career
  • A short bibliography of references cited in the proposal; please refer to “Motion of the 32nd RBA: Diversify Information and Education about the Global Anthropologies of Foreign Researchers and Anthropology Students
  • A curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation, requested and submitted through the online application system; applicants are responsible for ensuring that references send their letters on time.

Additional reference checks may be conducted for finalists.

You may access the SAR application portal here. The portal opens on September 1 of each year and closes on the first Monday in November.