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Fellowships and Grants for Architects and Designers

November 2011

By Laura Mirviss and Asad Syrkett

Whether you are a recent graduate or longtime practitioner, you have a choice of numerous grants and fellowships tailored to architects and designers, with stipends ranging from a few thousand dollars to $100,000. Below is a list of more than two dozen programs. Post additional opportunities in the comment box below or send a message to ar_news_editor@mcgraw-hill.com.

Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy
Photo courtesy Wikipedia
The NIAUSI Fellowship gives architects in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho the chance to study design while living in Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy (pictured above).

 

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The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture offers a three- to nine-month postdoctoral fellowship for research in Islamic art and architecture at Harvard University. The fellowship is directed toward foreign academics and recent graduates of Ph.D. programs; it comes with a stipend up to $27,000, depending on the duration the fellowship. For information: agakhan.fas.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k69205
&tabgroupid=icb.tabgroup104227

Architecture for Humanity (AFH) has a rolling design fellowship program that pairs architects with public building projects in the U.S. and abroad. Through the program, fellows have worked on the dilapidated Manhattan Bridge Skatepark, built sporting facilities in South Africa, and designed sustainable architecture in Haiti. AFH keeps a running list of available fellowships. For information: architectureforhumanity.org/get_involved/volunteer

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge, established in 2008, is an annual $100,000 award that funds a humanitarian and/or ecological project proposed by an individual or organization. The prize is awarded to projects that best exemplify “how small amounts of leverage, energy, and resources” can produce maximum positive change. For information: challenge.bfi.org/About

The Center for Architecture Foundation and the AIA New York Chapter currently offer three grants for U.S. architecture students and professionals. The Stewardson Keefe LeBrun Travel Grant provides up to $15,000 to young or mid-level practicing architects. The Arnold W. Brunner Grant offers travel research grants up to $15,000 to practicing architects who received their first professional degree no less than five years ago. The Douglas Haskell Award for Student Journals grants up to $2,000 to student-edited publications with a focus on architecture. For information: www.cfafoundation.org/index.php?section=scholarships

The Oregon-based Curry Stone Foundation provides grants to individuals or groups working on projects that facilitate healthy communities. The Curry Stone Design Prize is an annual $100,000 award given to an architect, designer, or organization whose work provides access to clean water, food, education, and/or shelter. The foundation also awards smaller monetary prizes. The program is administered in partnership with Architecture for Humanity and Harvard University. For information: currystonedesignprize.com/

The Deborah J. Norden Fund, administered by the Architectural League of New York, offers travel grants up to $5,000 to students and recent graduates of architecture, architectural history, and urban studies programs. Applicants must live in the United States, Canada, or Mexico. For information: archleague.org/2011/04/call-for-applications-deborah-j-norden-fund-travel-study-grants/

The Design Trust for Public Space awards fellowships to architects and design professionals on a rotating basis. Stipends generally range from $5,000 to $15,000, and the program often provides publishing opportunities. For information: www.designtrust.org/fellowships/fellowships.html

The E. Geoffrey and Elizabeth Thayer Verney Fellowship offered through the Nantucket Historical Association allows students and professionals to research a historical aspect of Nantucket, Massachusetts, while living on-site in a historic house for three weeks. Researchers will publish an article in the quarterly journal, Historic Nantucket,and receive a stipend of $300 per week, in addition to paid travel expenses. Applications are due December 31, 2011. For information: www.nha.org/library/verney.html

The Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship is a three-year program in which young architects are paired with local organizations to work on housing and community development projects in underserved areas. Offered by Enterprise Community Partners, the fellowship has sponsored 35 architects since its inception in 2000 and comes with an annual stipend of $47,500. The next applications are due in July 2012. For information: www.rosefellowship.org/index.php/join/

The Getty Conservation Institute has a scholar-in-residence grant program for professionals with at least five years work experience in conservation. Research grants are awarded for three, six, or nine months and come with a monthly $3,500 stipend. For information: www.getty.edu/foundation/funding/residential/index.html

The Getty Research Institute has a scholar-in-residence fellowship program in Los Angeles for Ph.D. students and postdoctoral students who are interested in conducting pre- or postdoctoral research relating to the Institute’s annual theme. The program runs from September to June, with stipends of $25,000 and $30,000 available to pre- and postdoctoral fellows, respectively. The Institute also offers grants for on-site research relating to Los Angeles’s architectural history and urban development. The program, “Los Angeles Architecture, 1940–1990,” runs from January to June 2012. For information: www.getty.edu/research/scholars/

The James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation offers grants up to $15,000 for architects or other professionals to work on historic preservation projects. Applicants must have at least 10 years of work experience and live in the United States. The next round of applications for the Fitch Mid-Career Grant and the Richard L. Blinder Award are due in the fall of 2012. For information: itchfoundation.org/filter/Grants

The Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship sponsors a year of academic study for recent college graduates in the United States or abroad in the fine arts, including architecture and landscape history and design. The fellowship is administered through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; stipends of $7,500 are available, in addition to tuition and living costs. Students must submit a portfolio or writing samples. For information: faa.illinois.edu/files/KateNealKinley2009.pdf

The Loeb Fellowship, awarded by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, offers fellowships for mid-career design professionals, providing them the chance to conduct independent study at one of the university’s schools. The next application deadline is January 2012. For information:
www.gsd.harvard.edu/professional/loeb_fellowship/

Each year, the MacDowell Fellowship invites approximately 250 artists from various disciplines, including architecture, to spend up to eight weeks living at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, the oldest artist colony in the United States. Artists from around the world may apply during one of three annual application cycles. Fellows receive free room and board, as well as access to studio space while in residence. For information: www.macdowellcolony.org/index.html 

The National Building Museum offers 10-week Field Fellowships to students pursuing a Ph.D. or master’s degree in architecture, historic preservation, or related discipline. Fellowships also are offered to postdoctoral applicants who are less than five years out of their studies. Recipients are awarded a $5,000 stipend. For information: www.nbm.org

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) offers grants up to $75,000 to implement new curricular and academic programming in architecture at U.S. universities. Faculty members of accredited institutions may submit proposals. For information: www.ncarb.org/Studying-Architecture/Educators/NCARB-Grant-Program/Grant-Program-Requirements.aspx

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Artists’ Fellowship offers annual grants of $7,000 to practicing artists who have lived and worked in the state of New York for at least two years. Each year, the NYFA considers grant applications in select disciplines. Applications relating to architecture and design will be considered during the 2013 grant cycle. For information: www.nyfa.org/level2.asp?id=1&fid=1&sid=44

The New York State Council on the Arts offers grants up to $10,000 through its Architecture, Planning and Design Program. The program funds projects in the areas of building and restoration, urban and rural planning, industrial design, and architectural history, among others. Only New York state residents can apply, and their project must be supported by a partnering nonprofit organization. For information: www.nysca.org/public/guidelines/architecture/index.htm

The NIAUSI Fellowship, sponsored by the Northwest Institute and the Civita Institute, allows architects working in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho to study design issues relating to the Pacific Northwest while living for one or two months in Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy. Applicants for the one-month fellowship must have at least two years of professional work experience; for the two-month fellowship, seven years of experience are required. In addition to lodging and airfare, fellows receive a $1,500 stipend. AIA Seattle members with at least seven years of work experience can apply for a one-month fellowship offered jointly by the NIAUSI/AIA Seattle. For information: www.northwestinstitute.com/266/2009-fellowships.html

The Richard Morris Hunt Fellowship, offered jointly by the American Architectural Foundation and the French Heritage Society, is a six-month exchange program for mid-career architects interested in studying historic preservation abroad. The fellowship is awarded to French and American architects on an alternating basis. The 2012 fellowship will be awarded to a French recipient; the next fellowship awarded to an American is slated for 2013. For information: www.frenchheritagesociety.org/education.php

The Rome Prize is annually awarded by the American Academy in Rome to mid-career practitioners and scholars with a demonstrated interest in the arts, architecture, historic preservation, and related fields. Two fellowships are offered: one for a six-month period, with a $13,000 stipend; and one for an 11-month period, with a $26,000 stipend. For information: www.aarome.org/apply/rome-prize.

The Smithsonian Institute offers four summer fellowships for graduate students, pre- and postdoctoral students, and “senior investigators.” The fellowships span from three to 24 months; stipends vary. Applications are due January 15, 2012. For information: www.si.edu/ofg/infotoapply.htm

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill offers recent graduates of undergraduate and graduate architecture programs a chance to win a $50,000 award for research and travel. The jury-led SOM Foundation Award for Architecture, Design, and Urban Design is awarded to one student annually. The Foundation also offers a $20,000 grant to a runner-up. American citizenship is not required. The next deadline is summer 2012. For information: www.somfoundation.som.com

Urban Land Institute members are eligible to apply to the Urban Innovation Fund District/National Council Grant Program, which offers grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to fund projects that emphasize local public-private partnerships. For information: www.uli.org/sitecore/content/ULI2Home/CommunityBuilding/CommunityActionsGrants.aspx

Western European Architecture Foundation’s Gabriel Prize offers an American architect a $20,000 grant to study classical architecture for three months in France. The grant is awarded to one individual each year and often goes to an architecture student or recent graduate. For information: www.gabrielprize.org/index.php

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