Carter Manny Award

Graham Foundation

Suggest an update

Anticipated deadline: Nov 15, 2020

Grant amount: Up to US $20,000

Fields of work: Landscape Architecture Urban Planning Architecture

Applicant type: PhD Student

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Canada, United States

View website    Save

About this funder:




Founded in 1956, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts fosters the development and exchange of diverse and challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture, and society. The Graham realizes this vision through making project-based grants to individuals and organizations and producing exhibitions, events, and publications.

Carter Manny Award

Since the Carter Manny Award’s establishment in 1996, over $775,000 has been awarded in recognition of outstanding doctoral students whose work represents some of the most innovative and advanced scholarship on architecture and its role in the arts, culture, and society. The Carter Manny Award supports dissertation research and writing by promising scholars whose projects have architecture as their primary focus and the potential to shape architectural discourse. Projects may be drawn from the various fields of inquiry supported by the Graham Foundation: architectural history, theory, and criticism; design; engineering; landscape architecture; urban planning; urban studies; visual arts; and other related fields. The award assists students enrolled in graduate programs in architecture, art history, the fine arts, humanities, and the social sciences working on architecture topics.

The Graham Foundation offers two Carter Manny Awards: a research award for a student at the research stage of the doctoral dissertation and a writing award for a student at the writing stage of the doctoral dissertation. The research award is acknowledged with up to $15,000 and the writing award is acknowledged with up to $20,000.

The Carter Manny Award applications are reviewed by a diverse panel of recognized scholars in the fields of inquiry represented by the award.

The Graham Foundation offers this prestigious annual award in honor of Carter H. Manny (1918–2017) and his long and distinguished service to the Graham Foundation. Manny served the Foundation since its inception in 1956, first as a trustee, then as the director from 1971, and after his retirement in 1993, as director emeritus.

Criteria for Evaluation

Given the foundation’s interest in identifying the most promising dissertation projects, the following criteria are taken into consideration during the application review.

We are primarily interested in projects that are original and have the potential to impact the field of architecture:

  • Originality: the dissertation demonstrates an innovative, challenging idea; critical, independent thinking; advanced scholarship; a new approach or methodology
  • Potential for impact: the dissertation makes a meaningful contribution to discourse and/or to the field; expands knowledge; is a catalyst for future inquiry; raises awareness of an understudied issue

We also look for the project’s feasibility and the applicant’s capacity:

  • Feasibility: the dissertation project has a sound methodology and clear, realistic goals; a reasonable timeframe for research or writing; available and accessible sources
  • Capacity: applicant possesses strong qualifications and/or knowledge and demonstrates ability to complete the dissertation successfully

Award Types

The Graham Foundation offers two Carter Manny Awards: one for a student at the research stage of the doctoral dissertation and one for a student at the writing stage of the doctoral dissertation. 

Research award 

The research award assists students with research that is essential to the doctoral project. The research award can be used for travel, documentation, materials, supplies, and other research and development costs. Applicants for a research award should have a clearly defined work plan, travel plan, and goals. 

The research award is acknowledged with up to $15,000. 

Writing award 

The writing award encourages timely completion of the Ph.D. by assisting students who are in the advanced stages of the dissertation with one year of writing. While some of the award funds may be used for final research, the award is intended to support and facilitate uninterrupted writing. Applicants for a writing award will be asked to submit a writing sample from the dissertation, a dissertation table of contents, and a writing schedule. 

The writing award is acknowledged with up to $20,000. 

Citations of Special Recognition 

A limited number of Citations of Special Recognition may be determined in some years in recognition of outstanding projects.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Ph.D. students who are presently candidates for a doctoral degree are eligible to apply.
  • Students must be nominated by their department to apply for the Carter Manny Award. 
    • A department may nominate up to two candidates: one for the research award and one for the writing award.
  • At the time of application, students must have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. except the dissertation and have had their dissertation proposals formally approved by their academic departments.
  • A student may reapply for the Carter Manny Award if a previous application was not successful. Due to limited funds, a student who received a research award or a writing award is not eligible to apply for another Carter Manny Award in subsequent years.
  • The award is open to students officially enrolled in schools in the U.S. and Canada, regardless of citizenship.