Individual, Group, & Kinkade Grants

Jacobs Research Funds

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Grant amount: US $3,000 - US $9,000

Anticipated deadline: Feb 15, 2020

Applicant type: Graduate Student Postdoctoral Researcher Faculty Unaffiliated Researcher Research Scientist

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Americas

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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The Jacobs Research Funds (JRF) and the Whatcom Museum Society, British Columbia (WMSBC) are sister organizations that fund linguistic and anthropological research on aboriginal peoples of North and South America. The JRF accepts proposals on behalf of both organizations.

Projects focusing on archival research are given low priority. Relevance of the project to contemporary theoretical issues in anthropology and linguistics is also a criterion used in evaluating proposals.

Funded projects typically focus on:

  • linguistic analysis
  • social-cultural anthropology
  • ethnolinguistics
  • sociolinguistics

Especially appropriate are field studies that address cultural expressive systems, such as:

  • music
  • language
  • dance
  • mythology
  • world view
  • folk taxonomy
  • art
  • intellectual life
  • religion

Also appropriate are projects focusing on cultural and linguistic forms in modern contexts - for example, traditional environmental knowledge or social organization.

There are three categories of Jacobs Research Funds grants:

Individual Grants Support research projects administered by a single investigator on a focused problem. The maximum award is $3000 USD or equivalent Canadian.  

Group Grants Support work by two or more researchers who will be cooperating on the same or similar projects.  The researchers should be sharing field expenses working with the same language, with the same speakers, and/or in the same geographical area.  

One person in the group should be designated as the Principal Investigator.  The PI will serve as the contact person for the Jacobs Research Funds and will be responsible for use of funds, filing reports, and archiving materials. Normally, the PI will be the most senior scholar in the group, such as a faculty member or advanced graduate student.  

Projects involving collaboration between academics and non-academics are encouraged. The maximum award is $6000 USD or equivalent Canadian.

The Kinkade Grants honor the memory of the late Dale Kinkade, a linguist known for his work on Salishan languages. Kinkade Grants support projects requiring an intense period of fieldwork, such as research leading to a major work such as a dictionary, collection of texts, etc.  They are intended for experienced researchers, such as Ph.D. students working on dissertations, faculty with sabbatical or other period of course release, or emeritus professors seeking to complete major research.  

The maximum award is $9000 USD or equivalent Canadian.  We anticipate that we will award only one or two Kinkade Grants per year to very worthy projects.  If your project is not awarded a Kinkade Grant, you can nevertheless be eligible to receive an Individual Grant.

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


  • Only research in the Americas is funded.
  • Grants are only for studying aboriginal languages and cultures of the Americas.
  • Allowed expenses include consultants, research assistants, travel, accommodation, equipment.
  • For any funding year, a researcher can be an applicant or co-applicant on at most one grant.


  • Priority is given to research on the Pacific Northwest. 


  • Projects in archeology, physical anthropology, applied anthropology, and applied linguistics (for example, grants exclusively for technological improvements, development of pedagogical materials, etc.) are not eligible for support. 
  • The Jacobs Research Funds do not support proprietary research for the exclusive use of any entity, public or private (such as national, state, provincial, or local governments; public or private charities, churches or foundations; tribes or bands; or community groups).
  • Disallowed expenses include researcher salaries, tuition, per diems, food, institutional overhead, administration.