Funding provided by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The deadline for this fellowship has now passed. Award results will be announced in early May. The next competition will open in September 2021.

The Multi-Country Research Fellowship supports advanced regional or trans-regional research in the humanities, social sciences, or allied natural sciences for U.S. doctoral candidates, and scholars who hold a PhD. Preference will be given to candidates examining comparative and/or cross-regional research. Applicants are eligible to apply as individuals or in teams. Scholars must carry out research in two or more countries outside the U.S., at least one of which hosts a participating American overseas research center. 


Important information about the fellowship competition:

  • Scholars must carry out research in two or more countries outside the United States, at least one of which hosts a participating American overseas research center. Click here for a list of the centers.

  • The award is for a minimum of 90 days and Fellows may travel and carry out research between the period of May 2021 and November 2022. (The 90 day travel minimum can be split into multiple trips and does not need to be consecutive.)

  • Nine awards of $11,500 each will be given. Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Information on travel:

  • CAORC abides by all U.S. Department of State travel restrictions. For information on restricted travel please be sure to visit:

  • Note that in accordance with U.S. Department of State travel warnings, travel is not currently possible to the following countries with overseas research centers: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan (senior scholars may be permitted to travel to Lahore and Islamabad subject to approval), and Yemen.

  • Note that due to the current COVID-19 crisis, fellowship travel will resume when travel restrictions are lifted. Please list a tentative travel plan and dates in your application. CAORC will continue to monitor the situation and will work with fellows to confirm travel plans when the fellowships are awarded in April 2021.

Notification of fellowship status will be made available to each applicant via email by the end of April, 2021. Fellows are advised that it can take up to six months to obtain necessary research clearances and should plan accordingly.

Application Information:

Applications can be accessed via You must sign up for an account to access the application. This will allow you to save and return to your application before submitting. Please save your login/password information for future applications.


Project Description: In 1500 words or less, please describe the nature of your proposed project and your competence to carry out the required research. State your research question and the methods and procedures you will use to conduct your research. Be sure to describe the proposed methodology in clear terms. Give the reasons why your project requires your presence in the countries indicated, and note the facilities (e.g. libraries, museums, archives, field sites) that you plan to use while conducting your research. What relationship will you have with the host-country overseas research center(s)? Finally, indicate the extent to which you have investigated other funding sources. Please note that those judging your application may not be specialists in your field. Please limit your narrative to 12-point font and 1-inch margins. Footnotes do not count against the word count.


Project Bibliography/Literature Review: You must submit a one-page bibliography or literature review outlining your project resources. CAORC does not have a preference for one format over another. Please clarify primary and secondary sources, and – where applicable – locations of listed material. Please note that additional pages will not be submitted to the review committee.


Letters of Recommendation: You must have two (2) letters of recommendation. You will be able to send a link to your recommenders via the online grant portal, SM Apply, by entering their contact details, which will trigger the system into sending an automated email. Your recommenders will then be able to upload their letters. All letters must be in English. Recommendations letters will be confidential in the system. The applicant is responsible for checking in with their recommenders to ensure the letters are submitted in time.  


PhD candidates must have one letter from an academic advisor with a signed Academic Advisor Form. Please inform your academic advisor that the will need to complete the form the CAORC online grant portal, SM Apply


Curriculum Vitae: Three (3) pages maximum. Additional pages will not be submitted to the review committee. Please ensure that prior awards and language capacity are clearly noted.


Transcripts: PhD candidates only. Please submit transcripts from your most recent institution. 




  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

  • Fellowship awards will not exceed $11,500.

  • Funding is not available for research conducted in the U.S.

  • Group projects are admissible and will be evaluated as a single application. Groups should submit one (1) application for the group project and Curriculum Vitae for each member of the group. Two (2) letters of recommendation are required for the group. If awarded, a single grant of $11,500 will be issued to the group.

  • It is not required that you be affiliated with a U.S. academic institution to apply. As long as you are a PhD candidate at an accredited university, or have already earned your PhD, you are eligible for the fellowships.

  • PhD candidates must be ABD (all but dissertation) by May 2021.

  • If you have held a Multi-Country Fellowship in the past, you must wait 3 years before you are eligible to apply again. 

  • Minority scholars and scholars from Minority Serving Institutions are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Deadline: January 25, 2021 at 5:00pm EST (applicants are advised to submit applications well before the deadline in case applicants have questions for the CAORC main office).

If you have questions, please email

A few additional notes about the fellowship applications:

  • It is possible to apply for both the Multi-Country Research Fellowship and the NEH Senior Research Fellowship.

  • Referees have one additional week after the applicant deadline to upload their recommendation letters into SM Apply.

  • Mary Ellen Lane Travel Award: each year the highest ranking Multi-Country Fellowship applicant will receive an additional $1,000 toward travel expenses. The award is named after CAORC's founding director, Dr. Mary Ellen Lane.