HFG Distinguished Scholars

BERLIN – MAY 06: A visitor looks at an exhibit of index cards from the post-World War II investigation of members of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), one of the main security orgainzations of the Nazis and led by Heinrich Himmler, at the Topography of Terror documentation center and museum on May 6, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. The center, which stands on the site of the former Gestapo and SS headquarters building, documents the role of the Gestapo, the SS and other instruments of terror of the Nazis with exhibition spaces, a library, events and a special scholars’ archive. The Topography of Terror center is scheduled to officially open with an official ceremony later today. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Distinguished Scholar Awards (formerly the Harry Frank Guggenheim Research Grants) recognize leading researchers proposing to make a significant contribution to illuminating an issue of violence.

The Foundation welcomes proposals from any of the natural and social sciences and aligned disciplines that promise to increase understanding of the causes, manifestations, and control of violence and aggression. Highest priority is given to research that addresses urgent, present-day problems of violence—what produces it, how it operates, and what prevents or reduces it.  

The Foundation is interested in violence related to many subjects, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • War
  • Crime
  • Terrorism
  • Family and intimate-partner relationships
  • Climate instability and natural resource competition
  • Racial, ethnic, and religious conflict
  • Political extremism and nationalism

The Foundation supports research that investigates the basic mechanisms in the production of violence, but primacy is given to proposals that make a compelling case for the relevance of potential findings for policies intended to reduce these ills. Likewise, historical research is considered to the extent that it is relevant to a current situation of violence. Examinations of the effects of violence are welcome insofar as a strong case is made that these outcomes may serve, in turn, as causes of future violence. 

The Distinguished Scholar Awards 

Most awards fall within the range of $15,000 to $45,000 per year for periods of one or two years. Applications for larger amounts and longer durations will be considered but must be strongly justified. The awards are made to individuals (or sometimes two or, rarely, three principal investigators) for specific projects, not general research support. They are not awarded to institutions for institutional programs. Individuals who receive research grants may be subject to taxation on the funds awarded.


Applications must be submitted by August 1, for a decision in December. Final decisions are made by the Board of Directors at its meeting in December. Applicants will be informed promptly by email of the Board’s decision. Awards ordinarily commence on January 1, but later starting dates may be requested if the nature of the research deems this appropriate.


Applicants for an award may be citizens of any country. While almost all recipients of these awards possess a Ph.D., M.D., J.D., or equivalent degree, there are no formal degree requirements for the award. The award, however, may not be used to support research undertaken as part of the requirements for a graduate degree. Applicants need not be affiliated with an institution of higher learning, although most are college or university professors.


Candidates for the Harry Frank Guggenheim Distinguished Scholar Award may apply online annually between May 1 and August 1. Applicants must create an account to access the application and guidelines. The guidelines are also available through the second link below.

Online Application (Login required)

Application Guidelines (PDF)

Recent Recipients


Smadar Ben-Natan (University of Washington). The Carceral State in Conflict: Between Reconciliation and Radicalization
Katherine Bruce-Lockhart (University of Waterloo) and David M. Anderson (University of Warwick). Understanding Violence and Incarceration in Africa: Evidence from British Colonies and Postcolonial States
Ankur Datta (South Asian University). Victimhood in a Time of Crisis: Muslims and the Riots of 2020 in New Delhi, India
David Henig (Utrecht University). Deadly Environments: Living Among Explosive War Remnants in Former Yugoslavia
Daniel Hirata and Carolina Christoph Grillo (Fluminense Federal University). Police Special Operations and Armed Criminal Groups in Rio De Janeiro
Benjamin Hoy (University of Saskatchewan). Dominating a Continent: Violence, Retribution, and Forcible Confinement in North America
Dorian Juric (Unaffiliated). "Twas Always Known As the Bloody Frontier": Rumours, Memories, and Bosnian Identity in the Migrant Crisis   
Gema Kloppe-Santamaria (Loyola University Chicago). In the Name of Christ: Religious Violence and Its Legitimacy in Mexico (1920-2020)
Uri Lifshin (Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya). Increasing Perceived Similarity of the Self to Animals to Reduce Intergroup Hostility and Promote Peace: Testing a Novel Intervention in Three Nations
Pamela Mainye (Kisii University). Super-Cops, Extra-Judicial Killings, and Popular Imaginaries of Policing in Facebook Groups in Nairobi
Eric Min (University of California, Los Angeles). Fighting and Bargaining Across Two Centuries of International Conflict
Laine Munir (African Leadership University). Valuable Resources: Women, Conflict, and Modern Mining Practices in Rwanda
Robert Simiyu (Kisii University). Geography, Identity Formation, and Intra-Ethnic Conflicts in Kenya's Mt. Elgon Region: Deconstructing the Soy-Mosop Divide As a Basis for Conflict Resolution
Jeremy Speight (University of Alaska), Philip A. Martin (George Mason University), and Giulia Piccolino (Loughborough University). Ex-Rebel Authority in Post-Conflict Politics: Evidence from Côte d’Ivoire
Yael Zeira (Syracuse University) and Alexandra Siegel (University of Colorado Boulder). The Ethnicization of Conflict: A Social Media Analysis

See Full List

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