HFG Emerging Scholars

STANFORD, CA – MARCH 09: A person walks past archways during a quiet morning at Stanford University on March 9, 2020 in Stanford, California. Stanford University announced that classes will be held online for the remainder of the winter quarter after a staff member working in a clinic tested positive for the Coronavirus. (Photo by Philip Pacheco/Getty Images)

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Emerging Scholar Awards (formerly the Harry Frank Guggenheim Dissertation Fellowships) recognize promising graduate-student researchers in their final year of writing a doctoral dissertation examining a salient aspect of violence.

The Foundation welcomes proposals from any of the natural and social sciences or allied 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 serve, in turn, as causes of future violence. 

The Emerging Scholar Awards 

The award is $25,000 for one year and contributes to the support of a doctoral candidate to enable the completion of a dissertation that advances the Foundation’s research interests described above in a timely manner. They are available only to students for support during the final year of Ph.D. studies.

The award does not support doctoral research.Applicants may be citizens of any country and studying at colleges or universities in any country. 


Applications for the awards must be received by February 1, for a decision in June. Final decisions are made by the Board of Directors at its meeting in June. Applicants will be informed promptly by email of the Board’s decision. Awards ordinarily commence on September 1, but other starting dates (after July 1) may be requested if the nature of the project deems this appropriate.


Applicants for an award must be Ph.D. candidates entering the dissertation stage of graduate study. Usually, this means that fieldwork or other research is complete and writing has begun or will at the beginning of the award period. If analysis and writing are not far enough along for an applicant to be confident that the dissertation will be completed within the award year, an application should not be submitted. In some disciplines, particularly experimental fields, research and writing can reasonably be expected to be completed within the same year, and in those cases, it is appropriate to apply.


Candidates for the Harry Frank Guggenheim Emerging Scholar Awards may apply online annually between November 1 and February 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


Maayan Armelin  (History, Clark University).  Leadership Styles and Social Relations in the SS-Einsatzgruppen
Philip Johnson  (Political Science, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York).  Narcommunication: The Public Messages, Murders, and Media of Organized Crime
Chulani Kodikara  (Political Science, University of Edinburgh).  Grief and Hope, Inscription and Erasure: A Struggle for Truth and Justice in Post-War Sri Lanka
Molly Minden  (Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison).  Legacies of Wartime Violence in Social Mobilization: Resistance to Dams in Guatemala
Lindsay Randall  (Anthropology, University of Edinburgh).  Contesting the City: Kinship, Islam, and Ethnic Politics of Belonging in Harar, Ethiopia
Maria Restrepo-Ruiz  (Public Health, University of Connecticut).  Intimate Partner Violence in Armed Conflict Contexts: The Case of Colombia
Matthew Simonson  (Network Science, Northeastern University).  Kill a Stranger, Save a Neighbor: Civilian and Combatant Networks Under Fire
Roya Talibova  (Political Science, University of Michigan). Why Fight? The Causes and Consequences of Joining an Autocrat’s Army
William Whitham  (History, Princeton University).  Statism and Anarchy: Illusion, Insurrection, and the Tragedy of the Left

See Full List

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