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Shohet Scholars Program
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Award announcement for the 2015-2016 academic year will be made by May 1, 2015.

The application deadline for the 2015-2016 academic year is January 15, 2015, for funding to be disbursed on July 1, 2015.

Description and Application Procedures

The International Catacomb Society (ICS) founded the Shohet Scholars Program in 2001 to honor its founder, Estelle Shohet Brettman.

The ICS desires to support scholars of demonstrated promise and ability who are judged capable of producing significant, original research. Shohet Scholars may do their research in the fields of archeology, art history, classical studies, history, comparative religions, or related subjects. The focus of the work should be within the sphere of the Mediterranean world from the late Hellenistic Period to the end of the Roman Empire. The work does not need to be related to the Roman catacombs, although applications for projects focused on the catacombs are welcome. Of special interest are interdisciplinary projects that approach traditional topics from new perspectives. Successful applicants will be expected to present a public lecture in Boston reporting the methods, results, and significance of their work and submit a written article for publication by the ICS.

One or more Shohet Scholars will be selected each year and supported for a period of one year. The primary intent of the grant is to support significant, innovative research that can be completed and reported within the award period. Grants may be made to start new projects or to cover specific expenses or phases of a larger project under the direction of the applicant. At this time, awards in the range of $5,000 to $30,000 will be made. The Shohet Scholars Program reserves the right not to make a grant in a year in which no applications meet the requirements of the program.

Scholars of all institutional affiliations who are US citizens and possess a doctoral degree or the equivalent are eligible. Independent, unaffiliated scholars without doctoral credentials may be considered if judged equivalent in experience, competence, and accomplishments to other candidates. Employees, contractors, and members of the Board of Directors or Advisory Board of the ICS and their families are ineligible. No applicant will be denied consideration or selection because of race, religion, or ethnic origin.

Applications - Please note new address!
Applications, supporting documents, and communications with the Shohet Scholars Program must be in English. They should be either sent combined into a single document as an email attachment to or mailed to Harvard Divinity School, c/o Professor Annewies van den Hoek (Shohet Scholars Program), Andover Hall, 45 Francis Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138.

Include the following documents:

  • Applicant information sheet (download PDF)
  • Applicant’s curriculum vitae
  • Research proposal not exceeding 2500 words (approx. 10 pages, double spaced)
  • 100-word abstract of the proposed research and its significance
  • Statement of permissions acquired for research and/or publication if the applicant proposes to conduct archaeological fieldwork or proposes a project involving items in museum collections, archives, or other situations requiring permission
  • Budget proposal—see guidelines below

In addition to the application materials submitted by the applicant, the following documents are also required:

  • Letters of recommendation from three individuals should be sent directly by the writers to the Shohet Scholars Program. These letters should address, in particular, characteristics and personal qualities indicative of the likelihood the applicant will carry out the research, contribute to the objectives of the program, and make a significant contribution to his or her field.
  • A letter from the applicant's department chairperson or other institutional officer confirming institutional support for the project should be mailed directly by the writer to the Shohet Scholars Program.

Applications will be evaluated by a jury of academic experts who take into account the quality and feasibility of the research project submitted, the time required to meet the objectives sought, the anticipated impact of the findings, and the excellence of the applicant’s skills as attested by diplomas obtained, letters of recommendation, and publications, papers, and presentations. Persons recommending or making selections of grantees will not be in a position to derive any direct or indirect private benefit if certain potential grantees are selected over others and will have no formal relation to applicants subject to their review. Decisions of the jury are final and, regrettably, neither oral nor written critique will be provided for unfunded applications.

Budget Guidelines
An applicant must submit and justify a detailed allocation of funds requested. The applicant must indicate the sources and amounts of all other funds allocated to him or her for the project if the budget is in excess of the maximum grant of $30,000. Funds may be used for research expenses directly related and essential to the project, such as equipment and supplies, travel and living expenses during fieldwork, and research assistance. Awardees may receive salary from their institutions for periods of exclusive work on the research (e.g., summer salary) or portions of time devoted exclusively to the project. Funds may not be used to pay salary and fringe benefit obligations of institutions, tuition, institutional overhead, other institutional support, or expenses incurred prior to the date of the award. The budget should include an item to fund one visit to Boston to present the results of the research. Travel expenses to attend professional association meetings will not be funded. No substantial variances may made from an awardee's approved budget without prior approval in writing from the Shohet Scholars Program. Applicants should budget to allow for fluctuations in the exchange rate, if necessary, as additional funds cannot be provided for this purpose after the award is made. Finally, awardees should be aware that the grants are subject to federal and state income taxes.

Award announcement for the 2015-2016 academic year will be made by May 1, 2015.

The application deadline for the 2015-2016 academic year is January 15, 2015, for funding to be disbursed on July 1, 2015.

Mailing Address
Application materials for the Shohet Scholars Program that are sent by mail instead of email should be sent by US Postal Service regular or express mail postmarked by the application deadline to Shohet Scholars Program at the following address: Harvard Divinity School, c/o Professor Annewies van den Hoek, Andover Hall, 45 Francis Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138. Please do not use mail services that require a signature for deilvery.

Obligations of Shohet Scholars
Successful applicants will be expected to present a public lecture in Boston reporting the methods, results, and significance of their work. The lecture will take place after the grant period has ended at a time to be arranged. Two items are due three months after the end of the award period: a final report of expenditures and a written article on the funded project suitable for publication by the ICS.

If you have any questions about the suitability of proposed projects, application procedures, or any other matters related to the Shohet Scholars Program, please do not hesitate to contact us at