Shohet Scholars Grant Program

Estelle Shohet Brettman founded the International Catacomb Society (ICS) in 1980. Her approach was ecumenical, and her intent was to promote the preservation, restoration, and documentation of the catacombs in Rome and elsewhere that contain paintings, epigraphy, and artifacts depicting the cultures and customs of early religions under the Roman Empire. The Shohet Scholars Program, established by the ICS in 2001, is an effort to further Mrs. Brettman’s aims.

This annual grant program for research on the Ancient Mediterranean from the Hellenistic Era to the Early Middle Ages depends on available funding from the annual operating budget of the ICS and the generosity of ICS supporters.  Funding for the Shohet Scholarship is made possible in part by generous contributions from:

Lizbeth and George Krupp, Chestnut Hill
Andrés Mata, New York
Joseph Rosen Foundation, New York
Judy and Michael Steinhardt, New York
Joseph Coplin, New York
Dr. Robert Rosenson, New York

Program Summary
The ICS desires to support scholars of demonstrated promise and ability who are judged capable of producing significant, original research that is consistent with the above goal. Shohet Scholars may do their research in the fields of archeology, art history, classical studies, history, comparative religions, or related subjects. The work need not focus explicitly on the Roman catacombs, but it should be within the sphere of the Mediterranean world from the late Hellenistic Period to the end of the Roman Empire. Of special interest are interdisciplinary projects that approach traditional topics from new perspectives.

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 upon within the award period. Grants may be made to seed innovative approaches and new ideas 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 $2,000 to $30,000 will be made. The Shohet Scholars Program reserves the right not to make a grant in a year in which there are no applications meeting the requirements of the program.

Scholars of all institutional affiliations and independent scholars may apply for Shohet Scholar funding if they are current individual or institutional members of the ICS at the time of the application submission deadline and in possession of a doctoral degree or the equivalent. Preference will be given to applicants in the early postdoctoral or launching stage of their careers (i.e., persons awarded the doctorate within six years prior to the application deadline). Non-U.S. citizens may apply if a co-applicant is a legal resident or native or naturalized citizen of the U.S.A., meets all eligibility requirements, and has a genuinely collaborative leadership role in the proposal.  Co-applicants must submit as individuals all the necessary forms except for the research proposal, list of permissions, and budget proposal, which may be filed jointly.  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.  Any fraudulent misrepresentation of self and information about a proposal will result in a disqualification.

Reporting Requirements
Shohet Scholar grant recipients are expected to: 1. acknowledge the Shohet Scholars Program of the International Catacomb Society in all publications and activities that are funded in part or in whole with the award with direct notification to the Society when these events occur and 2. provide the Shohet Scholarship Committee no later than three months after the end of the fellowship year with a brief, illustrated report of the work carried out or in course, suitable for publication on the ICS website.

Deadlines and Decisions
The application deadline for the 2018-2019 academic year is January 15, 2018.  The award announcement for the 2018-2019 academic year will be made by May 1, 2018, for funding to be disbursed on July 1, 2018. Please note: starting in 2018, all funding is awarded directly to the USA-based awardee, for distribution among international project collaborators. The ICS will no longer wire or transfer money directly to bank accounts outside of the USA.

Click here for application forms and instructions and here for assistance.

Questions ?
If you have any questions about the suitability of proposed projects, application procedures, or any other matters related to the Shohet Scholars Program, please consult our FAQ page or contact us at