Royal Anthropological Institute and Anthropologists’ Fund for Urgent Anthropological Research (AFUAR)

The Programme

This unique scheme, privately funded by anthropologists (founding sponsor: Dr George Appell) has been running since 1995. It is designed to support ethnographic research on currently threatened indigenous peoples, cultures and languages. Its primary aim is to contribute to anthropological knowledge through detailed ethnography. It therefore differs from programmes in applied anthropology, although research conducted within the programme can be expected to support the welfare and survival of endangered peoples.

The Fellowships are held at a host institution, and are awarded by open competition without restriction of nationality or residence. The Fellowship makes it possible for a budgeted project to be carried out over about 18 months: this period to include both field research and writing-up. Fellows are required to spend part of their fellowship period in the field and part attached to the host Department, where they are expected to contribute to its academic life. Fellowship applicants are required to submit a budget including all personal and research expenses, insurance, and costs of equipment necessary for the project.  The Fellowship is currently hosted at the British Museum from 2013-2021.  Details on their fellowships can be found here,_oceania,_americas/fellowship.aspx.  Closing date 16 August 2015.


Objectives of the Fellowships in Urgent Anthropology

The primary goal of the Fellowships is to make a contribution to anthropological knowledge. However, basic ethnographic research has proven to be of material aid and help to indigenous peoples whose cultures and languages are threatened or disappearing. Thus, grantees are encouraged, where appropriate, to:

a) report to the people concerned relevant records made in the course of the study of their culture and history, so as to help them make use of valued aspects of these in the construction of their futures;

b) foster respect, where this has been eroded, for their culture and language and their preservation, including the development of local interest in collecting oral histories and traditions and the incorporation of these in the educational system;

c) collect data on the traditional patterns of land use and rights and make them available for the people;

d) facilitate the study of local medical practices and their incorporation into the modern health delivery systems;

e) report violations of human rights to pertinent human rights organizations.

f) It is expected and required that scientific publication will result from the research. 


Fund for Urgent Anthropology

For general information on the Fund for Urgent Anthropology please click here.


Past Fellows

For a list of past fellows please click here.  You can also find through that link profiles of the individual fellows.


New Directions for Urgent Anthropology

Goldsmiths (University of London), Durham University and the University of Kent have hosted the programme to 2010. In September 2010 the University of Kent hosted a seminar New Directions for Urgent Anthropological Research. The seminar was funded by a Conference Grant from the British Academy, the RAI and the School of Anthropology and Conservation at University of Kent. For details click here.