East and Inner Asia Council Small Grants

The East and Inner Asia Council of the AAS (EIAC; formerly the China and Inner Asia Council [CIAC]) makes small grant awards of up to $2,000. Dissertation-level graduate students and scholars with special interests in China, Taiwan, or Inner Asia are invited to submit proposals. EIAC Small Grant awards are made possible through funding provided by the Chiang Ching-kuo (CCK) Foundation and from AAS member donations.

Please read all requirements and instructions below carefully before preparing a grant application.

Fall 2023 Small Grants portal is now open

The portal for Fall NEAC grants is currently accepting applications through the deadline of October 2, 2023.

Please note that there will not be a grant cycle in Spring 2024 for NEAC Japan or Korea grants.

Thank you to all those who applied in the Spring 2023 cycle. Announcements of awards were sent in April 2023.

Types of Grants
  • Short research trips for dissertation-level graduate students, and for scholars at non-research institutions, to travel to major libraries and collections or other research sites. If your project involves interviewing human subjects, please see specific requirements in this regard below. Also, please note, EIAC grant funds cannot be used to pay for human subjects. Regarding eligible research travel expenses, see below.
  • Short research trips for translators of scholarly books and articles to travel to major libraries and collections or other research sites directly related to the translation project; funding is not intended to compensate grant applicants for actual time spent translating.
  • Organization of conferences and seminars—particularly for the organization of small conferences and seminars away from major centers of Chinese studies.
  • Specialist or regional newsletters or websites disseminating important information to their respective fields.

Successful grant applications for Research Travel funding will have the following features; they will:

  • At the outset, state the nature of the question(s) being posed;
  • Demonstrate the contribution(s) to the larger field (beyond the immediate, narrower subfield of the project) that the project aims to make; explain the project’s significance to the more specific subfield in which the project will be situated; this may entail very briefly displaying awareness of previous work on the topic;
  • Make explicit what you are hoping to achieve;
  • Describe briefly the methods and/or materials that will be used to address the questions posed; and
  • Justify the research site(s) or archive(s) being selected for the project.

Eligible Expenses
  • For research and translator travel applicants/awards, only airfare, ground transportation (train, airport shuttle, bus, subway, etc.), lodging, and personal meal expenses are eligible for reimbursement.

The following items are NOT eligible for funding:

  • Passport/visa application fees, insurance, book or equipment purchases, shipping expenses, gifts, research assistants, translation costs, photocopying expenses or supplies, COVID tests, and survey costs.
  • Tuition or class fees of any kind, or any other expenses associated with participation in summer classes, institutes, or related activities.
  • Travel to conferences, including the AAS annual conference.
  • Translation of an applicant’s own work or to pay professional translators to translate materials.
  • Book subventions and publication costs.
  • Repeat applications for previously funded projects and organizations.

Note about indirect costs: The AAS is unable to support funding requests for indirect costs from applicants to its small grant programs. The AAS is a membership organization rather than a funding agency, and conducts its grant programs as a service to the field through the voluntary help of its members. Funds for all grant programs originate from outside agencies, and individual awards are quite modest. We therefore require applicants’ home institutions to waive their normal indirect cost requirements.

Before You Apply
  • Applicants must be current AAS members, but there are no citizenship requirements.
  • Since current AAS membership is required for your grant application, please be sure to purchase or renew your membership before the grant application deadline, especially when a deadline falls on the weekend.
  • Dissertation-level graduate students, junior and independent scholars (including language pedagogues and librarians), and adjunct faculty are especially encouraged to apply, but scholars of all levels are eligible.
  • Any applicant’s research project that requires Institutional Review Board (IRB) or similar approval by law or institutional practice should receive this approval from the applicant’s institution or sponsoring organization prior to conducting the research for which this EIAC grant application is made. EIAC (or the AAS by extension) bears no responsibility or liability for awarding any EIAC Research Travel Grant for projects where this IRB approval should have been secured.
  • Applicants must not have received a EIAC Small Grant within the past three years.
  • Only one application per individual will be accepted in any one grant application round.
  • NOTE: AAS grants take the form of reimbursement rather than payment in advance, and only after project completion and grant report/form submission. Original receipts need to be retained and reimbursement is only for eligible expenses incurred up to the amount of the grant awarded.
How to Apply

a. A project statement, not to exceed 1,000 words. The project statement must describe the topic of this project and the role that EIAC support will play in enabling the project’s completion. For research travel applications, the project statement should indicate the specific research or professional activities you will be engaged in, what archives, libraries, or other research facilities you intend to use, your tentative itinerary and a schedule of expected completion of project and/or publication. Please also indicate: Is this your first trip to the planned research site or a follow-up trip to collect information not obtained on an earlier visit? Is this particular research trip crucial to completion of your project? Why?
b. A budget statement, delineated by type of expense. Please list all other sources and amounts of support you have obtained for this project as well as all pending applications for support. All applicants must seek additional support. Conference & workshop grant applicants must prepare a detailed budget estimate demonstrating all expected sources of funding/revenue, expenses, and how precisely EIAC funds would be utilized.
c. A current Curriculum Vitae not exceeding two pages for the applicant. NOTE: For conferences or workshops, you must also provide similar short CVs for the conference organizer and any keynoters or principal participants.

All EIAC Grant applications must be submitted via the grant application portal link provided at the top of the page. Please contact Molly DeDona, AAS Grants Programs Manager at grants@asianstudies.org if you need assistance with your application.

Please note that you can save the application form and return to it later. Please check your application several times to ensure that it is accurate and complete before submission. If you discover an error following the submission of your application, please send an email to grants@asianstudies.org and the AAS Grant Programs Manager will follow up to assist you.

Graduate students: Request that your primary advisor prepare a letter of recommendation. Students must add their advisor’s information to their application and send a request through the portal. Advisor’s must send their recommendation letters via the application portal before the application deadline.

Important Dates
  • Applications and advisor letters must be submitted by 5:00pm Eastern Time on February 1.
  • Awards will be decided by the East and Inner Asia Council at the 2023 AAS Annual Conference and applicants will be notified of decisions at the end of April.
  • Applications will only be considered for projects that begin on or after May 1, 2023, and will be completed on or before April 30, 2024.
  • Successful applicants are required to submit a final report to EIAC and AAS.


Travel Grants during COVID-19

Are hotel, food, and travel costs due to mandatory quarantine periods eligible for reimbursement?

Yes, hotel, food, and travel costs due to mandatory quarantine are eligible for reimbursement.

My travel location was labeled as a city with medium-risk, and I cannot travel to another travel location that I was originally planning. Can I change my research location?

If you need to change travel locations due to on-the-ground conditions, please contact the AAS Grant Manager at grants@asianstudies.org to ensure it does not mark a significant departure from your original travel grant application.

Are equipment rentals eligible for reimbursement?

Yes, certain equipment rentals such as pocket wifi are eligible for reimbursement.

Can I pay my interview subjects honoraria?

If you are unable to travel in order to interview subjects, you may pay honoraria for their time in the case of NEAC Japan Grant projects.

What receipts are accepted if I stay in a sublease rather than a hotel or Airbnb?

Lodging receipts in the case of subleases should include a personal contract and proof of money transfer to be eligible for AAS reimbursement

I originally planned to fly for my North America travel grant, but the cost of car rental is cheaper. Is car rental an eligible travel expense for reimbursement?

If you originally budget for airfare in your grant application but find driving and/or car rental costs cheaper or similar to or equivalent RT airfare, the cost of car rental will be eligible for reimbursement.

Workshops, Conferences, and Seminar Grants

My co-organizers and I have limited funds. Can an instuition bill AAS directly for room rental costs?

Yes, please contact the AAS Grant Programs Manager at grants@asianstudies.org if you need to bill AAS directly due to limited funds of workshop, conference, or seminar co-organizers.

What costs are eligible for reimbursement with AAS grant funds with my virtual event?

Honorarium for speakers, Zoom hosting, A/V equipment costs, stipends for student logistical support working those events.


For specific grant application questions not answered here, please contact Shellen Wu, EIAC Chair: shw722@lehigh.edu.