China and Inner Asia Council Small Grants

The China and Inner Asia Council of the AAS (CIAC) is soliciting applications for 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. CIAC 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.

Important Note

Please note that the award of CIAC small grants for Spring 2021 is dependent on the AAS/CIAC receiving continued funding for this program. The results of an AAS/CIAC grant application for outside funding will not be known until late December 2020/early January 2021. Please revisit this webpage at the end of the year for an update.

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, CIAC 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, 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.
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 CIAC grant application is made. CIAC (or the AAS by extension) bears no responsibility or liability for awarding any CIAC Research Travel Grant for projects where this IRB approval should have been secured.
  • Applicants must not have received a CIAC 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

Prepare one Word file that includes:
a. A project statement, not to exceed 1,000 words. The project statement must describe the topic of this project and the role that CIAC 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 CIAC 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.

Complete the CIAC grant application form, attaching the Word file where indicated.

**The application portal for spring 2021 applications will open November 1, 2020.

Graduate students: Request that your primary advisor prepare a letter of recommendation. Advisors must send their recommendation letters directly to the AAS ( an email attachment. Letters must be in PDF format on university letterhead and arrive no later than the application deadline. Please note the student applicant name in the advisor recommendation letter file attachment and e-mail subject line.

Important Dates
  • Applications and advisor letters must be submitted by 5:00pm Eastern Time on February 1.
  • Awards will be decided by the China and Inner Asia Council at the 2021 AAS Annual Conference and applicants will be notified of decisions by mid-April.
  • Applications will only be considered for projects that begin on or after May 1, 2021, and will be completed on or before April 30, 2022.
  • Successful applicants are required to submit a final report to CIAC and AAS.


For specific grant application questions not answered here, please contact Peter Carroll, CIAC Vice Chair:

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