The Leakey Foundation Research Grants

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The Leakey Foundation provides exclusive funding for research specifically focused on the origins of humans. Funding priority is typically given to the initial phases of promising new research projects that align with the foundation’s stated purpose. Most of the research grants awarded by The Leakey Foundation to doctoral students fall within the range of $3,000 to $15,000. Senior scientists and post-doctoral students may receive larger grants of up to $25,000.


Leakey Foundation Research Grants are open to advanced doctoral students (who have reached candidacy and completed all requirements except the dissertation) as well as established scientists. There are no restrictions based on citizenship, but all applications must be submitted in English.

Leakey Foundation Research Grants- Eligibility Criteria 

The candidates who are considering applying for a Leakey Foundation Research Grant must know that the eligibility is open to advanced doctoral students (who have reached candidacy and completed all requirements except the dissertation) as well as established scientists. 

There are no citizenship restrictions, but it is important to note that all applications must be submitted in English. Before applying, please take into account the following considerations:

  • Is my research directly relevant to the study of human origins and evolution?
  • Am I affiliated with an academic or research institution?
  • Have I fully complied with all previous Leakey Foundation awards?
  • For PhD candidates: Will I reach candidacy (having completed all requirements except the dissertation) before the application deadline?

Also Read: Social Anthropology

Leakey Foundation Research Grants- Objective 

The Foundation solely provides funding for research that is specifically focused on human origins, which encompasses areas such as paleoanthropology, genetics, primate behaviour, and studies of modern hunter-gatherer groups. If you have any doubts about the eligibility of your research topic, it is recommended to reach out to the Foundation at least one month prior to the application deadline for clarification.

Regarding funding allocation, priority is often given to the initial exploratory phases of new research projects that show promise and align with the Foundation’s stated purpose.

Leakey Foundation Research Grants- How To Apply

Candidates who are willing to apply for the Leakey Foundation Research Grants must know that the application is also accepted through their online system. 

To apply for Research Grants, it is necessary to submit a formal application. If you have any concerns about the eligibility of your research topic, it is recommended to contact the Foundation at least one month prior to the application deadline. It is important to explicitly demonstrate the relevance of your project to the understanding of human origins in your application.

To ensure that you have the latest information, please get in touch with the Foundation office. The formal application should be completed in English.

Your application must be precise and easily duplicated. The PDF sections of your application should follow the specified guidelines, and all applicants are required to adhere to the provided formatting instructions.

Only applications that adhere to these guidelines will be considered for review:

  • The application must be in PDF format with a page size of approximately 8 1/2’x 11″.
  • The text should be in a dark (black) colour.
  • The typeface used should be at least 12 points or larger.
  • There should be at least 1/2 inch margins.
  • It is not permitted to try fitting more text on a page by using smaller typefaces or margins.
  • Readability is prioritized over page count in all sections.
  • Smaller typefaces are allowed only in the reference list.

Documents Required While Applying for the Research Grant

  • Online Application Form
  • Proposal Text: 6-7 pages
  • References/Works Cited: 2 pages
  • Itemized Budget Sheet: 1 page
  • Budget Justification: 1 page
  • Figures & Tables (if applicable)
  • Appendices (if applicable)
  • Copies of Permits or Summary Statement on Permission Status
  • Applicant’s CV: 2 pages (including publication list)
  • Other Investigators’ CVs: 2 pages each (including publication list)
  • Resubmitted proposals require an additional cover letter explaining modifications and adjustments made to the original proposal.
  • Academic Advisor Reference Letter (for graduate students), to be sent directly by the advisor.

Please note that reference letters included with the application will not be accepted.

Also Read: PhD Anthropology

Leakey Foundation Research Grants- Value of the Research Grant

Doctoral students who receive Research Grants from The Leakey Foundation can expect funding in the range of $3,000 to $15,000, with a maximum funding limit of $20,000. 

On the other hand, larger grants of up to $30,000 may be provided to senior scientists and post-doctoral researchers.


What is the maximum funding amount that can be requested?

As of May 2022, a PhD candidate applicant can request up to $20,000 for a single proposal. For post-doctoral applicants or senior scientists, the maximum funding limit for a single proposal is $30,000 as of May 2022.

Can I apply for another grant from The Leakey Foundation if I have previously received an award?

Absolutely, as long as you have fulfilled all the requirements and conditions of your previous award, you are eligible to apply for another grant.

Is The Leakey Foundation providing scholarships for undergraduate and graduate studies?

No, the majority of grants provided by the Foundation are specifically designated for funding research project expenses. Eligibility for these grants requires the candidate to either possess a PhD or equivalent qualification in anthropology or a related field or be enrolled in a doctoral program where all degree requirements have been completed except for the thesis/dissertation.

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