IUB-David C. Skomp Feasibility Fellowship

David C. Skomp was a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology who received his MA degree in 1965. He set up a private foundation that provides the department with funds for graduate student grants. The David C. Skomp Fellowship account receives its funds from the interest of his foundation’s investments. These funds vary in amount from year to year as there are fluctuations in the health of the nation’s economy.

The Department of Anthropology awards a limited number of fellowships to graduate students under our Skomp Feasibility Fellowship program. Skomp fellowships are meant to enable students to undertake a feasibility study that will test the methods and approaches they plan to use for their dissertation research in a future field season. Sometimes Skomp projects generate useful preliminary data that can be incorporated into the dissertation. Well-conceived Skomp projects are expected to produce data that can form the basis of grant proposals to fund dissertation research.

The competition is open to students in all subfields and the Graduate Affairs Committee critically reviews all applications. Although it is expected that every well-conceived Skomp feasibility research proposal will be funded, the Department cannot guarantee full funding of all requests. The application procedures and accounting for the awards are designed to give students practice in all aspects of grant preparation and reporting.


The Department of Anthropology requires that you obtain approvals from the appropriate institutional boards before funds are disbursed for your summer feasibility study. This includes the Human Subjects Committee (IRB), the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and the Institutional Biosafety Committee (see links provided under research compliance at: https://research.iu.edu/policies/index.html). You must demonstrate that you have applied for approval by the time you submit the application. Once your approval is obtained, email the DGS with protocol approval numbers and expiration dates. We cannot distribute funds until research approvals are in place. If your research does not involve human subjects or archives of human subjects, animals or any biological materials, you probably constitute an exception, but you should check with your advisor to make certain. Most social/cultural, bioanthropology, and linguistics students will need to have their work approved. Some bioanthropology and archaeology students will constitute an exception, but not all. If you need further information and assistance, contact the DGS or your advisor, or to the link above.

Award information + guidelines


The fellowships are for a minimum of four weeks of research. Skomp funds cannot be used to support language training. The maximum fellowship award is $3,250. Depending on the number of applicants, we may not be able to fund students’ entire budgets. Second awards: Students are normally awarded only a single feasibility fellowship, but should the dissertation project prove infeasible, or should circumstances beyond the student’s control change so that the dissertation project becomes untenable, a second award may be granted. No student will receive more than $6,500 total, nor will any student be funded more than twice. Please make it clear in your application if this will be your second Skomp based on this exception. Students are required to notify the Department Graduate Coordinator and DGS at anthgrad@iu.edu of any other funding received for research and travel. If students receive funding for the same research project through other sources (in whole or in part), they will be required to detail how and in what ways they will use the funds from both sources. If the proposed work for both grants is the same, and the student cannot justify using the funds in another way, the Skomp award amount might be reduced. Assessment will include a consideration of the student’s academic record and progress toward a degree. A student will not qualify for a fellowship if he or she has more than one incomplete grade. Once an award is made, the funds will be disbursed as a fellowship to students’ bursar accounts. If students have an outstanding tuition balance, the fellowship will first apply to that balance; then any remainder will be credited to their personal bank account as a refund. Some portion of the fellowship may be taxable; contact a tax advisor to determine whether or not your fellowship has a tax liability. All recipients of Skomp awards must participate in the following year’s AGSA symposium to present the results of their research.

Supplemental Questions
  1. Please upload a cover sheet with name, title of proposal, and dates of proposed research
  2. Please provide brief narrative answers to the following questions: 1. What is the focus of your investigation and your goal for the fellowship period? a. Be sure to provide a fellowship title and the location of your investigation. 2. Briefly discuss the major scholarly literature on your topic (mention at least several scholars whose work is relevant), and suggest how you hope to contribute to the discipline of anthropology. 3. What are your proposed methodologies for conducting your feasibility study? 4. Describe the contacts, arrangements, and/or on-the-ground knowledge that you already have, and how you will initiate your investigation.
  3. David C. Skomp Feasibility Question Set
    • 1. What language skills do you have that are relevant to your research? What permissions do you have or need? Have you applied for necessary approvals?
    • 2. Who is your advisor? Has he or she read and approved this proposal? Please have your advisor send a letter of recommendation directly to anthgrad@iu.edu.
    • 3. Please indicate clearly whether this application is for your first or second Skomp award. Be sure to justify in the text why you need a second award (see fellowship information sheet for further explanation.)
    • 4. Please acknowledge that you are aware that by accepting an award, you are required to present the results of your research in next year’s AGSA symposium.
    • 5. Prepare an itemized budget with a justification for your anticipated expenses.
  4. Human subjects, animal care, and biosafety acknowledgement
  5. Letter of recommendation acknowledgement: