The American Philosophical Society, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743, proudly bears the title of the nation's oldest learned society.  Our founders participated in the birth of American democracy. It pains us greatly that all these years later, our nation's promise has yet to be fulfilled.  We join all Americans of good will in deploring the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. Over these past months the Society has hosted a number of virtual programs.  Even as we now resume our work with the offering of new programs, our attention remains focused on the senseless loss of innocent lives and our commitment to the difficult, necessary conversations and actions we must all take to begin to ensure that such tragedies end. Read more about virtual programming and resources that can be accessed remotely. Read more about the APS response to COVID-19.

Research Grants

Since 1933 the American Philosophical Society has awarded research grants to more than 15,000 scholars and encourages all eligible candidates to apply for our grants and fellowships.

(March 20, 2020) -- The APS is continuing to conduct grant application, selection, and award processes as planned. We understand that COVID-19 may impact your funded project as activities may be postponed or cancelled. Grantees may contact Linda Musumeci,, to explore options such as extensions, budget revisions, and scope changes. APS staff are working remotely for the foreseeable future, so there may be some delay in response.


In 2018–2019 the Society awarded over $1.5 million to nearly 250 scholars, and we expect to continue this level of support in 2019–2020. We maintain eleven grant or fellowship programs in a wide range of fields. Our Franklin Research Grant, Lewis and Clark Fund, Lewis and Clark Fund in Astrobiology, Library Digital Humanities Fellowship, Library Digital Knowledge Sharing Fellowship, Library Short-Term Fellowship, Library NASA Undergraduate Internship, and Phillips Fund for Native American Research programs award small amounts ($1,000 to $6,000) for modest research purposes. Our Daland Fellowship in Clinical Investigation, John Hope Franklin Dissertation Fellowship, Library Long-Term Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, and Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship programs award much larger amounts ($25,000 to $45,000) in highly selective competitions.

Awards are made for noncommercial research only. The APS makes no grants for academic study or classroom presentation, travel to conferences, non-scholarly projects, assistance with translation, or the preparation of materials for use by students. The APS does not pay overhead or indirect costs to any institution or publication costs, and grant funds are not to be used to pay income tax on the award.

Please visit the Fellowships portion of our website for information on resident Library and Museum Fellowships.