The Aina Birnitis Scholarship supports a year of research and writing to help advanced graduate students in the humanities in the last year of Ph.D. dissertation writing. The fellowship provides a $21,000 stipend for one year plus $1,000 for university fees.

The program encourages timely completion of the Ph.D. Applicants should be prepared to complete their dissertation within the period of their fellowship tenure and no later than fifteen months following the initial disbursement of funds unless an extension has been granted by the AABS.

Proposed projects must be in the humanities and related to Latvia or the Latvians. While preference is given to the study of the Latvian language and history, projects in other areas of the humanities: anthropology, archaeology, ethnography, fine and performing arts, folklore, gender studies, history, linguistics, literature, philosophy, and religion, will be considered. Projects in social sciences such as economics, sociology, or political science, as well as in law or international relations are eligible only if they are clearly humanistic (cultural or historical) in content and focus. The dissertation may be written in either Latvian or English.


  • The fellowship is open to Ph.D. candidates in the humanities preferably at a university in Latvia, the U.S., Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Germany or Sweden;
  • Applicants must be citizens and permanent residents of Latvia;
  • Applicants must have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. except the dissertation by the application deadline;
  • Unsuccessful applicants may reapply to this program only once.

Selection Criteria:

  • The intrinsic interest and substantive merit of the proposed project to the field of study in which it is proposed;
  • The clarity of the intellectual agenda and an understanding of the appropriate methodology;
  • The promise of the applicant as revealed in the supporting documentation;
  • The likelihood of the applicant finishing the dissertation;
  • The likelihood of the applicant maintaining residence in Latvia.

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