L S B Leakey Foundation Grants

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L S B Leakey Foundation Grants and Fellowships;

1. Franklin Mosher Baldwin Memorial Fellowships are intended for scholars and students with citizenship in a developing country who wish to obtain an advanced degree from an institution outside the student’s home country.

This award is for a program of approved advanced special training or studies leading towards an M.A or Ph.D. It is limited to two years of support. The maximum award is limited to $15,000 per year.

The Baldwin Fellowship program is based on a realistic assessment of needs and priorities. Many developing nations possess extraordinary resources in the field of prehistory. The stewardship and careful use of these assets is a task of international importance.

By enabling bright young scholars to obtain graduate education, The Leakey Foundation is helping to equip these individuals to assume a leadership role in the future of paleoanthropology and primatology.

The Fellowships were the brainchild of former Board President Dr. Edwin Munger and Elisabeth G. O’Connor, the widow of Franklin Mosher Baldwin. Baldwin, a distinguished attorney, took a lively interest in the search for human origins until his death.

Hoping to honor her late husband’s dual interests in early humans and education, O’Connor embraced the idea of a program to educate African scholars in prehistory and paleoanthropology.

Today the award has been expanded to include studies in primatology and is available to citizens from developing nations.

Since 1978, more than 70 Baldwin Fellowships have been awarded under the L S B Leakey Foundation Grants and Fellowships.

Recipients include scholars from the following countries: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iran, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia and the Republic of Congo.


Human origins scholars from developing nations seeking advanced degrees (M.A./M.S. or Ph.D.) are eligible for Baldwin Fellowships.

If you are thinking of applying for a Baldwin Fellowship ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I enrolled in a M.A., M.S., Ph.D. or equivalent program related to the study of human origins or evolution?
  • Have I been accepted or have a provisional acceptance to a host institution?
  • Do I have financial assistance from the host institution?
  • Do I intend to return and work in my home country upon completion of training?

    If your answer is “Yes” to all of the above questions, you’re likely to be eligible to receive a Baldwin Fellowship.

    If you are concerned as to whether your research topic is eligible, contact the Foundation at least a month ahead of the application deadline.

    2. L S B Leakey Foundation Grants - Research Grants

    Research Grants are awarded twice annually (in May and December) and constitute the majority of the Foundation’s grant program. The Foundation funds research related specifically to human origins.

    Research Grants Eligibility

    Advanced doctoral students (advanced to candidacy - all but dissertation) and established scientists are eligible for general research grants. There are no citizenship restrictions. However, all applications must be in English.


    The majority of The Leakey Foundation’s Research Grants to doctoral students are in the $3,000-$15,000 range.

    Larger grants, especially to senior scientists and post-doctoral students, may be funded up to $25,000. Priority of funding is commonly given to exploratory phases of promising new research projects that meet the stated purpose of the Foundation.

    Please consider the following if you are thinking of applying for a General Research Grant:

  • Is my research relevant to human origins and evolution?
  • For Ph.D candidates: Will I be advanced to candidacy (all but dissertation) before the deadline for application?
  • Am I affiliated with an academic or research institution? We do not award funds to individuals.
  • Am I fully compliant on all prior Leakey Foundation awards?

    For more information and application materials, contact: L S B Leakey Foundation Grants Website

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