Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP) Reopens to Application

Grants and scholarships available to support projects and fieldwork to document endangered languages.

The Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP), founded in 2002 by the Arcadia Fund, administers a range of grants through its Documentation Grants Programme to enable individuals to carry out fieldwork and research projects to document and preserve endangered languages. Funding is given for documentation projects led by individuals such as linguists, linguistic anthropologists and community members with skills in linguistic documentation.

The key objectives of ELDP are:

  • To support the documentation of as many endangered languages as possible
  • To encourage fieldwork on endangered languages
  • To create a repository of language resources for linguistic, social sciences, and the language communities
  • To make the documentary collections freely available

After undergoing a hiatus for 2020 and most of 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, the ELDP has now launched a new application round for grants to be awarded in 2022. Arcadia has also announced a further €21 million in renewed funding to continue the ELDP for the next ten years, and, along with the associated Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR), that the ELDP will relocate from the School of Advanced Study (SOAS) at the University of London to the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW – Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften).

The Documentation Programme Grants are available to researchers of any nationality undertaking projects in any part of the world. Grantees are able to undertake fieldwork to record speakers of endangered languages on audio and video, compiling a documentary collection of an endangered language or genre. These documentary collections are then preserved, archived and digitised and are made freely available via the ELAR.

Applications are currently invited for:

Major Documentation Project (MDP) Grants – to support researchers with qualifications in linguistics and experience in linguistic fieldwork conducting documentation projects with a funding requirement in excess of €10,000. Project funding of up to €300,000 is available for between six and 36 months to support costs such as fieldwork, salary for researchers and stipends for postdoctoral researchers.

Small Grants – to support a variety of documentation activities for endangered languages, such as fieldwork, developing a pilot project, completing an existing project, or other documentation-related goals. Applications may be submitted for the purposes of assessing and demonstrating the feasibility of a larger project, or to undertake preliminary or supplementary research to prepare for, or to advance, the documentation of the endangered language. The maximum funding request is €10,000 for projects of between six and 12 months in duration.

Individual Graduate Scholarships (IGS) – funding for between one and three years to support fieldwork and research involving linguistic documentation as part of a PhD (or equivalent postgraduate qualification) relevant to endangered languages. Funding may also cover a stipend for the period of preparing and undertaking field research and processing the results.

Individual Postdoctoral Fellowships (IPF) – funding of up to €250,000 over a maximum of two years for early-career postdoctoral researchers in language and linguistics seeking project and salary costs. Projects should focus on documenting one or more languages to provide the fullest documentation that is achievable with the resources and within the time span of the proposed project. Projects should aim to collect/create video, audio, graphic and text documentation material covering the use of language in a variety of social and cultural contexts.

Applicants should have, or be in a position to make, a formal link with a university or comparable institution. The institution will be expected to act as a host to administer the grant and be responsible for its proper expenditure.

Application forms and guidelines are available from the ELDP website.

Completed applications for the 2021 application round should be submitted by the deadline on 15 October 2021 (17:00 CEST).