Research Grants for the Documentation of Oral Literature
and Traditional Ecological Knowledge

The unique oral literature and traditional ecological knowledge of indigenous people are rapidly being lost through modernization and the increasing deaths of elders and traditional practitioners. The Firebird Foundation is offering Supplemental Research Grants for the Documentation of Oral Literature and Traditional Ecological Knowledge to encourage the collection of these rapidly disappearing art forms and body of scientific knowledge.


Oral literature may include ritual texts, curative chants, epic poems, musical genres, folk tales, songs, myths, legends, historical accounts, life history narratives, word games, as well as traditional ecological knowledge including agricultural, hunting knowledge, information regarding animal migration and astronomy, etc.


These research grants are available to anthropologists, linguists, other scholars, as well as to individuals or teams of community researchers in indigenous societies who are dedicated to preserving their oral traditions and their knowledge of the natural world.


The Firebird Foundation will provide funds of up to $10,000 to applicants for the purchase of recording equipment and the expenses of collecting this material. Applicants are encouraged, where possible, to foster the development of local teams of collectors to continue the work of recording these materials after the researcher has left the field site.


Inquiries should be addressed to:


The Firebird Foundation


Applications are accepted for review twice annually:


  • January 15
  • June 15


Research grants are awarded without discrimination of ethnic group, national origin, residence, religious affiliation, sex, or gender. Level of education is not a consideration. The Firebird Foundation gives preference to community-based and long-term projects which train community members to continue the recording or oral literature after the research project has been completed.


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Research Grants Announcement Application Guidelines Available Here