The Laura W. R. and George N. Appell Research Grants for the Collection of Oral Literature and Traditional Ecological Knowledge

The Laura W. R. Appell Research Grants were established in 2015 to honor Laura W. R. Appell and her work among the Rungus Momogon of Sabah, Malaysia. On the death of George N. Appell in 2020 the Research Grants were renamed to honor both members of the Appell husband and wife research team and the body of work that arose from their continuing commitment to the Rungus Momogon community, beginning in 1959. It includes the establishment of the Sabah Oral Literature Project, their work on Rungus religion and society, and their work on the Rungus Cultural Dictionary.


The Laura W. R. and George N. Appell Research Grants are given in recognition of their long term commitment to the Rungus Momogon community and in honor of their Rungus friends, especially Itulina, Marajun, Minobidong, and Sovoli, their primary collaborators on Rungus religion and culture. The recipients of this Research Grant are expected to develop a long term commitment to a community and to collaborate with the community’s members to preserve and protect their oral literature and traditional ecological knowledge.


Each Research Grant can include up to $40,000 for the expenses required to establish a long-term community-based project. The project must explicitly adhere to the values, ethics, and methodology established by the Sabah Oral Literature Project to collect and preserve the oral literature and the traditional ecological knowledge of that community. The grant recipient will work with The Firebird Foundation to ensure the Sabah Oral Literature Project Guidelines are both adhered to and adapted appropriately to the individual community.



Research Grants Announcement Application Guidelines Available Here