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Archaeology Research Excavation Grant

The Royal Irish Academy, together with the National Monuments Service welcomes applications for Archaeological Research Excavations.  This is the only fund in Ireland which supports independent research excavations on the island of Ireland and welcomes applications for new excavations, continuing excavations and post excavation work. This longstanding fund has financed more than 90 excavations in Ireland, thus enabling scholars to make a substantial contribution to our knowledge of the past.

How to Apply

Applicants are required to submit a detailed application form online, including:

  • Project title and applicant details
  • Proposed research design
  • Details of employment or experience
  • Details of previous excavations
  • Details of continuing excavation (if applicable)
  • A photocopy of the relevant section of the Ordnance Survey map with the site or sites marked
  • An adequate site plan (not less than 1:500)
  • A letter of verification from one named referee
  • Detailed costings of proposed excavation
  • A letter from the landowner or in the case of research excavations in proximity to a National Monument in state care, the Senior Archaeologist and the Senior Architect responsible for the National Monuments of the particular region, stating that the applicant has discussed the excavation and that there is permission in principle for the excavation.

In order to make an application for funding you will need to familiarise yourself with the ‘Guidelines for applicants’ document which you can view here.

Please click here to access the online application form.

Funding available

€64,850 is available for Archaeology Research Excavation grants in this round of funding. The scheme will be competitive, and the average grant awarded has previously been in the region of €5,000 - €10,000. No one grant will exceed 25% of the total grant funding for the year.

Costs and activities which are eligible

  • Monies may be made available for multi-season excavation projects but no more than three seasons of excavation will be funded, unless exceptional circumstances are demonstrated.
  • No more than two years of post- excavation work will be funded, unless exceptional circumstances are demonstrated.
  • In cases of multi-season projects each season should consider a specific research question or questions, which should be capable of being addressed in a single season, this is in case no further funding is forthcoming for further seasons.
  • Applications will be considered for further research emanating from what were originally developer-led projects, provided all licensing requirements have been met in full.

Costs and activities which are ineligible

  • Applications for the funding of developer led or commercial excavations are not considered.
  • Applications for projects directly connected to postgraduate studies in a third level institution will not be considered.
  • Applicants are not allowed to claim a directorial salary from funds awarded. The grant, upon the submission of vouched expenses, may be used to pay out of pocket directorial expenses accrued as a result of working on the excavation.  All expenditure must be vouched.
  • Applicants are reminded that research excavations offer an opportunity for students of archaeology to gain practical experience. Applicants should note however that offsite training, field trips etc. will be the responsibility of the applicant and will not be funded by the Academy Archaeology Research Excavation grant.
  • An application will be deemed ineligible if it does not include all required supporting documentation and confirmations listed below.
  • Applications from any applicant who has one or more excavation reports outstanding to the licensing authority .

Who can apply:

  • This scheme is open to archaeological researchers/archaeologists for work in the Republic of Ireland. It is not open to undergraduate or postgraduate students, or PhD candidates.  
  • The committee does not normally consider projects where the applicant will not be the excavation licence holder (unless there are exceptional circumstances which will be examined on a case-by-case basis).

Applications are accepted for the following:

  • New excavations (projects not previously funded by the Royal Irish Academy)
  • Continuing excavations (projects previously funded by the Royal Irish Academy)

The following stages of a project will be considered for funding:

  • Prospecting which may include excavation in the same field season, or excavation in subsequent seasons depending on results of the geophysical survey
  • Topographical / building survey or geophysical prospecting
  • Site excavation conducted over one or more seasons
  • Post-excavation analysis and preparation of a full report (Priority is given, as far as possible, to post-excavation funding following the final season of fieldwork, but applications may be considered after one or more seasons work. Applications must be accompanied by full details of costings (estimated or otherwise) for all proposed post-excavation work)
  • Publication of the results
  • Archiving of the excavation material

Submission deadline

The Archaeology Research Excavation Grant Scheme opens on 19th October and will remain open until 26th November 2018.

Any application received after 17:00 (GMT), Monday 26th November 2018 will be deemed ineligible and returned to the applicant.

 All queries can be sent to

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