The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest Academic honour in Ireland.

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Archaeology Excavation Grant

The Academy has a long association with the funding of archaeological excavation and field research in Ireland. Since 1970 the RIA Standing Committee for Archaeology (previously the Academy Committee for Archaeology) has administered an annual fund provided by the National Monuments Service (Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht).

This is the only fund in Ireland supporting independent research excavation on the island of Ireland.

The fund has financed more than 90 excavations in Ireland, thus enabling scholars to make a substantial contribution to our knowledge of the past.


Applicants are accepted for the following:

  • New excavations
  • Continuing excavations
  • Post excavation

Funding may be allocated for one or more of the following stages of a project:

  • 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
  • Publication of the results
  • Archiving of the excavation material  

In order to make its decisions, the committee must consider the following:

  • The security of the country's dwindling archaeological resource base
  • The relevance of the proposal to the furtherance of archaeological knowledge
  • The ability of the applicant to carry out a competent excavation and analysis of the results
  • Evidence that the applicant will be able to call upon necessary conservation and scientific resources  
  • The likelihood that adequate publication will follow

How to apply

Applicants are required to submit a detailed proposal for their research project via an online submission that must address the following:

  • Project title, applicant’s details and estimated costs for proposed season
  • Location map with the site or sites marked
  • Plan of site with excavation area marked (not less than 1:500)
  • Proposed Research Design
  • Details of employment or experience
  • Details of previous excavations
  • Details of continuing excavation (if applicable)
  • Costings

Submission deadline

The Archaeology Excavation Grant Scheme opens usually in the Autumn each year and remains open for approximately six weeks. All queries can be sent to

Find Out More

Should you have any questions or require further information on this grant scheme, please email

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