Responsive Grants provide opportunities to build knowledge and increase understanding of East and Southeast Asia through scholarship and exchange, with an emphasis on strengthening capacity in the United States. They typically support research and training, the creation of scholarly and public resources, and intellectual and cultural exchange between Americans and Asians.
The Responsive Grants category is deliberately broad, allowing the Asia Program to respond to new ideas and keep abreast of trends, needs and priorities relevant to Asia-focused work in our three grantmaking areas (academic work, foreign policy, public education). Most awards are made to colleges, universities, think tanks, museums and other non-profit organizations based in the United States.
Our interests include:
- Asia-focused teaching and research initiatives, typically for multi-year projects whose benefits extend beyond a single institution to advance the broader field of Asian studies. The majority of our funded work is in the humanities and qualitative social sciences, including projects that seek to reexamine the conventional area studies model and explore new approaches to training and research.
- Development and dissemination of library, archival, research and pedagogical resources, including digital resources.
- Policy dialogues and other projects with policy relevance.
- Efforts to educate and inform non-specialist audiences about Asia, through museum exhibitions, journalism and media offerings, and cultural programming.
- Next generation training and leadership development.
- Collaboration, exchange, and border-crossing initiatives, including across geographic, disciplinary, institutional and/or sectoral divides. This may include work that spans the divides of our own grantmaking areas, such as projects that bridge the gap between academic and policy work, or between scholarship and broader public education.
Restrictions for Responsive Grants
The geographic scope of our grantmaking is principally East and Southeast Asia. The Foundation's guidelines and resources do not allow inclusion of South or Central Asia as a primary focus of activity, although work on inter-Asia connections may be considered. While travel, publications, conferences and/or translation may be included as components of a larger project, we do not support stand-alone travel, publication, translation or individual research projects, and only limited funding is available for stand-alone conferences, or film or television productions. Given the volume of inquiries we receive and because Asian studies is now well-integrated into American higher education, except through Special Initiatives (see below) we are not able, as a rule, to assist individual institutions with the development of their Asian studies programs.
Concept notes can be submitted at any time through our online portal. Should you have questions in advance of completing the concept note, you may e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please read all of the information in the General Foundation Guidelines before applying through our online portal.
The Asia Program runs periodic multi-year grants competitions on specific issues, themes or fields relevant to the study of Asia.
The most recent initiative, the Luce Initiative on Southeast Asia (LuceSEA), sought to strengthen the study of Southeast Asia in institutions of higher learning by providing resources for the creation of models, strategies and partnerships that not only bolster existing program structures but also take them in new directions, contributing in the process to both institution and field building. The competition concluded in June 2023. Read more about LuceSEA.
The previous initiative, the Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment (LIASE), a competition for invited liberal arts colleges and liberal arts college consortia in the United States, was designed to encourage innovative approaches to Asian studies teaching and research at the undergraduate level through the lens of the environment and sustainable development. Approved by the Foundation’s Directors in November 2010, LIASE concluded grantmaking in 2017 and is no longer accepting proposals. Read more about LIASE.
Other special initiatives have included the Luce Initiative on East and Southeast Asian Archaeology and Early History (2005-2010), which supported the creation of ten new faculty positions, collaborative research and individual fellowships; the Luce Fund for Asian Studies(1999-2002), which provided seed funding for 38 new faculty positions at American liberal arts colleges; the United States-China Cooperative Research Program (1988-98); and the Luce Fund for Southeast Asian Studies (1987-94).
Support for Individuals
The Luce/ACLS Program in China Studies seeks to maintain the vitality of the field of China studies in the US by awarding fellowships and grants designed primarily for scholars early in their careers. More than 100 scholars—pre- and post-dissertation—have received support thus far.
The Luce/ACLS Program currently offers Early Career Fellowships (formerly “postdoctoral fellowships”) for pre-tenure scholars who are preparing their PhD dissertation for publication, or who are embarking on new research projects.
Applications in all disciplines of the humanities and humanities-related social sciences are welcome. The program supports the study of Chinese culture and society in all periods. Research in Hong Kong, Tibet and Taiwan is eligible.