Research Awards

The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute awards grants to support research or artistic projects on Jewish women's and gender issues across a range of disciplines. Scholars, activists, writers and artists who are pursuing research on questions of significance to the field of Jewish women's and gender studies, or work that deals with the themes of our work in comparative perspective, may apply. The HBI Research Awards are funded by gifts from the HBI Board.

See the complete list of the 2017 HBI Research Award Winners!

Grant Categories 

History: Historical research on Jewish women and gender issues in Jewish communities in any time period or geographical location

The Yishuv and Israel: Interdisciplinary research on Jewish women and gender issues in pre-state Palestine and the State of Israel

Diaspora Studies: Interdisciplinary research concerning gender issues in contemporary Jewish communities outside of Israel

Gender, Migration & Refugee Studies: Interdisciplinary research focused on the challenges of exile and refugee status from the perspective of, or in dialogue with, Jewish tradition and Jewish history (This topic is the focus of the 2018 HBI Spring Scholar in Residence Program.)

Families, Children & the Holocaust: Interdisciplinary research on the histories and representations of East European Jewish families and children from 1933 to the present

Gender, Culture, Religion & the Law: Research exploring conflicts between religious laws, or cultural norms, and women's claims to gender equality

Women’s Health: Interdisciplinary research focusing on physical and mental health among Jewish women around the world primarily using research methods from sociology, anthropology and epidemiology

LGBTQ Studies: Interdisciplinary research that explores the inclusion of LGBTQ identities in Jewish tradition and contemporary life

Judaism: Research on gender issues in Jewish law, ritual and observance

Biography: Biographical research on the lives and experiences of individual Jewish women (not limited to studies of an entire life-course)

The Arts: Research about Jewish women artists and Jewish women's contribution to the arts. Projects must deal with gender; projects by and about Jewish artists that do not deal with gender do not meet the criteria. Applicants engaged in artistic projects thematically focused on Jewish women are also encouraged to apply.
 Subject areas include:
  • Performance Arts
  • Visual Arts
  • Creative Writing

Film and Video: Original documentary and narrative film projects about Jewish women or Jewish gender issues

Size of Award

Junior grants up to $2,000 awarded to graduate students enrolled in recognized Ph.D. programs and new scholars – generally within three years of receiving a Ph.D.

Senior grants up to $5,000 awarded to established scholars and professionals. 


Applications from outside the United States (in English) are welcome. There is no residency requirement. Open to applicants irrespective of gender or religion.

Proposal Guidelines

Download the Research Awards application guidelines (pdf)

Proposal deadline: Closed. Check back in July for the 2018 guidelines.

Submitting Your Proposal

1) Mail a hard copy of the proposal to:

Debby Olins
Program Manager
The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute
MS 079
Brandeis University
Waltham, MA 02454 -9110

2) Electronically submit your proposal. Do not email your proposal. Your proposal will be accepted only if we receive both hard and electronic copies by the deadline.

Frequently Asked Questions

Read answers to many questions about applying for a HBI Research Award.

Review Process

Grants are awarded on the basis of excellence. All proposals are confidential and carefully reviewed by at least two scholars from the HBI Academic Advisory Committee (AAC). Proposals receiving positive ratings in the first stage are further reviewed by committee members at the annual AAC meeting in the fall. Applicants will be notified by email in December 2018 as to whether their proposal will receive funding. Funds will be distributed four to six weeks after receipt of required tax documentation.