To deepen the impact of its dialogue programs, the Hollings Center awards small grants and fellowships to selected dialogue participants* for collaborative follow-on initiatives involving research, professional development and exchanges. The Center’s dialogue programs aim to enhance communication and understanding between the United States and countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Eurasia. The Center wishes to incentivize participants in these programs to continue and advance dialogue discussions by providing seed funding for follow-on initiatives.

What do we fund?

Proposed small grant projects expand upon the Hollings Center’s program topics and mission through collaborative, cross-cultural pursuits that produce innovative deliverables. The Hollings Center awards these small grants to past dialogue participants. Examples of initiatives that we fund include:

    • Follow-up events on a theme that was addressed at a Hollings Center dialogue, but was not covered in sufficient depth;
    • Pilot exchanges or fellowships designed to foster exchanges (between students, faculty, experts, and/or institutions)
    • Research that will inform policy (with policy-relevant deliverables).

To read more about what we fund or how the application process works, please read our Small Grants Guidelines.*

For eligible past participants who wish to apply for a small grant, click to access the Cover Sheet and Budget Template.  The budget template also contains examples of budgets from different types of projects.

Examples of past Hollings Center Small Grants projects:

EMarat - Bishkek-Osh carpet seller
  • An opinion survey of Egyptian university students’ attitudes toward the Obama administration.
  • Research on the impact of Afghanistan’s National Solidarity Program on governance in Afghanistan.
  • The launching of student and faculty exchange programs between U.S. universities and campuses in Bangladesh and Morocco.
  • An evaluation of American “branch campuses” in the United Arab Emirates.
  • A workshop on higher education quality in the Middle East.
  • A series of workshops for early-career Turkish and American journalists on Turkey-U.S. relations.

Here is what some of the Center’s small grant recipients have said about the program:

With support from the Hollings small grants program and building on the Center’s colloquium on quality in higher education, Effat University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, convened a workshop that fostered dialogue among members of the higher education community in Muslim-majority countries. This spirit of collaboration and sharing that the Effat workshop spawned continues to pay itself forward, enriching the participants’ personal, professional and intellectual lives.”

Dialogue on Quality Assurance in Higher Education, 2009
Small Grant Recipient

Building on the U.S.-Egypt next-generation dialogue, the small grants program allowed our Egyptian-American research team to conduct a comprehensive study of stakeholders in the U.S. aid program to Egypt.  Not only are we producing a study relevant to political science and policy alike, but our team also developed an academic partnership and cultivated professional contacts that will outlive the duration of the grant.”

Dialogue on the Future of Egypt-U.S. Relations, 2009
Small Grant Recipient

The Hollings Center small grant program has been the catalyst for a very fruitful Afghan-American research collaboration. Following on the Center’s dialogue on governance in Afghanistan, we assessed local governance in that country through a joint study, workshops, and a law school seminar—all with an invaluable combination of Afghan and U.S. perspectives.”

Dialogue on Governance in Afghanistan, 2009
Small Grant Recipient

Our Hollings small grant has created possibilities that exceeded what the presidents of our two universities, Concordia College, Minnesota, and Independent University, Bangladesh, envisioned when they decided to explore a partnership building on the Center’s conference on independent universities in the Muslim world.  Both institutions are exceedingly grateful for support that furthers perhaps the most important thing we can accomplish beyond the daily task of educating students—seeking institutional partnerships abroad that advance and enrich global liberal learning.”

Dialogue on Independent Universities in the Muslim World, 2007
Small Grant Recipient

To read more about our small grants program, read individual stories of small grant recipients here. Questions about the Small Grants Program can be directed to Sanem Güner at
*Please note that small grants and fellowships are available to conference participants only.  The Hollings Center does not make grants outside its dialogue programs.