2020 Annual Meeting

Your AAR staff continues to work toward holding the Annual Meeting in Boston, Nov. 21-24, 2020. We are aware of the uncertainty and contradictory projections related to the COVID-19 pandemic and with health and safety as a priority, we will continue monitoring the guidance of governments and health experts as we plan and make decisions. Should any changes need to be made related to the 2020 Annual Meeting, we will promptly notify you.

2020 Regional Meetings

Open Registration:

All remaining regional meetings for 2020 have been canceled

Selva J. Raj Endowed International Dissertation Research Fellowship

Successful Grants from Prior Years

Deadline: December 1

The Selva J. Raj Endowed International Dissertation Research Fellowship is designed to support AAR student members whose dissertation research requires them to travel outside of the country in which their school or university is located. The fellowship is intended to help candidates complete their doctoral degrees by offsetting costs of travel, lodging, and other dissertation research-related expenses. (Fellowship monies may not be used for tuition, computer hardware, or meals.) This is a competitive program: applications will be reviewed by a jury of senior scholars appointed by the AAR President. 

The fellowship honors the life and work of Professor Selva J. Raj, a prolific scholar, a gifted teacher, and a magnificent human being who passed away unexpectedly in 2008. A graduate of the University of Chicago Divinity School and a longtime member of the American Academy of Religion, Selva held several prominent leadership positions in the Academy and at Albion College, where he was Chair of the Religious Studies Department as well as the recipient of an endowed professorship and several other honors, grants, and student awards. Selva’s excellent scholarly contributions, his tireless passion for promoting scholarly exchanges, and his extraordinary collegiality are warmly remembered in the Academy and beyond. His ground-breaking field research-based scholarship on ritual boundary-crossings in Indian popular Catholicism greatly advanced our understanding of Indian Christianity, Hindu-Christian Studies, religious syncretism in India, popular religiosity in India, as well as ritual studies, inter-religious dialogue, and religious pluralism. In awarding the Selva J. Raj Endowed International Dissertation Research Fellowship, priority will be given to graduate students working in one or more of these areas.  


$5,000. Check will be made payable to the individual student recipient. The Academy will issue the recipient a Form 1099 in the amount of the fellowship for income tax use.


  • Applicants must have been AAR student members for at least two years and must have completed all requirements for the doctoral degree except the dissertation. 
  • Current AAR membership is required to be eligible to participate in the Selva J. Raj Endowed International Dissertation Research Fellowship program.
  • Recipient is not eligible to make subsequent applications. 
  • The Academy will award the fellowship only if there is a sufficiently diverse and rich pool of applicants. 

Application Materials

Candidates must submit

  1. A letter of application (no longer than 3 pages) that describes their research project and how support for on-site research is critical for the completion of their dissertation
  2. A current curriculum vitae
  3. A proposed budget and project timeline
  4. A letter of support from their dissertation supervisor

Application, Notification, Expenditure, and Reporting Timeline

  • Applications for the fellowship may be submitted from August 15 – December 1, 2019.
  • Funds awarded must be expended by December 31, 2020. 
  • Recipient will be expected to submit a written report of his or her research, including a budget narrative, no later than January 31, 2021. 

Applicants should submit their materials through the online research grants application form.

Dissertation supervisors may send letters of support electronically to, by fax to 404-727-7959, or by mail to

Selva J. Raj Int'l Dissertation Research Fellowship
American Academy of Religion
825 Houston Mill Road NE, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30329-4205

For further information, please send an email to