Research Awards

The Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology provides an annual program of small grants to support archaeological investigations and research within the State of Tennessee. This program is open to all students, researchers, and cultural resource management professionals conducting archaeological investigations within the state and who are TCPA members in good standing. Awards are not expected to exceed $750, and are intended to supplement a current or proposed research project. Recipients are selected through a competitive application process. In cases where more than one outstanding proposal is submitted, the TCPA may award more than one grant in lesser amounts. Proposal applications for spring 2019 will be accepted until 6pm CST on April 19th. A history of Research Award recipients can be found here.

Who May Apply?

1. Students. Any currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate student member of the organization in good standing, who is undertaking an archaeological research project focusing on Tennessee archaeology toward the completion of an undergraduate senior thesis (or other formal research project), master’s thesis, or doctoral dissertation. Students need not be enrolled in a Tennessee university, although priority may be given to students enrolled in state.  A supporting letter from the major professor or advisor is required.

2. Professionals. Any recognized professional archaeologist (academic, CRM, or otherwise) who is a member of the organization in good standing and conducting research within the State of Tennessee. Priority may be given to proposals deemed critical in nature (that is, a demonstrated lack of necessary funds and/or time constraints).

How May the Award Funds Be Used?

Awarded funds may be used for any endeavor or expense that enhances the quality of the proposed project. However, the successful completion of the project should not be wholly dependent on this award. Acceptable expenses include field/travel expenses, and supplies, etc. necessary for the proposed project. The funds may also be used to obtain radiocarbon dates or other specialized analyses that will enhance the research. Funds may not be used for travel to meetings or conferences, nor may they be used for the purchase of equipment (e.g. digital camera, GPS, etc.) unless there is a demonstrated need directly related to the proposed project. Any equipment purchased using TCPA grant funds will become the property of the TCPA on completion of the project, unless otherwise authorized and approved. Applicants must submit an itemized budget as part of their application packet. Award recipients are required to account for their expenses upon completion of the project.

Application Requirements

1) Applications may be submitted as an Adobe PDF document by email via

2) Applications must be received by 6 pm CST on April 19, 2019.

3) To be considered for an award, applications must include the following:

  • A cover page including the title of the project and the full contact name, address, phone number, email address, and any professional or academic affiliation of the applicant(s)
  • An abstract of no more than 100 words
  • A narrative proposal of no more than 4 double spaced pages written in a minimum of 11-point font that clearly describes the research framework and how the anticipated funds will be used
  • A proposed timeline for successful completion of the project
  • An itemized budget
  • Two (2) letters of support (students: one from the major professor is required)

Final Reporting Requirements

  1. Six months from the award date recipients will submit a brief report describing research progress. This report will be a stand-alone document, and the TCPA Board may at their discretion publish this report to the TCPA web page.
  2. A narrative final report must be submitted to the Board within one calendar year of the award date. The report should be no more than 5 double-spaced pages, must present a publicly-accessible description of the research framework and project results suitable for publication on the TCPA web page, and include supporting data in the form of digital images and links to any project website(s).
  3. By that same deadline, recipients must also submit a detailed expense report showing how the awarded funds were used.
  4. In addition, the results of the project must be disseminated to the archaeological community of Tennessee through either a research presentation given at the annual Current Research in Tennessee Archaeology meeting or submission of a research article to the online journal Tennessee Archaeology.
  5. Finally, formal acknowledgement of TCPA research support must be given in any presentations and publications (including web sites) and in all media interviews related to the funded project.
  6. Would you like more information on the TCPA Research Award, or have questions about the application process? Please contact us directly or through the form below.