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Eligibility Requirement 

The United States Marine Corps offers research grants of $400 to $3,000 to encourage graduate-level and advanced study in Marine Corps history and related fields. These grants come from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit organization which seeks to further historical and museum research related to the Marine Corps.

While the program concentrates on graduate students, grants are available to other qualified persons. Applicants for grants should have the ability to conduct advanced study in those aspects of American military history and museum activities directly related to the U.S. Marine Corps.

Areas and Topics of Study

Applicants may suggest study projects, or the staff of the History Division can provide guidance for selection of an appropriate topic. In either case, the researcher has considerable latitude in choosing a topic. The research, for example, may encompass such diverse topics as wars, institutions, organization and administration, policy, biography, civil affairs and civic action, civil-military relations, weaponry and technology, manpower, training and education, strategy, tactics, and logistics, as well as the interaction of diplomatic, political, economic, social, and intellectual trends affecting American military affairs during peace and war. Research may also deal with such museum curatorial fields as exhibit design, military art, ordnance, uniforms, equipment, aviation, and other related topics.

The program gives preference to projects covering the pre-1991 period where records are declassified or can be most readily declassified and made available to scholars. In all cases, the research must result in a finite product which directly furthers or illuminates some aspect of the history of the Marine Corps. Examples of such finite products are an article for a professional journal, a publishable monograph or essay, a bibliography, a work of art, a museum display, or a diorama.

Location of Study

Since the purposes of these grants include the desire to expose fellows to research in the main Federal archival centers, and to encourage the use of Marine Corps historical archives and museum collections, recipients are encouraged to do part of their research in the Quantico, Virginia-Washington, D.C., area. This does not preclude research elsewhere. The location of other thesis research is at the recipient's discretion.

Payment and Expenses

Grants ordinarily will be paid in two installments, half on the initiation of the approved project, and half on its successful conclusion. There are no restrictions on how the recipients apply these funds.


Preliminary application for a grant involves the submission of a completed application form to the Director of Marine Corps History. The application and accompanying letter should outline the applicant's qualifications, and should either propose a specific topic or request a suggested topic based on the applicant's interests and qualifications. If the evaluation of the preliminary application is favorable, the applicant will be asked to make formal application. The formal application should include evidence of the applicant's professional qualifications through appropriate letters of recommendation, publications, or evidence of accomplishment in relevant fields. Students should provide academic transcripts. Final approval or disapproval of the grant request will be made following submission of the formal application.

Applications, preliminary or formal, will be considered throughout the year, and research in the Washington, D.C., area can be performed at any time mutually acceptable to the successful applicant and the History Division. A division historian will serve as the recipient's advisor for the duration of the grant.

Evaluation and Selection

The Director of Marine Corps History makes the final selection for grants less than $1,000; larger grants require the approval of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, the funding organization. All awards are made on merit, regardless of race, color, creed, or gender. Evaluation is based upon evidence of ability, including academic records, letters of recommendation, and upon the nature of the proposed research and its potential value to the Marine Corps' historical program.