Historically Underrepresented Groups Scholarships

Submission period opens October 1 annually
Submission Deadline: January 31, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. ET

2021 HUGS Application

The Historically Underrepresented Groups Scholarship (HUGS) endowment fund was established in 2010 to increase recruitment and retention of under represented minorities obtaining degrees in archaeology. Embracing diversity in heritage and narratives is key to understanding the past. However, minority groups have long been under represented and marginalized in American archaeology, creating an imbalance with consequences, not only in research goals and interpretations, but also in communication with diverse publics. Since 2015, the SAA has used the HUGS endowment to help minority students enhance their education and successfully prepare for careers in archaeology and heritage management. The Society along with the Minority Scholarship Committee is committed to the inclusion of under-represented minorities in archaeology. Support for these scholarships comes from individual donations and corporate partnerships. The following competitive scholarships are currently offered:

  • HUGS for Undergraduate Students supports archaeological training or participation in a research program for undergraduate minority students, including but not limited to tuition, travel, food, housing, books, supplies, equipment, and child care. Any form of archaeological training during the summer may be funded, not just limited to field schools. Amount awarded is up to $3,000 with one to two scholarships available each year.
  • HUGS for Graduate Students supports archaeological training or participation in a research program for graduate minority students, including but not limited to tuition, travel, food, housing, books, supplies, equipment, and child care. Any form of archaeological training during the summer may be funded, not just limited to field schools. Amount awarded is up to $3,000 with one to two scholarships available each year.
  • HUGS DirectAMS Radiocarbon Award to support students in their research by providing one free radiocarbon date. Two awards are available in 2021. Additional information and application details can be found in the left sidebar.

Eligibility*

To apply for a HUGS, the following criteria must be met:

  • You must be a member of historically underrepresented minorities in archaeology, including but not restricted to African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, and other non European minorities. 
  • You must be a resident of either the United States or Canada. 
  • At the time of application, you must be enrolled in a regionally accredited university in the United States or Canada or, if outside the United States, a university with equivalent accreditation. 
  • If the applicant is a graduate student, s/he must be in their first or second year of graduate studies and may not have an MA/MS degree at the time of application. 

*Eligibility requirements differ for the HUGS DirectAMS Radiocarbon Award. See left sidebar for application details. 

Please note: Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, or Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are encouraged to apply to the Native American Scholarships program for parallel funding opportunities.

Application Materials*

The required application materials consist of the following items: 

1) An application form (downloaded from link at top of page) that includes your background information. 

2) Two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your academic or work background.

3) A personal statement that describes how you became interested in archaeology, your personal, educational, and employment history, and how these and other experiences have contributed to your interest in and your ability to successfully pursue studies in archaeology.

4) A statement of research interests that describes what you hope to learn from studying archaeology, the areas of archaeology in which you are most interested, and the contributions you hope to make to the future of archaeology.

5) A statement of proposed study that describes the program you hope to participate in and how it will help to advance your educational and professional goals.

6) An itemized budget that is coherent, realistic, and well justified along with a description of financial need that includes an explanation of how the applicant will apply the funds and the basis for financial need.

*Eligibility requirements differ for the HUGS DirectAMS Radiocarbon Award. See left sidebar for application details.

PLEASE READ THE APPLICATION FORM CAREFULLY FOR DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS AND ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS.

Application and nomination materials should be emailed to hugs@saa.org. If you do not receive an email confirmation, please contact SAA Communications and Fundraising Manager Amy Rutledge at amy_rutledge@saa.org, who facilitates the distribution of application packets to the Minority Scholarships Committee for review. 

For questions about the applications process or to make a donation to these scholarships, please contact the Chair of the Minority Scholarships Committee

Other Requirements

Prior to any award recommendation being finalized and publicly announced, anyone recommended for an award, scholarship, or grant will be required to certify the following:

(a)  I am not and have not ever been the subject of a discrimination or harassment lawsuit or related administrative complaint that resulted in an adverse finding; and

(b)  I do not have and have not had a current or pending disciplinary action such as suspension or termination of registration, resulting from a Register of Professional Archaeologists= grievance investigation.

Past Recipients

2019 HUGS Scholars*
HUGS for Undergraduate Students
Jazmin Jones
Ariana Robles

HUGS for Graduate Students
Jenail Marshall
Ashley Vance

*No HUGS were awarded in 2020 due to the pandemic.