Matthew Tobin Cappetta Archaeological Scholarship Endowment

Opens for applications on October 1. The application deadline is January 31. 

If you have any questions about the application process, please email

Matthew Tobin Cappetta Archaeological Scholarship provides funding for graduate students studying archaeology or ethnoarchaeology of the American Southwest and the South American Andes. Students working in other American regions, whether they are from the United States or other countries, will be considered if their research involves significant collaboration with Native American Indians. The scholarship covers tuition, course fees, and books or course materials for graduate-level classroom and field-based courses in anthropology, with emphasis in archaeology or ethnoarchaeology. It also supports travel to attend field schools or directed study projects that lead to research papers, reports, journal articles, or advanced field research. Amount awarded is variable with one or more scholarships available each year.

Matthew Tobin Cappetta was an archaeologist who spent a decade in the American Southwest, working with Native American tribes on archaeological sites. He instilled trust and humor in those around him. Matthew intended to attend graduate school to get advanced training in archaeology before his tragic death in 2019. His parents, Patricia and Les Cappetta, established an endowment in his name to honor his memory and lifelong passion for archaeology that will support, in perpetuity, other aspiring archaeology students to attend graduate school and achieve their dreams of becoming professional archaeologists. They hope that others will be inspired to contribute to the endowment. To make your donation, visit the Cappetta Scholarship Donation page. Learn more about Matthew Cappetta


To apply for a Matthew Tobin Scholarship, the following criteria must be met.

  • You need to be enrolled a graduate program (MA or PhD) in a university accredited by the country in which you reside.
  • You should be conducting advanced study of the archaeology/ethnoarchaeology of the US Southwest and the South American Andes, which are the two regions that most impacted Matthew’s life. 
  • Students working in other American regions, whether those students are from the United States or other countries, will be considered if their research involves significant collaboration with Native American Indians.
  • You can receive the award in subsequent years, but you must reapply each year because this is a single-year grant.
  • You must have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0.

The Matthew Tobin Cappetta Scholarship Committee strongly encourages applications from students who are affiliated with historically underrepresented groups. 

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) A biography that describes yourself, how your personal experiences led you to archaeology, how those experiences impact your research interest(s), and how your career objectives align with the goals of the scholarship. 

3) A research interests statement that describes your research topic and what you hope to learn.

4) A statement of proposed study that describes the project or field school you hope to participate in (either volunteer or work) and how this program will advance your educational and professional goals. 

5) A realistic and well-justified proposed budget that explains your financial needs and how you plan to use the funds.


Application and nomination materials should be emailed to If you do not receive an email confirmation, please contact SAA Communications and Fundraising Manager Amy Rutledge at, who facilitates the distribution of application packets to the Matthew Tobin Cappetta Scholarship Committee for review. 

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.

2023 Recipients

Julia Earle 
Amanda Brock
Agustina Vazquez Fiorani
Lisseth Rojas