MAFA Travel Scholarships

The Mount Athos Foundation of America (MAFA), founded in 2018 by the American Membership of the Friends of Mount Athos, offers annually two scholarships (travel bursaries) of up to $1,000 each to support research projects related to Mount Athos.

For other Athos-related scholarships please see the link at the bottom of this page.


Consistent with MAFA’s Scholarship Policy, grant recipients are selected on a nondiscriminatory basis. Although women are not permitted to visit Mt. Athos itself, women may still be awarded MAFA travel scholarships for the purpose of undertaking travel to other sites for the purpose of Athos-related research, such as libraries, museums, and research institutes, or dependencies of the Athonite monasteries located outside Mt. Athos.

What the Application Should Include

  • The attached application form
  • A 500-1,000 word project description
  • A project budget that includes itemized travel costs

The budget should be for the entire project, not just the travel covered by this award, and should indicate what parts of the project are covered by, or projected to be covered by, other funding sources. The project description should clearly state the objectives of the research to be conducted at the destination, and the significance of the project to contemporary research in the applicant’s research field.

Appropriate Research Fields

There is no restriction on what fields of research will be supported. For example, they may be ones that are traditional for Mount Athos, like Byzantine and post-Byzantine history, art, architecture, musicology, diplomatics and manuscript studies; Eastern Orthodox theology, literature, hymnology, monasticism, monastic spirituality, patristic studies, etc. They may also be in scientific or social-scientific subject areas like botany, geology, forestry, anthropology or sociology, or an interdisciplinary field. This list is by way of example only; other fields of research are acceptable, as long as the project is focused on Mount Athos and the significance of the project to the applicant’s field of research is made clear.

Obligations of Award Recipients

Applicants must commit to the following:

  • to submit a confirmation of acceptance of the travel grant via an Acceptance Letter (provided by the Foundation along with its award notification) within thirty (30) days of receipt of the award notification.
  • to prepare an illustrated final report suitable to presentation at the Byzantine Studies Association of North America (a 20-minute presentation) or other professional organization appropriate the applicant’s research field (to be proposed by the applicant and approved by MAFA) appropriate to the content of the research project.
  • to submit a printed version of the final report suitable for publication by MAFA or the Friends of Mount Athos in one of their annual publications or on the MAFA website.
  • to submit receipts for travel expenses promptly following payment of those expenses, accompanied by an itemized explanation of those costs.
  • to submit periodic financial and progress reports during the course of the project, the frequency and schedule of reporting to be determined, based on the length of the project time frame and/or the timing of reporting required by other grant agencies sponsoring the research project
  • to return to MAFA any unexpended funds at the close of the grant period.

Research Project Time Frame

The research project may be for any time period, but the dates of the travel funded by this award should be specified in the application. These dates may be changed later, if necessary.


MAFA has a system of “rolling applications.” Travel bursary applications will be accepted until both scholarships for each calendar year have been filled, at which time applications will be closed for the remainder of that calendar year. If applications have been closed for the year, we encourage an applicant to apply for the next calendar year.

Related MAFA Policies

MAFA will issue an initial check to the recipient based upon the travel expenses projected in the recipient’s application. MAFA will fund the actual costs of travel for the specified research project, up to a maximum of $1,000. In any cases where the actual cost of travel as documented by receipts turns out to be less than what was initially projected in the application, the recipient of this award may be required to return the difference to MAFA.

If a recipient’s situation changes in the course of the scholarship application process so that the recipient is no longer qualified to receive the scholarship, the offer of the MAFA scholarship will terminate.

If, in any given year, the Foundation does not receive an application that meets the Foundation’s criteria for quality and viability (MAFA Scholarship Policy, Section V, Criteria for Selection) and clearly fulfills the charitable purposes of the Foundation, the Foundation will not issue an award. Click to download MAFA Conflict of Interest Policy.

Please contact the MAFA Grants Administration Committee if you have questions after reading this announcement and the Travel Scholarship Application Packet.

Related Scholarships List

In keeping with its mission to promote understanding and appreciation for Mount Athos, MAFA will list scholarships from other organizations that are compatible with MAFA’s mission and may be good complements to our own scholarship program. MAFA does not take responsibility for the information here provided. Please address any questions about these scholarships to the sponsoring organizations, not to MAFA.

Information on Evgenios Vulgaris Scholarship

The Evgenios Voulgaris Scholarship

Please contact the MAFA Grants Administration Committee if you have questions after reading this announcement and the Travel Scholarship Application Packet.