Research grants for archaeological missions


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports archaeological research abroad by awarding research grants to archaeologists working on cooperation programmes with host countries.

Award criteria

Archaeologists applying for these specific grants must be experienced researchers with recognised standing as part of a French research body. Their excavation projects must be conducted by multidisciplinary teams made up of high-level technical and scientific specialists competent to conduct a research project under the terms of an excavation permit granted by the host country authorities. Their scientific work must be accompanied by cooperation initiatives with the host country.

Evaluation of applications

Grant applications are evaluated by the MAE’s advisory commission on archaeological research abroad: in December of each year, the commission examines all research project applications submitted to the Ministry over the course of the year. Members of the commission are drawn from leading specialists in the regions and periods under consideration, representatives of French schools abroad and of various research institutes. On the cooperation aspects of the application, the Ministry seeks advice from the cooperation and cultural action services of the diplomatic network.


Grants are made solely towards the costs of excavation (research work and site restoration), excluding wages and salaries. Annual payments are made into specific accounts as part of a four-year research plan. The excavation manager to whom the payments are made receives an authorisation from the Trésorerie Générale pour l’Etranger (overseas treasury department) to open an account as "Head of Archaeological Mission", and must account annually for the use made of the funds. Only French nationals are authorised to open such an account.

Submitting applications

Applications for archaeological mission research grants consist of a number of forms to be completed and a number of administrative and scientific documents to be provided on CD-ROM.Notes providing details of how to complete the application are included with the forms, which are made available online once a year, in August for the year in question, and are to be returned to the MAE by post only.

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