AIHP PhD Thesis Support Grant

The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy wishes to encourage academic research within its scope. Therefore it offers a grant-in-aid of up to $2,000 to a graduate student to reinforce historical investigations of some aspect of pharmacy, whether ancient or modern, to pay research expenses not normally met by the university granting the degree.

Any dissertation or thesis project devoted to the history of pharmacy, history of drugs, or other humanistic study utilizing a pharmaco-historical approach, is eligible if based in an institution of higher learning of the USA. Applications postmarked by February 1 will be evaluated at that time. Applications thereafter will be considered individually if or when funds are available. The following guidelines should be considered in preparing an application:

Download a .pdf copy of these Instructions and Requirements for AIHP’s Thesis Grant.

Read a list of Previous recipients of AIHP’s PhD Thesis Support Grant with their funded research topics.

Eligibility: Any graduate student in good standing at an institution of the United States may apply, regardless of the department through which the Doctor of Philosophy degree will be granted. However, for many projects some scientific or pharmaceutical background is advantageous. Therefore an application may be strengthened by indicating clearly the applicant’s qualifications to undertake the particular research proposed.

The graduate student need not be an American citizen; nor does the research topic need to be in the field of American history. A member of the graduate faculty must co-sign the application to indicate willingness to supervise the thesis or dissertation research and to share responsibility for proper expenditure of any funds awarded (See point 11 of the instructions).

Scope: The thesis research must be clearly and significantly related to some aspect of pharmaceutical history (including the history of medicaments and dosage forms, from ancient to modern times) or some other branch of humanistic investigation that utilizes significantly a pharmaco-historical approach.

For the present purpose, the history of pharmacy would include at least five main categories of historical study: (1) The profession of the pharmacist (e.g., professional structuring, professional policy, legal aspects, organizations, education, literature, industry, economics, military and other public service); (2) pharmaceutical disciplines basic to the profession (e.g., pharmaceutical botany, pharmacology, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmaceutics, clinical pharmacy); (3) pharmaceutical technology and processes; (4) pharmacy’s interaction with the arts (architecture and interior decor, painting and sculpture, literature and music); (5) pharmacists and pharmaceutical work (e.g., biography, and pharmaceutical establishments and institutions).

Project Expenses Covered: This program of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy is solely intended to help eligible graduate students defray the direct costs of thesis research expenses that cannot normally be reimbursed by the degree-granting institution itself. It is not the AIHP’s intent to offer a fellowship but rather to encourage innovative historical projects related to pharmacy and to facilitate unusual projects and methods requiring extra funding.

A few concrete examples (among many that could be cited) may help to clarify the types of expenditures appropriate to an application. Examples of eligible expenses are: travel and maintenance at a site removed from the home university for research in sources necessary to the project; obtaining digital copies of essential sources; application of investigative methods unusual in the history of pharmacy; or assistance in programming, coding, or other technical assistance.  Examples of ineligible expenses are: living expenses of the applicant at the home university or indirect expenses such as overhead or other institution-related costs. The maximum grant in this program will be $2,000.

Selection Procedure: Each application is referred for evaluation to an evaluating committee of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy. The ratings of the panel guide the award of funds available in this program at a particular time. Principal criteria used in evaluating an application are: (1) originality and significance of the proposed doctoral thesis; (2) relevance to the history of pharmacy; (3) demonstrated need for outside funds to enhance or complete the project.

Deadline for Application: February 1 each year. An application postmarked after that date will be evaluated individually if any funds remain un-awarded; otherwise it will be considered in next year’s program. Funds become available by June 30.

Form of Application: The following information must be included in an application of not more than four (4) single-spaced pages in 12-point font.

  1. Name, address, email, and telephone number of applicant (Social Security number will be required for final grant disbursement).
  2. Date of birth and nationality.
  3. Expected graduate degree, major area of specialization, and expected graduation date.
  4. Name, address, and email of the graduate faculty member responsible for supervising the applicant’s research.
  5. Tentative title and short prospectus of the thesis project.
  6. Explain concretely the significance of the research for the history of pharmacy (including the history of drugs) or for other humanistic study that relies upon a pharmaco-historical approach. Describe the activities that will be supported by the grant.
  7. Itemized and annotated estimate of expenses for which a grant (up to $2,000) is being sought.
  8. Brief statement of other financial support received or applied for to be used within the period for which the AIHP grant is sought.
  9. Other information you consider important for the proper consideration of the application
  10. Signature of graduate student, and date of application, with the endorsing statement, “To the best of my knowledge, the above information is true. I agree to send a brief progress report concerning my research to the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy six months after receipt of an award and a final report one year after receiving the grant money. I also agree to submit a paper based on some pharmacy-related aspect of my thesis project or dissertation for consideration for publication in Pharmacy in History within two years of receiving the grant.”
  11. Co-signature of faculty supervisor of the graduate research, endorsing the statement, “I am willing to supervise the thesis or dissertation research described in this application and accept responsibility for limiting the expenditures of any grant awarded to the purposes stated in the application.”

Submit Application: Send a .pdf of your complete application by email to

or send three copies of your application to:

Dennis Birke
American Institute of the History of Pharmacy
777 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI  53705

Confirmation of receipt will be sent by email.

Requirements for Grant Recipient:

  1. Supply Social Security number for grant disbursement.
  2. Provide AIHP a brief progress report (one-page summary of recipient’s progress and accomplishments) six months after receipt of grant.
  3. Provide AIHP a final report (2-3 page report summarizing activities funded by the grant, discussing research findings, and providing an itemized list of grant expenses) within a year of receiving grant money.
  4. Provide a digital or paper copy of the completed dissertation.
  5. Work with the editors of Pharmacy in History to submit a paper for consideration for publication within two years of receiving the grant.
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You can participate in the AIHP COVID-19 Pandemic Pharmacy Historical Documentation Project either (1) by immediately sharing your thoughts/experiences and/or submitting digital materials or (2) by signifying your to intention to submit materials in the future. Please comply with all applicable local or state stay-at-home orders while self-documenting.

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