The American Association of Physical Anthropologists recognizes that the professional development of talented scientists in the early stages of their careers is critical to the continued health and vitality of the discipline. To that end, the AAPA offers Professional Development Grants annually to qualified recipients, each in the amount of $5,000. 

Eligibility: Applicants must have completed the PhD or equivalent terminal degree in biological anthropology or an allied discipline. Applicants must be conducting applied or academic research that is within the disciplinary boundaries of biological anthropology. Applicants must be junior faculty members (such as postdoctoral scholars, lecturers, or Assistant Professors) and must be non-tenured at the time of application and award. Individuals in non-traditional positions equivalent to these junior faculty positions are also encouraged to apply. Membership in the AAPA is NOT a requirement. An applicant may receive only one Professional Development Grant during their career. 

The program is primarily directed toward the career development of individuals who have not yet been successful with major awards (e.g., NSF, NIH) to fund their research. Explicitly, this is not a program for filling in funds that were cut from, or are needed for an already funded project. That being said, if an applicant was previously funded by NSF, NIH, or another major funding organization, they are not necessarily disqualified from applying. If an applicant is currently funded by a major organization and fulfills all of our other requirements, they may still apply if their application involves the development of a novel idea for which funds are needed to collect pilot data or perform another activity to get the new research started. For applications of comparable quality, priority will be given to the applicant who has not yet received major funding. If in doubt about the appropriateness of your proposal for an AAPA Professional Development Grant, email Dr. Joan Richtsmeier ([email protected]). The program is directed toward the career progress of individuals, therefore co-authored/multi-authored applications will not be considered. Completed applications must be received on or before January 15, 2017.  Incomplete/late applications cannot be considered.  

Application Procedure: Applicants are required to submit a research proposal, curriculum vitae, a letter explaining how this research will promote their careers, and a letter from a colleague (e.g., former supervisor) who can evaluate both the significance of the research and its impact on the applicant’s career. Approvals to conduct the research (e.g., field permits, IRB approvals, TACOS) are not required at the time of submission but should be in progress. Applicants will have until the end of the calendar year in which the award was given to secure necessary approvals. Funds will not be released until approvals are in place.

A complete application includes: 1) Project Cover Sheet (signature required); 2) Cover Letter from the applicant explaining the importance of the proposed project for their professional career (500 word maximum); 3) Project Description which presents the nature of the project, the methods to be employed, and the scientific importance of the proposed research, including the connection of the research to the larger goals of the discipline. This description (not to exceed 1500 words) should be written so that it can be evaluated by any professional biological anthropologist. A bibliography must be included and will not count toward the 1500 word limit. Illustrations and tables may be submitted but are not to exceed three pages of material (in addition to the project description and bibliography) and should include explanatory captions; 4) Budget (1 page max), which itemizes costs, briefly justifies the use of AAPA funds for these expenditures with reference to the proposed project, lists other grants submitted or received for this project, and explains any overlap in funding and the relationship of the AAPA grant to other funding (e.g., can the project stand alone with only AAPA funding?). The AAPA Professional Development Program does not allow overhead funds; 5) Curriculum Vitae for the applicant, which must include a history of successful funding (including dates) and a list of grants currently under review. If the applicant has not yet received any funding, the CV should still contain a section entitled “External funding” or “Grants and fellowships” with no entries under “funded awards” as well as a list of those “currently under review”; and 6) Letter of support from a colleague (or supervisor) who can evaluate both the scientific merit of the project and its impact on the applicant’s career. Parts 1-5 should be submitted as a SINGLE pdf document to: Dr. Joan Richtsmeier [email protected]. Item 6 should be emailed directly to Dr. Richtsmeier by January 15, 2017.  

Applications must be received by January 15, 2017.  Incomplete/late applications cannot be considered.

If electronic submission is impossible, applications should be mailed to:  Dr. Joan Richtsmeier, Department of Anthropology, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802.  FAXES ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE. Applications must be received by January 15, 2017.  Incomplete/late applications cannot be considered.  

Evaluation and Decisions: Grant applications will be reviewed and ranked by a committee of AAPA members chaired by Dr. Richtsmeier. Decisions will be confirmed by the AAPA Executive Committee. Recipients will be announced in early Spring of 2017 and grantees will be recognized at the AAPA Business Meeting. Decisions of the Award Committee in any year are final and not subject to appeal or reassessment.


Jimena Barbeito Andrés, Institute Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Interpreting brain and skull phenotypic outcomes when Zika virus and undernutrition interact during early development
Amanda Tan, Dartmouth College. Using stable isotopes to measure the nutritional advantages of stone-tool use by long-tailed macaques”
Michelle A. Rodrigues, University of Illinois. The biological impact of tend-and-befriend strategies: How female social relationships mediate stress in female scientists of color
Corey Ragsdale, Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville. Biological consequences of Spanish colonization in Mexico
Justin Ledogar, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia. Evolutionary modeling of craniofacial shape and functional performance in fossil hominins and extant durophagous primates
Ashley S. Hammond, George Washington University. Hominoid-like fossils from the late Oligocene of Kenya
Stephen G.B. Chester, City University of New York. New Paleogene Primate Skeletons from Fossiliferous Limestones


John Starbuck, University of Central Florida. Big brains and small faces: The power of aneuploidy to elucidate mechanisms influencing human evolution and development
Michelle Brown, University of California, Santa Barbara. Measuring the effects of feeding competition at multiple scales in a frugivorous primate community
Stephanie Meredith, Harvard University. Do winners take all? Assessing subadult sperm competition in hamadryas baboons
Ryan Schmidt, University of Texas, Austin. Eneolithic Trypillain genomic variability and the origins of the Cucuteni-Tripolye peoples


Sharon Kessler, McGill University. Mouse lemurs as potential sentinels and reservoirs of diseases
Elizabeth Quinn, Washington University. I breastfeed, therefore I aam
Marin Pilloud, University of Nevada Reno. Dental phenotypic variation in Neolithic Anatolia: identifying social structure and population movement in early farming societies
Davide Ponzi, University of Chicago. Role of Puberty in the Development of Chronotype in a Rural Caribbean Community
Christopher Shaffer, Grand Valley State University. Ethnoprimatology of the Konashen community owned conservation concession, Guyana


J. Malukiewicz, Federal University of Minas Gerais. Next generation divergence genomics of Callithrix flaviceps, C. geoffroyi and their hybrids
C. Kirchhoff, University of North Texas. Are skeletal trauma patterns affected by sociality? An interspecific study
S. Tecot, University of Arizona. Evolved hormonal mechanisms of allomaternal care behavior in red-bellied lemurs, Eulemur rubriventer
J. Teichroeb, Duke University. Angolan colobus (Colobus angolensis ruwenzorii) supertroops: do these represent multilevel societies driven by ecological factors?
N. Hawley, Brown University. Influence of infant growth on body size and blood pressure at age 6/7 in American Samoa
E. Miller, University of South Florida. The feeding ecology of infant immune function in the United States


Dr. Janine Chalk, Duke University. Age-related differences in nutrient intake and energy balance in wild Brown capuchins
Dr. Siobhan Cooke, Northeastern Illinois University. Primate paleontology in the Dominican Republic
Dr. Chris Gilbert, Hunter College, CUNY. Skeletal analysis of the Lesula
Dr. Lynn Copes, Quinnipiac University. Skeletal robusticity in sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus atys): interactions among bone shape, density and mechanical performance
Dr. Lesley Gregoricka, University of South Alabama. Negotiating identity in prehistoric semi-nomadic societies: a biogeochemical assessment of residential mobility in Bronze Age Oman
Dr. Kristi Lewton, Harvard University. Morphological integration and the evolvability of the mammalian pelvis: implications for primate evolution
Dr. Sergio Almécija, Stony Brook University. The 3D shape and function of Miocene ape and early hominin hands and feet
Dr. Abigail Bigham, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Functional consequences of EGLN1 genetic variation in high-altitude Andeans and Tibetans


Claire Terhune, Duke University Medical School. Were Neanderthals biting off more than they could chew? Evidence from the temporomandibular joint of Middle and Late Pleistocene hominins
Cynthia Thompson, Northeast Ohio Medical University. Development of non-invasive methods for studying the hormonal regulation of feeding behavior in wild primates
Biren Patel, Stony Brook University. Primate evolution and biogeography in the Lower Siwaliks of India
Sharon DeWitte, University of South Carolina. Paleoepidemiology of historic plague epidemics: the dynamics of an ancient emerging disease
Varsha Pilbrow, University of Melbourne. The physical anthropology of the 2200 BC – 600 AD humans from Samtavro in the Caucasus region of Georgia
James London, University of Colorado-Boulder. New directions in early South African hominin dietary ecology


Dr. Phillip E. Melton, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research. Reconstruction of Migration Patterns in Mennonite Communities Using Molecular Markers: Y-chromosome Perspective
Dr. Marta Alfonso-Durruty, University of Pennsylvania. Co-occurrence of Porotic Hyperostosis and Spina Bifida Occulta among High-Latitude Hunter Gatherers.
Dr. Paula N. Gonzalez, University of Calgary. Developmental Plasticity in the Skull: Effects of Prenatal Stress on Morphological and Genetic Traits.
Dr. Seth D. Dobson, Dartmouth College. Co-evolution of Facial Expression, Visual Specialization, and Brain Size in Anthropoid Primates
Dr. Jacqueline T. Eng, Western Michigan University. Nomads and the Steppe Empires of Mongolia: A Bioarchaeological Perspective
Dr. Marina B. Blanco, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. First Assessment of Minimum Life Span in Wild Dwarf Lemurs by Dental Topographic Analysis.


Dr. Ömer Gökçümen, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Mass.. Copy number variation in immunity genes among the genomes of Indigenous Americans.
Dr. Julienne Rutherford, University of Illinois at Chicago. Placental morphology and physiology in relation to fetal growth and brain development in the vervet monkey (Chlorocebus aethiops).
Dr. Doug Boyer, Stony Brook University. Evolutionary Morphology of Primates Using Digital Tooth Models
Dr. Brian Villmoare, University College, London. Morphological Integration of the Primate Masticatory Apparatus.


Denise Su, Pennsylvania State University. Paleontological and Geological Explorations in the Zhaotong Basin, Yunnan Province, China.
Kathryn Muldoon, Dartmouth University. Primate Extinction and Community Dynamics at a New Subfossil Site: Christmas River, Southcentral Madagascar.
Michelle Bezanson, Santa Clara College. Bringing the lab into the field: kinematics during quadrupedal walking in Cebus capucinus.
Michelle Buzon, Purdue University. A Bioarchaeological Investigation of Identity Development during Napatan State Formation.
Melissa Emery Thompson, University of New Mexico. Energetics of Lactation in Chimpanzees
Francis Kirera, National Museums of Kenya.. Recovery of New Hominin Remains from a New 1.5 Ma Site, Ileret, Northern Kenya

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