Estelle Shohet Brettman founded the International Catacomb Society (ICS) in 1980. Her approach was ecumenical, and her intent was to promote the preservation, restoration, and documentation of the catacombs in Rome and elsewhere that contain paintings, epigraphy, and artifacts depicting the cultures and customs of early religions under the Roman Empire. The Shohet Scholars Program, established by the ICS in 2001, is an effort to further Mrs. Brettman’s aims.
The ICS desires to support scholars of demonstrated promise and ability who are judged capable of producing significant, original research that is consistent with the above goal. Shohet Scholars may do their research in the fields of archeology, art history, classical studies, history, comparative religions, or related subjects. The work need not focus explicitly on the Roman catacombs, but it should be within the sphere of the Mediterranean world from the late Hellenistic Period to the end of the Roman Empire. Of special interest are interdisciplinary projects that approach traditional topics from new perspectives.
One or more Shohet Scholars will be selected each year and supported for a period of one year. The primary intent of the grant is to support significant, innovative research that can be completed and reported upon within the award period. Grants may be made to seed innovative approaches and new ideas or to cover specific expenses or phases of a larger project under the direction of the applicant. At this time, awards in the range of $5,000 to $30,000 will be made. The Shohet Scholars Program reserves the right not to make a grant in a year in which there are no applications meeting the requirements of the program.
Obligations of Shohet Scholars
Two items are due after the end of the award period: a final report of expenditures after three months and a written article on the funded project suitable for publication by the ICS on its website within one year.
- Scholars of all institutional affiliations and independent scholars may apply for Shohet Scholar funding if they are current individual or institutional members of the ICS at the time of the application submission deadline and in possession of a doctoral degree or the equivalent. Preference will be given to applicants in the early postdoctoral or launching stage of their careers (i.e., persons awarded the doctorate within six years prior to the application deadline).
- Non-U.S. citizens may apply if a co-applicant is a legal resident or native or naturalized citizen of the U.S.A., meets all eligibility requirements, and has a genuinely collaborative leadership role in the proposal. Co-applicants must submit as individuals all the necessary forms except for the research proposal, list of permissions, and budget proposal, which may be filed jointly.