Application Procedure for PhD Thesis Support Grant related to the History of Pharmacy

The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy wishes to encourage academic research within its scope.  Therefore it offers a grant-in-aid totaling $2,000 or more annually 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 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; but applications thereafter will be considered individually if or when funds are available. The following guidelines should be considered in preparing an application:

I. 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 research and to share responsibility for proper expenditure of any funds awarded.  (See point 13 of application instructions.)

II. 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 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).

III. Project Expenses Covered

This program of the American Institute of the History of Pharmacy is intended solely to help eligible graduate students defray the direct costs of thesis research attributable to supplies and other 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 would be: computer time and assistance in programming; travel and maintenance at a site removed from the home university for research in sources necessary to the project; obtaining a photocopy or microform of essential sources; application of investigative methods unusual in the history of pharmacy. Examples of ineligible expenses would be: living expenses of the applicant at the home university; routine typing to produce research notes or the thesis manuscript; routine illustrations for the manuscript; and publication of research results. Indirect expenses, such as overhead and other institution-related costs, may not be included in a grant application. The maximum grant in this program of the Institute will be $2,000.

IV. 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 Director in 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 research project.

V. Deadline for Application

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

VI. Form of Application

The following categories of information must be included in an application of not more than four (4) single-spaced pages:

  1. Name, address, and telephone number of graduate student.
  2. Social Security number.
  3. Date of birth, and nationality.
  4. Education since high school, including the expected graduate degree and the major area of specialization.
  5. Name, address, and telephone number of the graduate faculty member responsible for supervising the applicant’s thesis research.
  6. Tentative title and short prospectus of the thesis. Indicate clearly the designation of the degree and the “major” for which the thesis is a requirement.
  7. 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.
  8. Itemized and annotated estimate of expenses for which a grant (up to $2,000) is being sought. Include only direct costs of the research project that the degree-granting institution cannot fund and does not normally fund.
  9. Total amount of thesis research expenses applied for and the estimated time period during which funds would be utilized. Address of the supervising professor through whom the grant shall be awarded.
  10. Brief statement of other financial support received or applied for, to be used within the period for which the AIHP grant is sought.
  11. Other information you consider important to proper consideration of your application.
  12. 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. I also agree to submit a paper based on some pharmacy-related aspect of my dissertation for consideration for publication in Pharmacy in History within one year of completion of the Ph.D.”
  13. Co-signature of faculty supervisor of thesis research, endorsing the statement, “I am willing to supervise the thesis research described in this application and accept responsibility for limiting my university’s expenditure of any grant awarded to the purposes stated in the application.”

VII. To File an Application, or to Obtain Further Information

  • Send a PDF of your complete application, including a scan of the documents with signatures, by email to:


  • Send 3 copies of your application by first-class mail to:
    Dr. Gregory J. Higby
    American Institute of the History of Pharmacy
    777 Highland Ave.
    Madison, Wisconsin 53705-2222
    Phone: (608) 262-5378Confirmation of receipt will be sent by email.