Rome Prize

Kevin Benham holds up a translucent glass or plexiglas rectangular sign with the word TIME on it
Kevin Benham, a 2021 Fellow in landscape architecture, in his studio at the American Academy in Rome (photograph by Giorgio Benni)


For over a century, the American Academy in Rome has awarded the Rome Prize to support innovative and cross-disciplinary work in the arts and humanities. Each year, the prize is awarded to about thirty artists and scholars who represent the highest standard of excellence and who are in the early or middle stages of their careers.

Fellowships are awarded in the following disciplines:

  • Ancient studies
  • Architecture
  • Design: includes graphic, industrial, interior, exhibition, set, costume, and fashion design, urban design, city planning, engineering, and other design fields
  • Historic preservation and conservation
  • Landscape architecture: includes environmental design and planning, landscape/ecological urbanism, landscape history, sustainability and ecological studies, and geography
  • Literature: includes fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry
  • Medieval studies
  • Modern Italian studies
  • Musical composition
  • Renaissance and early modern studies
  • Visual arts: includes painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, film and video, installation, new media, digital arts, and other visual-arts fields

Each Rome Prize winner is provided with a stipend, meals, a bedroom with private bath, and a private workspace. Those with children under eighteen live in partially subsidized apartments nearby. Winners of half- and full-term fellowships receive stipends of $16,000 and $28,000, respectively.

Rome Prize winners are the core of the Academy’s residential community, which includes Affiliated Fellows, Residents, and Visiting Artists and Scholars.

Owing to the dollar/euro exchange rate and the high cost of living in Rome, the stipends offered may not cover all expenses. This is especially true for Rome Prize winners who come to Rome with families. The American Academy in Rome welcomes spouses, companions, and children of Rome Prize winners. However, Fellows with families often incur expenses that exceed the Fellow’s stipend, so those wishing to bring their families are advised to supplement their stipends with additional funds.

Full-term fellowships generally run from early September through the following June. Winners of half-term fellowships may indicate a preference to begin in September or February.


Applicants for all Rome Prize Fellowships, except those applying for the National Endowment for the Humanities postdoctoral fellowship, must be United States citizens at the time of the application.

US citizens, and those foreign nationals who have lived in the United States for three years immediately preceding the application deadline, may apply for the National Endowment for the Humanities postdoctoral fellowships in ancient studies, medieval studies, Renaissance and early modern studies, or modern Italian studies.

Graduate students in the humanities may apply for predoctoral fellowships only if they are all but dissertation (ABD).

Undergraduate students are not eligible for Rome Prize Fellowships.

Previous winners of the Rome Prize are not eligible to reapply.

Collaborators may submit joint applications provided their work is genuinely collaborative, as demonstrated by the materials submitted. In the case of joint applications, each individual must meet all eligibility requirements. Joint applications must be submitted in one package with one of the collaborators serving as the primary applicant. Joint applicants selected as winners will share one prize (i.e., room and board, stipend, and work space).

Winners of the Rome Prize may hold other fellowships concurrently, as long as the requirements do not conflict with the winner’s full participation in the Academy community. Applicants are required to disclose all fellowships and awards they expect to hold during their proposed residency in Rome, including sabbatical pay.

Rome Prize winners may not hold a full-time job during the fellowship term. Winners may undertake part-time work commitments—including scholarly or artistic work that is not related to the Rome Prize project—provided that this work does not interfere with the winner’s full participation in the Academy community.

Deadlines & Fees

The deadline for applications is November 1. Applications are also accepted between November 2 and 15 for an additional fee.

November 1

$40 if submitting one application
$50 if submitting two or more applications

November 15

$70 if submitting one application
$80 if submitting two or more applications

There is no application fee for those applying solely for NEH postdoctoral fellowships.

The deadline for letters of recommendation is November 30. Applicants in literature, musical composition, and visual arts are not required to provide letters of recommendation, but those applicants must provide the names and contact information for three references.

Selection Process

Nine juries, representing a broad cross-section of leaders in the various Rome Prize disciplines, are appointed annually to judge the candidate pool. The juries convene in January and February to select finalists for each category. Those applicants selected as finalists will be invited to interview with the jurors via video conference in February or March 2022 (see below for the interview schedule). The winners are approved by the Academy’s Board of Trustees and announced in April.

The jurors’ primary criterion is excellence. They will consider the quality of an applicant’s submission and select candidates who are not only outstanding in their respective fields, but also at a point in their careers when the Rome Prize is likely to be crucial to their future growth and development.

Read lists of Rome Prize jurors from the past few years.

Finalist Interviews

Applicants who are selected as finalists will be contacted three to four weeks prior to the interview date scheduled for their category.

Interview schedule to be announced. Please check back.

Project Funding

In order to facilitate cross-disciplinary work and the dissemination of scholarly and artistic production during a Fellow’s residency, project funding is available to Rome Prize winners. Projects will be considered that involve collaborative work between AAR Fellows, members of other national academies, and/or cultural and academic institutions in Rome. This work should take place during the fellowship year and may take the form of publications, symposia, exhibitions, site-specific projects, or any project with a public component.