Rome Prize FAQ

Color photograph of a light skinned man looking at fragments of Roman stone inscriptions embedded on a wall
Andrew Lund, a 2023 Rome Prize Fellow in ancient studies, examines the inscriptions embedded in the walls of the McKim, Mead & White Building arcade (photograph by Daniele Molajoli)

The application portal for the next Rome Prize competition will open in August 2024. The deadline for applying will be November 1, 2024, with an extended deadline of November 15 for an additional fee. Please read on for more information about the competition.

General Information and Application

What is offered if I win a Rome Prize fellowship?

Rome Prize winners are invited to Rome to immerse themselves in the Academy community where they will enjoy a once in a lifetime opportunity to expand their own professional, artistic, or scholarly pursuits, drawing on their colleagues’ erudition and experience and on the inestimable resources that Italy, Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Academy have to offer.

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-term and full-term fellowships receive stipends of $16,000 and $30,000, respectively.

Is the fellowship open to all?

No. Applicants for Rome Prize fellowships must be United States citizens at the time of application, except for those applying for the NEH postdoctoral fellowship in the humanities (ancient studies, medieval studies, Renaissance and early modern studies, and/or modern Italian studies). US citizens and those foreign nationals who have lived in the US for the three years immediately preceding the application deadline may apply for the NEH postdoctoral fellowships. Additionally, undergraduate students are not eligible for Rome Prize Fellowships and previous winners of the Rome Prize are not eligible to reapply.

Is there a fee for applying?

Yes. Applications submitted on or before November 1 require a $40 application fee. Applications submitted between November 2 and 15 require a $70 application fee. Applicants applying in more than one field, whose application is submitted on or before November 1, must submit a $50 application fee. Applicants applying in more than one field, whose application is submitted from November 2 through 15, must submit a $80 application fee.

May I submit more than one application?

Applicants may submit applications to multiple categories for an additional fee (see below). The applicant must complete separate application forms for each category. Applicants may not submit more than one application in any one category (i.e., do not submit separate applications for sculpture and painting, only one visual arts application will be accepted).

Applicants applying in more than one field, whose application is submitted on or before November 1, must submit a $50 application fee. Applicants applying in more than one field, whose application is submitted from November 2 through 15, must submit a $80 application fee.

Is the fellowship open to applicants who work collaboratively?

Yes. Collaborating artists and/or scholars may submit joint applications provided that the work is genuinely collaborative in nature 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 dossier with one of the collaborators serving as the primary applicant. Joint applicants selected as winners will each receive the full Rome Prize offering (i.e., individual room and board, a full stipend, and private work space).

How much is the stipend?

Winners of full-term fellowships receive a stipend of $30,000, and winners of half-term fellowships receive $16,000.

When is the Rome Prize application deadline?

The deadline for applying is November 1. We do offer an extended deadline of November 15 for an additional fee. No applications will be accepted after November 15.

Do you accept late applications?

We offer an extended deadline until November 15 for an additional fee. No applications will be accepted after November 15.

What is the schedule of the fellowship residency?

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

Should the project proposal be related to Rome?

In the case of scholars, preference will be given to applicants for whom research time in Italy, and especially in the city of Rome, is essential. For artists, a demonstration of a need to be in Rome, or Italy, is NOT strictly necessary, however jurors tend to respond especially positively to proposals of projects that would clearly benefit from time in Rome or Italy.

Should the material submitted for review be related to Rome?

Material submitted for review does not need to be related to Rome. The primary criterion for the Rome Prize is excellence. Applicants should send examples of their strongest recent work.

When do you notify the applicants?

All applicants will be notified by mid-March.

If not selected, may I apply again?

Yes. We encourage applicants to apply again if not selected. Academy juries change every year, and a previous application in no way compromises an applicant’s chances of winning a future fellowship. Many Rome Prize Fellows have applied more than once before being selected.

Residential Life

What type of accommodations are provided?

Each Rome Prize winner is provided a living space and a private workspace. Living spaces are allocated based on the number of people.

The standard offering for a single Rome Prize winner is a single room with a single bed, a private bathroom, and a separate study or studio, all at no cost.

Rome Prize winners with a spouse or registered domestic partner will be assigned a double room with a private bathroom and a separate study or studio. A nominal fee will be charged for the larger room.

Rome Prize winners with children will be assigned a multibedroom apartment in a building adjacent to the Academy and will also be provided with a separate study or studio. Discounted monthly rent will be charged for family lodging.

May I bring my family with me to Rome?

Yes. The American Academy in Rome warmly welcomes spouses/domestic partners and children of Rome Prize winners. The Academy is one of few institutions of its kind with special facilities and support for families. Families are an important part of the social fabric of AAR. As a city, Rome is a particularly welcoming place for small children.

All Rome Prize winners should bear in mind that fellowships are funded to support the single individual who is the winner of the Rome Prize. Those who come with families will incur additional costs, including:

  • discounted rent for family lodging
  • discounted rate for meals for children and family members taken at AAR (meals for Rome Prize winners are included with their fellowship at no cost)

Arranging for local schools and childcare is the responsibility of the Rome Prize winner. However, AAR maintains an active list of childcare services and is able to provide information and contact for schools. The Academy also provides a special orientation for families when they arrive.

May I bring my pet?

No. Animals are NOT permitted at the American Academy in Rome. Anyone arriving with an animal will be asked to find outside kennel accommodations.

Are meals provided?

Rome Prize winners are provided with lunch and dinner Monday through Friday. Meals for spouses, companions, and/or children will be offered at a subsidized rate. See Rome Sustainable Food Project below for more information

Are the Academy buildings accessible?

We strive to accommodate Fellows with physical challenges, however due to the historic nature of our physical plant we may not be able to suitably accommodate everyone. The city of Rome may also present increased complications due to uneven pathways, infrastructures, etc. Please reach out to us if you have any concerns and would like to speak with us in more detail about accessibility at the American Academy in Rome.

Is travel to Rome provided?

Rome Prize winners are required to pay for their own travel to Rome. The Rome Prize winner will receive their first stipend payment four to six weeks before the Academy opens. This payment is substantially larger than subsequent payments to help with the costs of travel.

Is health insurance included?

No. The Academy requires each Rome Prize winner and accompanying persons to have health insurance coverage and hospitalization insurance, including major medical. Proof of insurance must be provided before the residency begins.

Is speaking Italian a requirement?

No. Speaking Italian is not required for application to the Rome Prize. However, if you receive the Rome Prize, life in Rome will be much simpler if you come to Italy with at least the basics of the language. The Academy provides a subsidized intensive Italian course to Rome Prize winners shortly after their arrival.

May I work while in Rome?

Rome Prize winners may not hold full-time jobs while at the Academy. The Academy recognizes in some instances a winner may find it necessary to supplement their income with other awards, or that he or she may be commissioned to complete scholarly or artistic work while in Rome. 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.

Are Rome Prize Winners permitted to be away during their Fellowships?

The Academy requires Rome Prize winners to avoid taking on obligations that will necessitate their leaving Rome for extended periods during their fellowship term. Recipients of a half-term Fellowship may be absent for no more than three weeks during the Fellowship; Recipients of a full-term Fellowship may be absent for no more than six weeks. Absences of greater duration may result in a reduction of the Fellowship stipend, or the termination of the Fellowship and the loss of Fellowship title, benefits, and status.

What are the expectations of Rome Prize winners while in residence at the Academy?

During orientation, Rome Prize winners are asked to give a five-minute presentation explaining their Rome Prize project. During their fellowship term, they give a Shop Talk—a 30-minute presentation about their current work—and attend those of others. Before departure, they are required to submit a one-page final report describing the outcomes of their artistic or scholarly pursuits while at the Academy and are asked to complete a questionnaire about day-to-day life at the AAR.

How does the American Academy in Rome promote a safe space?

The Academy is a professional community at all times, and Academy policy strictly prohibits conduct that is harassing, discriminatory, or retaliatory. The Academy is committed to a community and work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, and are free from harassment of any type, including but not limited to violence or physical harassment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and/or discriminatory conduct or language that is based on an individual’s race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, or disability.

Rome Sustainable Food Project

What is the Rome Sustainable Food Project (RSFP)?

The RSFP is a participatory eco-gastronomic endeavor that supports the mission of the Academy. The RSFP kitchen cooks seasonally and sustainably. Menus are inspired by the seasonal and organic produce of local farmers and the cooking techniques of Rome and Lazio.

Founded in 2006 under the guidance of Alice Waters, the central mission of the Rome Sustainable Food Project is to nourish and support both work and conviviality at the AAR community table.

Do Rome Prize winners pay for meals provided by the RSFP?

All Rome Prize winners are invited to lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday, at no cost.

The Rome Prize fellowship does not include free meals for accompanying spouses/partners and children. Meals for spouses/partners and children are offered at subsidized rates.

Are the spouses/partners and children of Rome Prize Winners invited to meals?

Spouses/partners are welcome to attend all meals, lunch and dinner Monday through Friday. Children may join their parents for lunch, Monday through Friday, and for dinners on Wednesday and Friday. Other dinners are more formal and geared toward having guests from outside the Academy community.

Does the RSFP prepare meals on weekends?

The RSFP does not serve meals on Saturday or Sunday, nor do they serve breakfast any day of the week.

Is the RSFP a restaurant?

The RSFP is not a restaurant nor a cafeteria. The kitchen prepares food for the same group of people daily with a keen awareness to nutritional balance, intelligent eating, and conscious consumption.

How are RSFP meals served?

Lunch is served buffet style while dinner is served plated or on platters passed at the table. The kitchen also prepares picnic lunches for fellows who are out during lunch.

Are Rome Prize winners required to take meals from the RSFP?

Working from the premise that food builds society, the Academy expects Rome Prize Winners to participate regularly in the communal dining experience provided by the RSFP. We recognize that Rome Prize Winners may need to miss lunch if their Roman work site is too far away to return, but apart from that missing the community's meals is strongly discouraged.

Are Rome Prize winners required to work with the RSFP?

No, Rome Prize winners are welcome to simply enjoy the meals provided by the RSFP. However, those interested in learning more about the project will have opportunities to volunteer in the kitchen or garden.

Will the RSFP cater to my specific dietary request?

Due to its capacity and structure, the RSFP may not be able to accommodate specific dietary requests.