Research Grants on the History of Collections 2021-2022

For a second consecutive year, the BnF and the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac are jointly proposing two grants with the aim of facilitating research undertaken by French or foreign post-doctoral candidates and university researchers on the subject of the history of non-European collections within their two institutions.

Proposals must be related to non-European collections, collectors, or expeditions/missions in relation to the cultural and chronological context of a specific collection (which may not necessarily be colonial in nature, although this is preferred). It must involve both the collections and/or archives of the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The ultimate objective, in this case, is to map the collections of public institutions on a large scale, making it possible to make a link between archives and objects in order to better understand the history of the collections.

For the year 2021-2022, the topics proposed by the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac (MQB-JC) and the National Library of France are:

  • Cross-history of the BnF / MQB-JC collections
  • The Dakar-Djibouti Mission (1931-1933)

Throughout the year, selected candidates work in collaboration with a scientific advisor appointed by each of the institutions and are required to write both a  status report and an academic article to be submitted for publication. Their work will be exhibited within the various bodies presenting the research results at both the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

These grants aim to provide writing assistance and do not correspond to funding for field research. They are awarded for a period of 12 months (non-renewable) from September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2022. Each of them provides an annual amount of 10,000 euros.

They are allocated after applications are evaluated by a jury composed of researchers and curators from the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. There are no specific nationality requirements, but applicants must have an academic level in French and in English.

How to apply

Grant applications must be sent via a specific form during the call for applications period.

Download the application form Download the rules of procedure (in French)

In order for it to be registered, two copies of the complete application file and the rules of procedure, both dated and signed, must be sent before Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at midnight:

  • By email, to the following addresses: and Applicants are requested to combine the various documents in the application file into a single PDF file (which doesn’t exceed 5 megabytes). The file must be named according to the following model: LASTNAME_candidatureCOLLECTIONS_2021.pdf
  • By post (with “Candidature Bourse Collections” written on the envelope) with the application file and the rules of procedure, both dated and signed, to the following two addresses:

Département de la recherche et de l’enseignement
Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac
222, rue de l’Université
75343 Paris Cedex 07


Délégation aux relations internationales
Bibliothèque nationale de France
Quai François-Mauriac
75706 Paris Cedex 13, France


2020-2021 grants

For this first edition of research grants on the history of collections, the recipients were:

  • Iris Farkhondeh, postdoctoral researcher working in the Indian Studies research group of the Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle (EPHE/Paris 3), for the project “Exploring perspectives of Kashmir by philologists and photographers at the end of the 19th century through the collections brought together by Aurel Stein and Alfred Foucher (Indianists), along with Isabelle Massieu (explorer)”.
  • Marine Vallée, curator at the Musée de Tahiti et des Îles and postdoctoral member of the research laboratory EATSCO EA4241 (Université de la Polynésie française), for the project “Traces of collections and expositions: French Polynesia in the Parisian museum landscape”.


Contact at BnF

Valeria Fayad

Chargée de mission pour les relations internationales

Téléphone : 33(0) 1 53 79 88 23