Research Grants on the History of non-European Collections

Since 2020, the BnF and the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac are jointly proposing grants with the aim of facilitating research undertaken by French or foreign PhD students, post-doctoral candidates and university researchers on the subject of the history of non-European collections within their two institutions.

The recipients

For the year 2023-2024, the recipient is Olessia Koudriavtseva-Velmans, a doctorate in aesthetics, in charge of research and development of archive collections at the Institut d’études slaves as part of the NUMERISLAV Programme at the Centre d’Études Slaves and the UMR Eur’ORBEM - Cultures et sociétés d’Europe orientale, balkanique et médiane - at Sorbonne Université, for her project «Joseph de Baye’s Volga-Ural-Siberia Collections: Inter-institutional history of missions, journeys, images and ornaments».


For the year 2022-2023, the recipient is:

  • Vanessa Rose, doctor of archaeology, ethnology and prehistory, and lecturer in the history of Islamic Art at the Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales, for her project “A new look at the Croisière jaune: the expedition as seen through its objects”.

For 2021-2022, the recipients were:

  • María José Jarrín, PhD in Art History, for her project “Indigenous Objects and Artistic Images: Towards a Historical and Iconographical Recognition of the Practices of Franco-Ecuadorian Collecting during the First Half of the 20th Century”.
  • Benoît Roux, PhD in History and Research Engineer at the University of Rouen Normandy, for his project “The Foam of the World, From One Shore to the Other: Surveying and Contextualising the Exotica of the Museum of Antiquities from the 13th to 21st Centuries”.

For 2020-2021, 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”.

How to apply?


Applications for the year 2023-2024 are closed. You can however see the application requirements in the forms below.

Download the form

Download the rules (in French)


Proposals must be related to non-European collections, collectors, or expeditions/missions in relation to the cultural and chronological context of a specific collection. 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 2023-2024, the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and the BnF payed particular attention to the following subjects:

  • The treasure of Ségou
  • Pierre Verger photographic collection
  • Anthropology and history of techniques (particularly, but not exclusively, maritime or transport)
  • Lévi-Strauss collection
  • Condomina collection
  • Jean Rouch collection and ethnographic cinema archives

Throughout the year,  the selected candidate works in collaboration with a scientific advisor appointed by each of the institutions and is required to write both a status report and an academic article to be submitted for publication. His/her 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.

This grant aims to provide writing assistance and does not correspond to funding for field research. 10,000 € awarded for a period of 12 months (non-renewable) from September 1, 2023 to August 31, 2024.

It shall be 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.

Contact at BnF

Valeria Fayad

Chargée de mission pour les relations internationales

Téléphone : 33(0) 1 53 79 88 23