Methods Program

The US National Science Foundation has a long history—going back to the 1950s—of supporting methods training in cultural anthropology. In the relaunch of NSF’s 30-year summer program, the NSF Cultural Anthropology Methods program (CAMP) provides advanced methods training for Ph.D. students. Together, our 40 distinguished faculty draw on cutting-edge research to update and expand the anthropology methods toolkit. At the same time, we are building a community of practice—inviting all to join—that supports innovation in the teaching of research methods across the discipline.


We anticipate resuming the application process in Fall of 2024. All anthropology students enrolled in a Ph.D. program in the U.S. are invited to apply to NSF CAMP. Students must be enrolled in a U.S. university, but they are not required to be U.S. citizens. Preference will be given to students who (1) demonstrate that their dissertation will contribute to anthropology, (2) have a clearly stated research question or problem, (3) have a clear need for the methods instruction provided at CAMP. Students may come as novices in anthropological methods or may already have advanced methods skills, but all should be able to explain how participating in NSF CAMP will help them grow as researchers, practitioners, or teachers. There are 20 slots available in the NSF CAMP program each year. Deadline to apply will be February 1st.


Goal 1: Train Ph.D. students in research methods, research design, and proposal writing

Methods camp provides advanced anthropology research methods training to Ph.D. students in U.S. doctoral programs. Modules include research design, data collection and analysis, and collaboration on complex projects, as well as in decolonizing, Indigenous, and participatory methods. These skills will help students achieve professional success in a competitive employment landscape, both inside and outside the academy.

Goal 2: Create a community of practice for teaching research methods to anthropologists

We are building a community of practice to support innovation in the teaching of research methods cultural anthropology, and to expand the methods toolkit for research in our discipline. Our community will be built through online networking, public events, and collaborative research. This community includes our 40 distinguished faculty. All anthropologists are invited to join and participate.

Goal 3: Produce research-based findings on effective practices for methods teaching

Data on the impact of prior NSF programs show that intensive three-week camps had a significant impact on students’ future career trajectories. An important innovation for this proposal will be the involvement of an external evaluator who will assess the impact of specific teaching techniques. We will share our most impactful teaching practices to shape future graduate training in cultural anthropology.

Theme: Elation by Kaira.