Shutler Women in Archaeology Fund

The Dr. Elizabeth Shutler Women in Archaeology Fund (SWAF) was established by Dr. Shutler’s family to honor her exemplary career and to sponsor women conducting research projects using collections curated at the San Diego Archaeological Center (SDAC).

Fund Overview
Conducting Ethnoarchaeology on Island of Wusi, Vanuatu (formerly New Hebrides) 1950s. Photo Credit: Shutler Family

Up to four awards of $1,000 each will be granted annually.  Additional funds may be available to awardees.


Application Deadline/Timeline:  Applications will be reviewed and awarded twice a year. Funded projects are expected to commence within six months of award acceptance and completed within one year from commencement, unless specified in the proposed schedule provided in the application.

Next application deadline: December 31, 2022
Awardees announced: February 1, 2023

  • Grants are open to scholars and students who identify as women
  • Proposed research must include the use of collections curated at the San Diego Archaeological Center.
  • Undergraduate applicants and those without a four-year degree must conduct proposed research under the approval and direction of an academic advisor from their enrolled academic institution
  • Proposed research is not fully funded from another source
  • Grants are not open to previous recipients of SWAF

Application and Review

A written application must be submitted that clearly states the research objective(s), literature review, methods, significance, achievable research results, schedule, budget, and plan for dissemination. Applicant information, resume/CV, proof of degree or academic enrollment, most recent transcripts, and two letters of recommendation are also required.

Application Form

Applications will be reviewed by the SDAC Education Committee and Collections Manager twice a year and submitted to the SDAC Executive Director and Board of Trustees for final approval. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis according to funds available in a given fiscal year. SDAC reserves the right to not award a grant in any cycle if no proposal of sufficient merit is received.

Awards are primarily based on the following criteria:

  1. How will the proposed research advance the knowledge and understanding of the archaeology of San Diego and the surrounding region?
  2. To what extent will the proposed research utilize archaeological collections curated at SDAC?
  3. Is the plan for carrying out the proposed research well-reasoned and well-organized?

Also, to be considered: quality of project design, originality of project, scholarly significance of project to the field of archaeology, feasibility of project and schedule, and qualifications of applicant.

Regulations and Fund Disbursement
Lahav Research Project Tell Halif, Israel 1977. Photo Credit: Shutler Family

Funds are available for:
• Research expenses including supplies, equipment, and travel
• Analytic testing, e.g., obsidian hydration, geochemical analysis, C-14, etc.
• Publication costs
• Clerical and technical support
• Journal fees
• Office supplies, postage, copying and related expenses
• Other purposes that enhance the preservation and understanding of cultural resources

Funds are not available for:
• Salary replacement
• Educational expenses
• Living expenses
• Indirect costs
• Previous expenditures, deficits, or repayment of loans
• Institutional (overhead) costs
• Tuition for additional coursework

SDAC regards the acceptance of an award as a contract requiring fulfillment of the following terms:

• All recipients are required to sign a contract as acceptance of the award within 2 weeks of notification
• Any changes in research plans, including deferment, require the written approval from SDAC. SDAC must be notified promptly of any change in the status of an application resulting from acceptance of another award
• A member of the SDAC Board of Trustees will be appointed to oversee recipient’s funded research
• The grant will be awarded in two equal 45% payments at the beginning and the midpoint of the grant term (pending receipt of a satisfactory midterm progress report)
• Payment of the final 10% will be contingent upon submission of written research results within six months of the end of the grant term
• Any tax liability associated with the receipt of a grant is the sole responsibility of the applicant; specific questions regarding income tax matters should be addressed to the Internal Revenue Service, the applicant’s financial aid office, or a personal tax adviser (SDAC is a nonprofit, tax- exempt 501(c)(3) public charity)
• An itemized listing of how funds were spent is required with submission of the final paper
• SDAC must be credited in all publications concerning the project
• Recipients must give a presentation of their research at a public lecture series hosted by SDAC

80th Birthday Celebration at SDAC

Dr. Shutler was a groundbreaking anthropologist when there were few women in the field. With wide ranging interests, she conducted research in the Great Basin, California, the Southwest, Oceania (particularly Vanuatu), and Israel. Dr. Shutler served as Chair of the Anthropology Departments at San Diego State University and Washington State University; Dean of Arts and Letters at University of Alaska, Fairbanks; Vice Chancellor/Dean of Faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Parkside; and Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Cal State University, Los Angeles where she was involved in revitalizing the university and in developing its academic vision. After retiring from CSULA, Dr. Shutler continued at West Coast University and ended her career at National University in San Diego.

Questions? Please contact Stephanie Sandoval, Deputy Director at

Collections Research

With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will identify, design, and conduct an original research project that uses the Center’s archaeological collections. The intern will formulate a plan for public dissemination of the project results as a journal publication, a museum exhibit, or a public class or lecture. During the course of the research and dissemination planning, the intern will receive training in research design, collections management, artifact analysis, and exhibit design and production as appropriate to the selected project.

Archaeology Lab Positions

Volunteers will prepare one or more archaeological collections for curation. Center staff will instruct the volunteer on archaeological laboratory procedures such as basic artifact analysis, manual and computer cataloging, storage requirements, and preventative conservation.


Exhibitions Volunteers assist with the design, construction, and installation of Center Museum exhibits.

Volunteers work in the Center’s Research Library, cataloguing materials and organizing on a computer-based system.

Marketing and Administrative Volunteers assist the Development Office or Administration Office with data entry, updating marketing materials and clerical tasks. Computer experience is a plus.

Docents welcome visitors and answer general questions regarding the Center and exhibits. Docents staff the gift shop and help out with administrative and curatorial tasks.

Volunteers support event activities at the Center, such as the Annual BBQ, lectures, workshops, and fundraising events. Be a part of the party!

Volunteer provide support for K-12 programs offered at the Center. These are fun, hands-on programs that kids really enjoy. Teaching experience is a plus, but not required. Background checks are required.

Collections Management

With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will prepare one or more archaeological collections for curation. During the course of the internship, the intern will learn to identify artifacts and ecofacts common to the San Diego region, including lithics, ceramics, historical objects, and faunal, botanical, and mineral specimens. Center staff will instruct the intern on archaeological laboratory procedures such as basic artifact analysis, manual and computer cataloguing, storage requirements, and preventative conservation. In addition, the intern will become familiar with historical trends in archaeological practice in the San Diego area and will be introduced to current legal and ethical issues in archaeological curation as well as the concerns and rights of culturally affiliated groups with regard to archaeological materials.

Development and Marketing

Under the direction of Center staff, the intern will support the department in various activities, including, but not limited to, fundraising and grant research; e-newsletter development; social media marketing; tour web app content creation, integration, and management; and website maintenance. This internship will give the intern valuable, real-world experience in non-profit fundraising and marketing.

Geographical Information Systems in Archaeology

Prospective Interns must have completed three courses: Introduction to GIS, GIS Database Management, and Intermediate/Advanced Methods in GIS. The intern will be assigned a project where they will create shapefiles and maps for curated archaeological collections, museum exhibits, and/or public outreach using ArcGIS 10.6. Center staff will instruct the intern on archaeological GIS laboratory procedures such as computer cataloguing, storage requirements, and database management.

Library Science

With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will arrange and catalog materials in the Center’s library. During the course of the internship, the intern will take a leading role in the cataloging, sorting and storing of research files and creating user guides for these collections. Center staff will instruct the intern on archival procedures, computer cataloging, storage requirements, and preventative conservation.

Public Archaeology

With the assistance of Center staff, interns will research, design, and produce a project that educates the public about archaeology or a related field using the Center’s archaeological collections. Interns may create virtual museum exhibits and related activities, develop curricula for K-12 programs in line with current content standards, or plan and present a public class or lecture. Per approval, special projects of the intern’s choosing are also available. During the course of the research and planning, the intern will receive guidance as appropriate to the selected project.