The Bead SiteHome> Center for Bead Research > Beck Grants


The Center for Bead Research (CBR) currently administers these grants. They are small, mini-grants (about $250 is the maximum) meant especially for students in developing countries. They are named in honor of the pioneer scientific bead researcher (see Bead Researchers Hall of Fame).

We would like to expand the reach of the Beck Funds. Now that we are on the Web, there will be more and more eligible students requesting grants. We need more financial backing from individuals and organizations that find this a worthy cause. To help out, e-mail me at the Office.

We are also looking for a partner to help us administer these grants, preferably a Bead Society or other bead organization. If your group is interested, email me here.

    For those applying for the grant we need:

  • Proof that you are a student in a developing country working on a specific bead project (letters from professors, for example).
  • A summary of your project and the costs involved.
  • A photo of you so we can post it.

For more information e-mail me at the Office.

The Beck Fund came about like this. I was recounting to Naomi Ruben, then President of the CMBS, a story from a student at the University of Ghana, Legon. He had done his "long paper" (roughly a BA thesis) on the use of shell in a coastal village. He had been given money from the University (about $10), but had spent about $100 for simple things like transportation, photocopying and photographs.

I said it would be great to help students in this situation. It would expand the general knowledge of beads. It might also encourage the student to do further work on beads. Eventually, there may build up a cadre of professional bead researchers.

Naomi thought it was a great idea and immediately pledged the CMBS' help. The CBR would select candidates and the CMBS would raise funds and administer the finances.

Naomi has gone on to other things. She has been succeeded at the CMBS and at her bead store, Originals, by Ayla Phillips, who was also eager to expand the Beck Fund's giving. In time, Ayla also found that she had too much to do (not that the grants take much time), asn so we are looking for another co-sponsor

To date, three grants have been awarded. Two have gone to an up-and-coming Indian bead researcher, Alok Kumar Kanungo. He has been studying the beads of tribal India and is a member of the Capitals of North India Bead Project.

The other small award went toward travel expenses for Jane Henrici of the University of Texas at Austin to present a paper at a conference in England about her work among Peruvian clay beadmakers.


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