These grants are made possible in part by donations to the SMT-Forward campaign.


SMT Subventions are awarded on a competitive basis for scholarly projects that advance the discipline. They are intended to reimburse scholars for costs incurred with the preparation and publishing of an article or book that has been accepted for publication; they are not to be used for textbooks or books published by for-profit presses. Subventions may be used in exceptional cases to reimburse scholars for costs associated with organizing conferences or leading workshops that make a substantial contribution to the field. Subventions are not intended to fund research-related or conference travel.


Subventions are awarded to SMT members in good standing. (Members of the Subventions Committee are ineligible in the year of their service.)

SMT members may receive subventions once over a three-year period, and only one SMT subvention grant will be awarded to support a given project. Priority will be given to applications from junior scholars.

For publication requests, subvention funds may be applied to the copying and setting of musical examples, the payment of copyright or permission fees, the production of graphic and illustrative material, and the development of any relevant computer software, audio material, or other multi-media components essential to the publication. Funds are not intended to support the basic costs of publication (copyediting, in-house production, printing, binding, or distribution, including open access).

Subventions are not awarded for travel to the SMT Annual Meeting or for Interest Group or Standing Committee activities at the Annual Meeting. (However, events external to the Annual Meeting, such as pre-conference activities, can be eligible for Subventions if they fit the guidelines above.) Applicants who seek funding for travel to the Annual Meeting should instead consult the guidelines for Travel Grants (including Family Care Grants); costs associated with Interest Group or Standing Committee activities at the Annual Meeting should refer to the Subventions for Events at the Annual Meeting


Applicants may request funding up to $1500; however, given the limited funds available and the desire to support as many deserving requests as possible, grants may be made in smaller amounts.

Applicants are encouraged to seek out matching funding from their home institutions. 


Awards are adjudicated by the Subventions Committee, which is chaired by the Society's Vice President.

Decisions for the awards are based on (a) the scholarly value of the project and its potential to contribute to the field; and (b) the need for the subvention and the impact the subvention will have on the success of the project.

Where a publication, conference, workshop, or other project has been supported by an SMT Subvention, grant recipients should acknowledge the subvention in the publication, conference or workshop program, or other appropriate location.

Grant recipients will be expected to submit receipts to the Treasurer of the Society, documenting all expenses covered by the award, within three years of the date of the award. Members may not request reimbursement of any expenses that have been covered or that will be covered by a grant from another source.

All authors are strongly encouraged to submit abstracts of their publications directly to RILM; editors of multi-author collections are urged, when possible, to publish abstracts in their volumes that RILM may use for indexing purposes.

Application process

A Subvention Grant Application should be submitted electronically.

Applications must include the following items:

  1. Contact information
  2. Brief professional biography, including past/current research interests and publications
  3. Information about other subvention funding for which you plan to apply (or have already applied)
  4. Abstract (ca. 1000 words) describing the project and its contribution to the field of music theory
  5. For publications: copy of the article in question, or for a book, drafts of one or two chapters
  6. For publications: letter to the author from the publisher or journal editor, confirming acceptance of the publication, and informing the author about expenses that the publisher or journal will not cover (likely distinct from, and more detailed than, the original letter of acceptance)
  7. For conferences/workshops: documentation from the host organization and/or funding body, confirming the viability of the conference, and informing the organizer/leader about expenses that the institution/funding body will and will not cover
  8. Detailed explanation of the expenses to which the grant would be applied
  9. If possible, documentation itemizing these expenses

File attachments should be in PDF format

 The deadline for applications each year is July 31st. Results will be announced by August 31st.

Contact the committee with any further questions.