Internships and Scholarships

IMLI Internship

In collaboration with the Gorky Institute of World Literature (Институт мировой литературы имени А. М. Горького РАН) we offer a 4-6 week IMLI internship to qualified folklore expedition volunteers.

Interns work with IMLI staff to edit about 60 pages of draft English translations of scholarly articles. Interns must have native speaker fluency in English. Knowledge of Russian is helpful but not required.

Internships are offered only to participants in one of the folklore expeditions sponsored by American Friends of Russian Folklore, either before or after the internship.

The position is unpaid, but IMLI provides an inexpensive homestay in Moscow for the duration of the internship. Also, IMLI staff will expedite any personal research projects (related to Russian literature, philology or folklore) which the intern wishes to carry out, either in the IMLI archives or elsewhere.

Internships last 4-6 weeks, and are scheduled at the mutual convenience of the intern and IMLI staff, typically in June or September.

How to apply for an internship

  1. Complete and submit the Internship and Volunteer Application form.
  2. Arrange for a letter of recommendation (on letterhead, signed and scanned if appropriate) to be sent via email or our address.


AFRF offers two scholarships in 2020. Each scholarship is for $2000.

Our K12 scholarship, sponsored by the Indiana University Russian & East European Institute, is restricted to K-12 teachers and curriculum specialists working in American schools. Recipients are required to produce a curriculum unit which we may share on our website.

Our open scholarship is available to any American citizen or permanent resident, 18 or older. We are especially looking for candidates who will help us to further American understanding of traditional village life.   Past open scholarship recipients have included undergraduate students, graduate students, elementary school teachers, journalists, a film producer  and a professional photographer. Recipients are required to produce a paper, article, exhibit or other work about folklore or about their experience on the expedition, which we will then share with the public.

How to Apply for a Scholarship.

  1. Complete and submit the Scholarship and Volunteer Application form.
  2. Arrange for a letter of recommendation (on letterhead, signed and scanned if appropriate) to be sent via email or to our address.

The deadline for scholarship applications is January 31, 2020. You can follow our Facebook page for any future announcements, or contact us at: if you would like to be placed on our mailing list.

Scholarship FAQ

Do I have to speak Russian or other local language to get a scholarship?

Speaking the local language helps, but it’s not a requirement.

Do I have to be a folklore major or an ethnomusicologist?

No.  You don’t even have to be in academia.

So what kind of people are you looking for?

We’re looking for people who are excited about learning something about village folklore on an expedition and sharing it with Americans afterwards.  Scholars can do this.  So can artists, musicians, authors, journalists, film-makers, middle-school teachers, etc.  We consider them all.

There must be SOME restrictions.

You must be a US citizen or permanent resident, 18 or older, and a good team member. In addition, you must provide a physician’s statement that you have the physical, emotional and mental health to handle conditions in the field.

What does the scholarship cover?

The scholarship applies toward your expedition fee. This fee covers expenses from day one to the end of the expedition, including room, board & transport from the rendezvous point to the village and back. Your travel between the rendezvous point and your home, and any food and lodging before and after the expedition, are not covered.

If the expedition fee exceeds the scholarship amount, you are responsible for the difference.

What do I have to do in return?

We require that you share something from your expedition experience with your community. For K12 teachers this generally means a curriculum unit which we can share on our website. Open scholarship recipients may mount a public exhibit or make a public presentation of some kind, or provide us with a piece of work which describes or draws on your expedition experience– an essay, a paper, a movie, an article, a podcast, an artwork – anything we can post on our website and share with others.  Failure to fulfill this requirement will result in repayment of the scholarship in full.

Our Past Scholarship Recipients

See Also