About Lemelson Funds

Funding for the Lemelson/SPA student fellowships and conference funds is made possible by a generous gift from the Robert Lemelson Foundation.

The Lemelson Student Fellows Program provides funds for initial field research for students normally in their first or second year of graduate school. The Lemelson/SPA Conference Fund provides funds for conferences at SPA members’ host institutions on significant topics in the field of psychological anthropology.

Robert Lemelson, Ph.D., is an anthropologist who received his M.A. from the University of Chicago, and his doctorate from the UCLA Department of Anthropology. He is currently a research anthropologist at the Semel Institute of Neurosciences at UCLA, and an assistant adjunct professor in the Department of Anthropology. He is also the president and founder of The Foundation for Psychocultural Research, a non-profit research foundation supporting research and training in the neurosciences and social sciences, and the director of Elemental Productions, a ethnographic documentary film production company. In addition, he is a director of the Lemelson Foundation, a family foundation supporting invention and innovation for basic human needs and sustainable development in the United States and the developing world.

As a practitioner and strong advocate of psychological anthropology, Dr. Lemelson personally began the Lemelson/SPA student fellows and conference funds programs in 2007 to encourage graduate student fieldwork in psychological anthropology and to support faculty conference gatherings meant to stimulate innovative and creative thinking in psychological anthropology. Through these programs, numerous graduate students have been enabled to establish field sites for themselves and several collections of scholars have been encouraged to meet, exchange ideas, and push the boundaries and frontiers of both theory and practice in psychological anthropology. Both programs are meant to stimulate and enhance the vibrancy and relevance of contemporary psychological anthropology.