Print Friendly, PDF & Email

An award from the George and Viola Hoffman Fund may be made annually for student research toward a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation on a geographical subject in Eastern Europe. Eastern Europe includes the countries of East Central and Southeast Europe from Poland south to Romania, Bulgaria, and the successor states of the former Yugoslavia. Topics may be historical or contemporary, systematic or regional, limited to a small area or comparative.

Applications: Applications must be submitted through our online application form.

The online application form will ask applicants to upload:
1. Their application: Limited to 2,500 words and should include:

  • a statement of the problem to be pursued;
  • methods to be employed, including field study;
  • schedule for the work;
  • competence in the language of the area; and
  • a bibliography of pertinent literature.

2. Each application should be accompanied by a letter stating the professional achievements and the goals of the individual

3. A letter of support from a sponsoring faculty member.

The funds available range from $350 to $500. Awards are announced at the AAG Annual Meeting.

Submissions: Digital submissions are strongly encouraged. Please submit your application through our online application form. In exceptional cases, paper submissions may be accepted, but only with prior approval (requests should be sent to grantsawards [at] aag [dot] org ).

Acknowledgement of receipt will be returned within a maximum of 2-3 business days. All applicants will be notified of the status of their submission within approximately 3 months after the deadline. Awardees may anticipate receiving their grants by late Spring, in time for summer scheduled fieldwork, if applicable.

About the Hoffmans: George W. Hoffman was one of the founding faculty of the department of Geography and the Environment at The University of Texas at Austin, where we served as a longtime distinguished faculty member, chair, and professor emeritus. Hoffman, an Austrian, was among the wave of talented Europeans who fled Nazi tyranny as a refugee in the approach to World War II and immigrated to the United States in 1939. He had completed his secondary education and had attended the University of Vienna. After arriving in America, he joined the United States Army and served in the Office of Strategic Services, or O.S.S., the precursor of the Central Intelligence Agency. His roots in Austria and his wartime work on the countries of southeastern Europe provided a personal and professional background that led him into a lifetime of study, research, and teaching in that region. Hoffman attended Harvard University and the University of Michigan for his doctoral work. His personal bibliography of publications include eight major books and nearly 150 scholarly articles, in addition to a college-level textbook on European geography that he co-authored with his wife, which produced six editions. He established the East European Program at the prestigious Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and created the Austin World Affairs Council, a group he founded and directed for 30 years. He met his wife Viola Smith while working for the O.S.S. in Washington, D.C. “One cannot comment on George Hoffman’s academic journey without conceding that much of his success was due to her. Renowned for her sociability, courteousness, and cucumber sandwiches, “Vi” was also George’s collaborator. With their collective traveled intelligence, together they created the respected textbook on Europe. Vi balanced George’s bounteous energy and unbridled enthusiasm with the calm, demanding eye of a first-rate editor.”
Photos and Biographical Information courtesy of The University Texas at Austin and Dr. Gregory Knapp.

For more information please visit