Roosevelt Awards & Research Grants

The Roosevelt Institute has long recognized the outstanding achievements of those whose lives exemplify the values and legacy of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
The Four Freedoms Medals

Each year, the Roosevelt Institute awards Four Freedoms Medals to individuals who exemplify President Roosevelt's vision of the Four Freedoms – people who demonstrate their commitment to that vision through their life and work. The Institute sponsors medal ceremonies in alternate years in the United States, recognizing American achievement, and in Middelburg, The Netherlands, recognizing international achievement. The ceremonies are invariably impressive, deeply moving, and provide a unique opportunity to understand the forces that form and motivate exceptional public figures.

“My father, with his fourth-grade education and two fingers with the missing tips from the mix-up at the cotton gin, got it when Roosevelt spoke. ‘I can’t talk like him,’ he said, ‘but I sure do think like him.' …he got it when Roosevelt said that private power no less than public power can bring America to ruin in the absence of democratic controls.”        
                                       -- Bill Moyers, 2007 Freedom of Speech Medalist

Among the laureates have been Presidents Truman, Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi, Cornel West, Carlos Fuentes, Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, Studs Terkel and many more. Click here to learn more about the 2012 Four Freedoms laureates or click here to view the full list of past laureates.

The FDR distinguished public service award

An award for those who demonstrate a lifetime commitment to outstanding public service, the FDR Distinguished Public Service Award celebrates national leaders from all areas of civil society. First presented to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2008, the Award has provided occasion to reflect upon the values that inspire leadership and public service - values that Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt exemplified throughout their lives.


Presented jointly by the Roosevelt Institute and the Society of American Historians, the Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Award commemorates a lifetime's achievement by a distinguished historian whose work is of enduring public significance.  Established in 2008, the Award was first presented to William E. Leuchtenberg, the William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of American History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  Joyce Oldham Appleby, Professor Emerita of History at the University of California, Los Angeles, received the second Schlesinger Award in 2009.  In 2010, the Award will be presented to James MacGregor Burns, Woodrow Wilson Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Williams College.  

The International Disability Award

Established in the mid 1990s, this recognition brings high visibility to the human rights and inclusion into civil society of persons with disabilities. The award encourages United Nations member states to work toward full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all societal areas in keeping with United Nations Standards set forth in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  Read more about this award.

On December 3, 2012, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice and the Roosevelt Institute announced Spain as the winning nation of the Franklin D. Roosevelt International Disability Rights Award.

The Naval History Prize

The Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Prize in Naval History was established in 1986 and is presented by the New York Council of the Navy League of the United States, the Roosevelt Institute, and the Theodore Roosevelt Association.  The Prize commemorates Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt, who both served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy before becoming Presidents of the United States.  The Prize is awarded to the author of the best book on American naval history published in the previous calendar year.  View winners of the prize.

Research Support Grants
The Roosevelt Institute supports a program of small grants-in-aid, not to exceed $2,500, in support of research on the "Roosevelt years" or clearly related subjects.  Grants are awarded annually. The deadline for grant submissions has been changed to November 15. Funds are awarded for the sole purpose of helping to defray living, travel, and related expenses incurred while conduction research at the Roosevelt Library. The grants program is particularly designed to encourage younger scholars to expand our knowledge and understanding of the Roosevelt period. Applicants should write:
Chairman, Grants Committee 

Roosevelt Institute 

4079 Albany Post Road 

Hyde Park, NY 12538
Criteria for Grants-In-Aid
Applicants are required to submit to the Chairman of the Grants Committee of the Institute an original grant application and one copy detailing the nature and scope of their research project, the names and institutions of three references, and a budget outlining the amount needed for travel, lodging, and any other research expenses.Each application is evaluated by the Library's archival staff to ascertain that there is material at the Library appropriate for the research topic, approximately how long such research might be expected to take, and per diem.
A panel of scholars and Institute Board members reviews the application, letters of reference, and the Library information sheets to determine the merits of each research topic and its potential contribution to scholarship. After appropriate discussion, a vote of the panel is taken: a) to fund or not, and b) whether to fund at the level requested by the applicant or the amount estimated by the Library's archival staff. Panel decisions are transmitted to the Executive Board of the Institute for final approval.
Letters are sent to all applicants informing them of the panel's decision. Grantees are informed that use of their grants is to occur within a year of their letter. When plans are firm, grantees are issued two checks totaling the amount of the award. One is mailed to them immediately in order to assist with travel; the other is given upon arrival at the Library when they begin their research.
Upon conclusion of their research, grantees are requested to submit a brief end-of-grant report to the Chairman of the Grants Committee; two copies of any publications resulting from their research are expected to be given to the Roosevelt Library and the Roosevelt Study Center in the Netherlands.