PIIRS Undergraduate Fellows
PIIRS administers a program aimed at facilitating summer international research for the senior thesis. The fellowships are available to students working in any discipline who are about to begin the second semester of their junior year on campus and are interested in conducting summer research abroad for their senior thesis.
Up to 10 juniors will be selected through a competitive application process. Those accepted into the program will work with a PIIRS-appointed academic adviser during the spring semester of their junior year to develop a proposal for summer senior thesis research abroad (including a budget). These students are also required to attend meetings on the logistics of engaging in international research.
Upon approval of the research proposal by the PIIRS director, a PIIRS Undergraduate Fellow will be eligible for $3,000–$6000 in funding to meet the entirety of their travel and other expenses related to summer research abroad. The PIIRS Undergraduate Fellows are obligated, in the spring of their senior year, to give a short presentation on their field-work experiences to the incoming junior cohort.
To apply, students must submit an application that includes a short statement outlining their senior thesis research interests; a statement of relevant course work, international experiences, or skills for carrying out research (for instance, foreign language skills); a copy of the most recent transcript; and one letter of recommendation from a professor or instructor familiar with the student’s work. Please do not send additional writing samples. All materials should be sent via email to Carole Frantzen.
Michael Laffan is a professor in the Department of History. He studies the history of Southeast Asia, with a current focus on Islam, nationalism, Dutch colonialism, and orientalism. Laffan’s most recent book, The Makings of Indonesian Islam: Orientalism and the Narration of a Sufi Past (2011), looks at the results of an engagement between Islamic reformers with intellectual links to Cairo and influential colonial scholars. His work in progress is an exploration of Indian Ocean mobilities and religious exchange in the 18th century. Ph.D. University of Sydney.
Class of 2016
Kujegi Camara , Anthropology, “Understanding Soninke Identity and History through Migration Narratives”; summer research in Gambia and Senegal