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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.

The application deadline is December 12, 2014.

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.

For more information see PIIRS undergraduate funding on the PIIRS website or contact Carole Frantzen.

Fellowship Adviser


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

Azza Cohen , History, “Ministry of Mapmaking: The Processes, Legacies and Memories of the Partition of British India” summer research in England
 
William L. Hamel , Art and Architecture, “Athenian Phoenix: Self-Creation in the Ashes of Eleonas”; summer research in Greece
 
Tucker Jones , Woodrow Wilson School, “Turkish Foreign Policy toward Serbia”; summer research in Serbia and Turkey
 
Katherine Maffey, Near Eastern Studies, “Helmets and Hijabs: Gender Roles in the Jordanian Military”; summer research in Jordan
 
Michelle Nedashkovskaya, Politics, “The EU on the Ukraine Crisis:Germany’s Response and Its Ukrainian Reception”; summer research in Belgium and Germany
 
Veronica Nicholson, Art and Archeology, “The Resurrection of Ghost Cities: Re-Imagination and Preservation of Traditional Japanese Architecture”; summer research in Japan
 
Mitchell Shellman, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, “Autoimmunity and the Hygiene Hypothesis: A Study in Disease Co-incidence”; summer research in Vietnam
 
Jamie Shenk, History, “‘Ningún país entrega a sus hijos:’” Constructing Citizenship in Colombia, 1982–1990”; summer research in Colombia

Class of 2015

Katie Horvath
Department of Anthropology
Program in Spanish
Program in Creative Writing
 
Michael Kochis
Department of Molecular Biology
Program in Global Health and Health Policy
 
Kassandra Leiva
Department of Architecture
Program in French Language and Culture
 
Arjun Naidu
Department of History
 
Andres Parrado
Department of East Asian studies
Program in French Language and Culture
 
Luke Politi
Department of French and Italian
Program in Medieval Studies
 
Rachel Reiss
Department of Molecular Biology
Program in Global Health and Health Policy
 
Jake Robertson
Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Program in Theater
 
Rafael Saiz Garcia
Woodrow Wilson School
Program in Latin American Studies
Program in Spanish Language and Culture
Program in Portuguese Language and Culture
 
Misha Semenov
Department of Architecture
Program in Urban Studies
Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication
 
Rachel Skokowski
Department of French and Italian
Program in Humanistic Studies

PIIRS Undergraduate Fellows, Class of 2015