HRI Fellowships

Students who complete the Humanities Research Intensive course become eligible to apply for special HRI Fellowships to support research experiences during the ensuing academic year. We offer small grants of $1,500 for projects during an academic quarter and a few large grants of up to $9,000 for full-time summer experiences.

Please through the following policies carefully and contact Jeff Schwegman if you want to meet to talk through your research proposal.

Eligibility

When can I apply for HRI Fellowships?

You can apply during the next five academic terms that follow your completion of the course. For instance, if you took the course over spring break 2022, you can apply for spring 2022, summer 2022, fall 2022, winter 2023, and/or spring 2023. 

In addition, if you were a freshman at the time you took the spring break course, and if you did not receive an HRI fellowship during the summer after your freshman year, you can also apply during the summer after your sophomore year. For instance, if you took the course as a freshman during spring break 2022, you could apply either for summer 2022 or for summer 2023. This option is not available to students who took the spring break course during their sophomore year. Instead, they should explore sources of funding designed for more advanced students, such as the Chappell-Lougee Scholarship or Major Grants offered by Undergraduate Research.  

Can I apply for multiple HRI Fellowships?

You may only receive one full-time summer HRI Fellowship, but you are welcome to apply for as many of the small grants as you like. Because funding is limited, we will prioritize applicants who have not received a previous grant.

Can I apply while on a leave of absence?

No. You must be enrolled as a full-time student.

Can I accept another research grant, internship, or service opportunity during the same term as my HRI Fellowship?

There are strict University rules governing how many ELOs (Experiential Learning Opportunities, including research grants, internships, and public service projects) students can accept at the same time. You must list all other programs to which you have applied in your HRI grant proposal. Depending on the circumstances, we may or may not allow you to accept multiple opportunities. Please contact Jeff Schwegman to discuss your specific situation, but here are some general guidelines:

  • During an academic quarter, you should generally accept only a single part-time ELO, but exceptions are possible.
  • During the summer, you may only participate in one full-time ELO. If you have already accepted a full-time opportunity from another campus office such as VPUE or the Haas Center, you cannot apply for one of our full-time fellowships. Similarly, if you have accepted a full-time HRI summer grant, you cannot accept any others. Any violation of this rule will be treated as a serious breach of the honor code.
  • Stanford does allow students with a full-time summer ELO to take on an additional part-time ELO, but many individual campus programs forbid this. If you would like to combine a part-time HRI grant with another full-time opportunity, or a full-time HRI grant with another part-time opportunity, you must obtain permission from both programs.
  • If you don’t have a full-time summer ELO, you can probably accept multiple part-time opportunities, but you should still confirm this in advance with each program.

Application Deadlines

To be considered for an HRI grant, email your proposal to Jeff Schwegman by one of the following deadlines:

  • For fall quarter projects: October 1, 2021, 11:59 pm.
  • For winter quarter projects: Friday, January 7, 2022, 11:59 pm.
  • For spring quarter projects: Friday, April 1, 2022, 11:59 pm.
  • For summer quarter projects: Friday, June 24, 2022, 11:59 pm.

We will let you know if your proposal has been selected by the following Wednesday. 

Note: In order to give fair consideration to everyone who applies, we will wait until after these deadlines to evaluate all of the proposals we have received for the quarter. We can’t notify you in advance if you apply early. 

Fellowship Types

COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS

One of the best ways to get started in research—particularly if you are not certain where to begin—is to collaborate with a professor or lab on a pre-defined, faculty-led project. These guided research experiences are a bit like apprenticeships: by contributing to a faculty project, you will learn directly from an expert how they frame research questions; identify, analyze and interpret sources; and communicate results to the public. In the process, you will almost certainly come up with ideas and questions of your own, as well as form valuable relationships with faculty, which can help you launch a future independent project of your own. 

We offer two levels of fellowship support for collaborative research projects:

  • Summer Fellowships ($7,500–$9,000) provide a 10-week stipend to support full-time, immersive research with a faculty member or lab during the summer. The fellowship amount depends on your financial need. We can offer a limited number of these in summer 2022.
  • Small Fellowships ($1,500) support part-time research experiences with a faculty member or lab, either during an academic quarter or over the summer. The level of engagement should be roughly equivalent to 2–3 units of academic work.

Applications and Deadlines

If you want to participate in a collaborative research experience, you should write or apply directly to the faculty member or lab and identify yourself as an HRI Fellow eligible for potential fellowship support. (Some programs and labs, like CESTA, have their own highly structured internal application processes, and you should participate in these. By contrast, most opportunities to work as a research assistant for an individual faculty member develop informally, and you should simply ask the person). If the professor or lab  agrees to work with you, email Jeff Schwegman by the application deadline for the quarter you wish to work (see above), and copy the professor or lab administrator. Please also answer the following questions in your email:

  • Have you applied for any other Experiential Learning Opportunities (research grants, internships, public service projects) from another university program during this same quarter? (See “Eligibility” above for when this is allowed).
  • Will you be enrolled during the quarter you plan to dedicate to this project? (We can’t fund students during a leave of absence).

Note that some labs may also have their own internal application deadlines that conflict from ours. For instance, a lab might choose its winter quarter research assistants during fall quarter, whereas HRI does not make funding decisions about winter until the beginning of winter quarter. If a conflict of this sort arises, contact Jeff Schwegman, who can help work out a compromise solution.

List of Faculty-Led Research Projects in the Humanities 

Below is a list of several faculty-led research projects in the humanities that typically involve undergraduates:

It is also possible that you might discover other opportunities on your own. For instance, you might develop a good rapport with one of your introductory seminar professors and ask if he or she might be willing to collaborate with you. Certain departments may also have projects primarily reserved for their majors or for students who have taken appropriate introductory courses. We will gladly fund these experiences as well.

INDEPENDENT RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS

If you have a clear idea for a research project of your own, you can apply for an HRI Independent Research Fellowship. In this case, you will devise your own research question, locate your own sources, and work independently to develop a final product of your own design, such as a research paper, website, exhibition catalogue, or work of creative art. You must find a faculty member who is willing to advise you on this project, to check in with you on a regular basis, and to evaluate your final product. You and your advisor should decide in advance how you will communicate and what form this final product should take. You should also apply to present your findings, either at an HRI Research Symposium if we are able to organize one, or at the Stanford Undergraduate Research and Public Service Symposium (SURPS).

We offer two levels of fellowship support for independent research projects:

  • Summer Fellowships ($7,500–$9,000) provide a 10-week stipend to support full-time, immersive research during the summer. The fellowship amount depends on your financial need. We can offer a limited number of these in summer 2022.
  • Small Fellowships ($1,500) support part-time research on an independent project, either during an academic quarter or over the summer. The level of engagement should be roughly equivalent to 2–3 units of academic work.

Application

To apply for an Independent Research Fellowship, email a short project description (around 1200 words) to Jeff Schwegman by the application deadline (see above). 

Your proposal must address the following points:

  • What question or questions do you hope to investigate?
  • List 3–5 sources (primary or secondary) that you’ve read on this topic and describe how they have informed your project.
  • What primary sources (archives, collections, books, etc.) do you hope to find and investigate?
  • Who is your faculty mentor for this project and how do you envision interacting with him/her over the course of the summer or term? What is your schedule for checking in, and when will you deliver your final product to your mentor?
  • What kind of final product do you expect to create?
  • How might this work inform your future academic plans? 
  • Have you applied for any other Experiential Learning Opportunities (research grants, internships, public service projects) from another university program during this same quarter? (See “Eligibility” above for when this is allowed).
  • Will you be enrolled during the quarter you plan to dedicate to this project? (We can’t fund students during a leave of absence).
  • If the COVID-19 situation changes this term, causing you to lose access to the research materials you intended to consult (for instance, Stanford reinstates a ban on research related travel, the archive you hoped to consult closes, your BOSP program is cancelled, etc.) how might you pivot to an online-only version of your project?

You do not need to submit a faculty letter of recommendation for these fellowships, but we will follow up with your chosen mentor to get a brief assessment of the feasibility of your project.

Travel Restrictions

Planning a research trip takes considerable time and effort. Which archives, libraries, or collections will you use? How will you gain permission to access them? Are there any local scholars who can assist you if you run into difficulties? Where will you stay, and how will you travel to your research venue? Are there any local risks you should be aware of? These issues become even more complex if you are travelling to a foreign country. For this reason, and because this program is intended to support students just getting started in research, you may only use an HRI grant for travel under the following circumstances:

  • Domestic Travel: You may use an HRI grant to travel to a domestic location within the United States, although we will evaluate these requests on a case-by-case basis. However,  Stanford’s current COVID-19 policy only allows undergraduates to travel up to 150 miles from campus for research related purposes.
  • International Travel: You may not use an HRI Grant to travel abroad, except in the following specific cases:
    • If you are an international student and are proposing to return to your home country to conduct research over the summer, we may consider your request on a case-by-case basis. Current COVID-19 policies may impact our decision.
    • If you will be studying abroad through the Bing Overseas Studies Program during an academic quarter, you may use your HRI grant to conduct research within the city where you BOSP program is located (e.g. Oxford, Santiago, Cape Town, etc.). However, you must complete your HRI-supported research within the official starting and ending dates of your BOSP program (you may not arrive early to the country or stay on afterwards). You must also abide by any travel rules and requirements stipulated by your BOSP program.

In general, we expect that most HRI Fellows who pursue independent research will stay on campus or to return to their home towns. If you have a carefully developed plan for a summer independent research project involving international travel, consider applying instead for one of the UAR fellowships intended for more advanced students, such as the Chappell-Lougee Scholarship or Major Grants.

Human Subjects Research Requirements

If your research proposal involves gathering data from living human beings—including but not limited to procedures such as interviews, ethnographic observations, or reviews of existing records—you may be required to seek approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB), a federally mandated panel charged with overseeing the protection of human participants in research. Not all projects involving human subjects require IRB approval: for instance, many oral histories do not. Nevertheless, you must work through this list of steps to determine what kind of approval, if any, you will need. We cannot fund your project until you have completed these necessary steps! Note that applying to an IRB can be time-consuming and requires careful advance planning. Talk to your faculty mentor about whether your proposal is realistic, given these time constraints.

Other Fellowship Policies 

General Policies

  • Students may not receive academic credit for research supported by these fellowships. 
  • Fellowships will be paid directly to the student as a single lump sum stipend, through the Financial Aid Office, before the start of the term in question. 
  • HRI Fellowship funds are subject to U.S. and state income tax laws, and payment of this fellowship may be tax reportable. Students assume responsibility for reporting fellowship payments to the proper taxing authorities, as well as liability for any tax payments that may be due.

Independent Research Fellowship Policies

  • Faculty mentors do not need to be academic council members (lecturers and untenured faculty are fine).
  • Students do not need to collect or submit receipts for independent projects.