Hanna Holborn Gray Fellowship Award Increased

Posted December 1st, 2011 at 5:05 pm.

An increase in funding is among several improvements to be made to the Hanna Holborn Gray Fellowship program, which supports undergraduate students’ independent research projects in humanities and the humanistic social sciences during the summer months.

Beginning in 2012, each fellow will receive a research stipend of $4,500, says Assistant Dean and Director of Student Funding Isabelle Barker. Other changes to the program include the provision of a small honorarium to faculty members who serve as advisers to fellows and the establishment of a daylong academic conference at which fellows will present their work, to be held in the fall of 2012.

The Hanna Holborn Gray Fellowship program is funded by an endowment granted to the College by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2003. The grant honored Bryn Mawr alumna Hanna Holborn Gray ’50, a historian and leader in higher education who has served as the dean of Northwestern University’s College of Arts and Sciences, the provost and interim president of Yale, and the president of the University of Chicago, among other appointments.

Barker and Undergraduate Dean Michele Rasmussen learned that an increase in the fellowship awards was possible when they reviewed the program this fall.

“It made sense to increase the amount of the award,” Barker said. “The endowment enables us to adjust the fellowship award to be able to keep pace with inflation. This way we can be sure that all fellows can cover the full costs involved in undertaking their research projects.

Planning the Conference

The new HHG conference, Barker says, is in keeping with the program’s overall mission of introducing students to the world of independent research.

“The program overall is designed to help students think about the  transition from undergraduate work that is based on course syllabi to the kind of self-directed research that is typical of graduate study,” Barker says. “A key part of the academic life is the sense of belonging to and engaging in conversation with a scholarly community. The academic conference is meant to be a prime site of that kind of scholarly exchange.”

Graduate-student mentors who meet weekly with the students during the summer will organize the conference in consultation with the undergraduate Hanna Holborn Gray Fellows, Barker says. As the students’ research progresses, the graduate-student mentors and fellows will look for thematic relationships among the projects.

“We want the fellows to think of each other as an interdisciplinary cohort and to serve as resources for one another,” Barker says. “We hope that organizing the fall presentation of research in conference style, with groups of thematically related presentations, will encourage conversation among the participantsthroughout the summer and beyond.”

Filed under: fellowships,humanities Tags: by Tracy Kellmer

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