ASIANetwork is pleased to announce that financial support has been provided by the Freeman Foundation to run a 14th annual “Student-Faculty Fellows Program” to encourage undergraduate research in Asia during the summer of 2012. When the summer 2011 program is completed, a total of 158 grants will have been given to 696 “Student-Faculty Fellows” from 94 different colleges and universities to conduct innovative research projects in almost every region of Asia. Summaries of these research activities are accessible through links on the main page on the Student-Faculty Fellows Program for Collaborative Research in Asia.
For the summer 2012 program, funding is available to support the work of ten to fourteen research groups, totaling between sixty and seventy people (students and mentors combined). As stipulated by the Freeman Foundation, research should be in East and Southeast Asia, those areas bordered by Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines in the south and west (which include Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia), and then north to include Taiwan, Hong Kong S.A.R., China, Japan, and Korea. Studies in Nepal are also welcome. Only proposals from U.S. institutions that have been ASIANetwork members during the year immediately prior to the application (AY 2010-2011) will be considered. Please visit our website for information on how to join AN.
Faculty mentors are encouraged to take up to five students to Asia. Preference will be given to proposals where the faculty mentor is willing to work with three or more students, but the selection committee recognizes that in certain cases it is desirable to lead fewer students to Asia. Because this program is meant to introduce American students to research in Asia, no more than one student participant should be an international student. For teams of more than one student, the student-faculty team can work on a collaborative project where each student makes relevant contributions to a group research objective. However, each student’s research focus and responsibility to the joint endeavor must be clearly presented in the grant proposal. It is also possible for a faculty person to lead undergraduates to a given site(s) and have student researchers conduct individual unrelated research on various topics related to that site(s). In this case, the application should include separate student proposals that clarify the nature of each research project. The application review committee seriously considers whether or not these projects are student rather than faculty driven. This is not a program that funds faculty research with students serving as little more than research assistants.
The primary aim of this program is to support student research in Asia under the close supervision of a faculty mentor. As a consequence, faculty mentors and student researchers are expected to spend at least a three week period together in Asia with the mentor and his/her students working directly on student projects. Often, in countries where housing, travel, and other costs are less expensive, research teams stay for longer periods. When the researchers have returned to their home campuses, they are expected to share student findings and experiences with their college community and with ASIANetwork.
The program provides research funds of up to $5,000 for each faculty member and up to $5,000 for each student, depending upon the needs and documented expenses of the researchers. This grant can be used for transportation, lodging, meals and all incidental expenses. An additional amount of $1,000 per group will be available to the faculty mentor to acquire books, other teaching materials, and necessary equipment for the research group. In rare cases, if effectively documented in a research proposal, additional support for books and equipment may be provided. Any equipment acquired under the grant must be turned over to the home institution at the end of the grant period.
The faculty mentor will also receive a $1,000 stipend for each student he/she directs under this program. Under no condition will grants be awarded to students receiving academic credit during the on-site research period. Faculty members will not be eligible for the grant if they are receiving teaching credit while supervising the student research on-site. The stipend will be issued upon receipt of the final project report, including detailed accounting of financial expenses of both the faculty and the students. The faculty stipend will be forfeited if all required materials for the final report are not received within 30 days of the published deadline (May 15, 2013).
The home institutions of the student and faculty fellows must assume the following responsibilities: 1) Administer the funds allocated by the grant. ASIANetwork will send grant money to the institution, and then its business office should disburse the money to the faculty and the students in accordance with its internal procedures. This grant does not pay an administrative fee to the home institution for this service. 2) Provide financial support for the faculty participant to attend one ASIANetwork annual conference. The faculty fellow is required to attend two ASIANetwork conferences: the conference in the spring prior to the summer fellowship for briefing and the next spring conference to report on the research project. The institution should commit to support the attendance of the faculty member at one of these conferences. The fellowship grant may be used to fund participation at the other conference. Fellowship monies can also be used to fund participation at the conference of one or two undergraduate student participants. 3) Assume full responsibility — and release the ASIANetwork and all of its directors, officers, advisors and employees of any liability — for any and all risks and damages arising out of any activity undertaken in connection with the grant.
In considering the development of proposals, students and their faculty mentors need to select projects which offer good prospects for success based upon the level of student expertise and the relatively short time period for on-site research. They need to propose a plan for sharing their findings and experiences on their campus and, if possible, with the larger scholarly community. Students and their faculty mentor should apply as a team. Senior students may participate as long as they can complete the proposed research project by August 31 of their senior year. Faculty members should comment on the significance of the project and their qualifications and willingness to supervise student research. Students will be expected to identify: 1) how their academic and experiential backgrounds have prepared them to pursue their research project and 2) to state clearly the importance of the proposed project for career preparation. The proposal should also state why travel to Asia is important to conduct the research. Reviewers consider the strength of each student proposal or the strength of his/her contribution in a joint project, and look for the student.s voice in these statements. Proposals need to clearly show the responsibilities assumed by each of the participants and the kind of structured mentoring which is envisioned. Research teams of two or more faculty mentors will not be funded.
Application material for the 2012 fellowship may be downloaded from the ASIANetwork website. Completed applications must be received by Professor Symons by December 1, 2011. (See Application Details for submission instructions.) An ASIANetwork committee will review the submitted proposals and successful applicants will be notified by February 15, 2012.
For further information, contact: Dr. Van J. Symons, Augustana College, Department of History, Rock Island, IL 61201. Telephone: 309-794-7413; e-mail: email@example.com.