Undergraduate research grants for Japanese travel and research?
July 22, 2011 11:45 AM   Subscribe

My sister is looking for undergraduate research funding to support some field work in Japan for her BA thesis project. She's especially interested in questions about gender and sexuality. Any advice on grant-giving organizations she might look into?

She is an anthropology major, has already traveled to Japan multiple times and has many friends there, and is fluent enough in Japanese to carry on conversations and correspondence, understand TV dialog, and translate things.

She writes,

"I am a fourth year at The University of Wisconsin embarking on my BA thesis project. Ideally, part of the research project will involve traveling to Japan for a short time to do some field work, so naturally I have been trying to scrounge up some small grant money. But alas! It seems that no matter whether I search in terms of anthropology, japanese, travel, or etc, I am coming up empty handed for undergraduate research funding! Of course there are plenty of private universities that have money available for such endeavors, but my womping big public university can't afford to be so generous. Can anyone recommend a foundation/organization/person that gives grants to lowly scholars such as myself?"

Thanks so much for helping me help her!
posted by bubukaba to Education (4 answers total)
Is this Madison? They have several programs for undergraduate research. For this one she would have had to be URS scholar, which I suspect she wasn't, but it's specifically for research abroad. And for this one, she'll have to have support/collaboration of a faculty member, but for a BA thesis project I assume she does already. It has a $4000 award, but I suspect she's late applying -- for a rising senior most of the deadlines both for these and for other programs were probably several if not 6 months ago.
posted by brainmouse at 11:56 AM on July 22, 2011

You're kidding me. I was just thinking, "Gosh, here at UW we have..." Specifically, the Hilldale award, though brainmouse is probably right about the deadlines.

She should go talk to Joe Elder. He's very well connected, and although he mostly does stuff in Southeast Asia, he is also involved in PFLAG and discusses sexuality issues.

Also, there are likely people in International Academic Programs who could help her figure these things out. (The ones who just moved to the Red Gym, not the ones who are still in Bascom.)

Julie Stubbs, who runs the Undergraduate Academic Awards office, is very nice and can share all sorts of info about applying for awards, which awards can do what, writing essays, etc.

Finally, I have a connection to a woman who won a Distinguished Alumni Award recently for her work stopping human trafficking in Japan. She probably knows some people who could give you more info.

My dad also does a lot of wacky Global Health Initiative stuff, so he might know of some lesser known sources. Please feel free to send me a message and/or have your sister get in touch with me.
posted by Madamina at 1:07 PM on July 22, 2011

It looks like UW subscribes to COS, which is a research grant search database. She should do an advanced search there where she can filter by research location and her academic status. Unfortunately there isn't much out there for undergrads to do independent research.
posted by wsquared at 1:16 PM on July 22, 2011

Monbusho gives out money through the consulates. The other major option is Fulbright.

Really she needs to herself go talk to the people on campus. Professors will help her but there are offices that do this work specifically. She should be able to figure it out from the website.

I'm a professor of Japanese history now. I got my start as an undergrad at a major public university by doing my homework on funding using the resources on campus.
posted by vincele at 3:33 PM on July 22, 2011

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