African Studies

Student Grant Program

Africa at a Crossroads: Challenges and Prospects
2016-17 Student Research Grant Program

The “Africa at a Crossroads” Trans-Institutional Program at Vanderbilt invites undergraduate and graduate students from all colleges and disciplines to apply for funding to support student research pertaining to the program’s theme for the 2017 summer term or 2017-18 academic year.

Program Overview
“Africa at a Crossroads: Challenges and Prospects” is a two-year program funded by the Trans-Institutional Program (TIPs) initiative at Vanderbilt. Working from this broad theme, we invite students to draw from their academic interests to explore the widespread notion that contemporary socio-economic, cultural, and political indicators demonstrate that Africa now stands at a pivotal point—marked by both infinite possibilities and lingering challenges.

Grant Funding
The “Africa at a Crossroads” program includes three different types of grants for student research:

  1. SERVICE (US) – Students may request funding to carry out voluntary immersive service based in the United States. Students who apply for this category of funding will arrange to work with a non-profit organization of their choosing that serves African migrants, especially refugees. Budgets for projects in this category may not exceed $700.
  2. DOMESTIC RESEARCH – Students seeking an immersive/investigative experience can propose to carry out research on established African communities based in the United States. Such projects should aim to understand migrants’ daily lives and their continuing engagements with Africa. Budgets for projects in this category may not exceed $700.
  3. INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH – Students may apply for funding to facilitate projects that require research time in Africa. These grants are only for independent student research and travel. We cannot accept applications to support participation in study abroad programs. Graduate students are limited to a $4,000 budget; undergraduates may apply for up to $3,000.

Application Process
Students must submit a written proposal as detailed below and a letter of support from a Vanderbilt faculty indicating willingness to support and mentor the student through the research project. The supervising mentor may assist the student in preparing the written proposal, but the proposal should represent the student’s own work.

Research Proposal Components

  1. Student Grant Cover Page
  2. Abstract (200-word limit)
  3. Project Description (2-pages, double spaced limit for service and domestic grants;
    5-page, double-spaced limit for international grants)

    • Introduction, including background and significance
    • Project Design, including objectives and methods
    • Timeline, with goals and target schedule dates
  4. Bibliography
  5. Budget and Budget Justification (1 page limit). Budgets should include only what is absolutely needed for completion of the project. Any purchased equipment will remain the property of Vanderbilt University.
  6. Letter of Recommendation from Vanderbilt Faculty

Application Submission and Deadline
The research proposal with faculty letter of support must be submitted electronically to Greg Barz by 12:00pm on March 3, 2017.

Final Report and Presentation
At the conclusion of the project, recipients will submit a six-page written report with interpretation and analysis of the project that is consistent with the standards of the student’s discipline. A project summary and results must additionally be presented in an oral presentation at an “Africa at a Crossroads” TIPs sponsored forum at Vanderbilt University.

Research Compliance
Students whose research involves human subjects, infectious agents, hazardous chemicals, radioactive material, recombinant DNA, and/or copyrights or patents will need to submit a research protocol to the appropriate Vanderbilt committees for approval.