RCGA Research Grants
Call for Proposals
International Research Travel Grants
Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs (RCGA)
RCGA International Research Travel Grants fund overseas research for Middlebury College juniors preparing to write senior theses. Students from any discipline or program whose proposed project is international in its orientation are eligible to apply. Students graduating in February ’14, May ’14, and February ’15 qualify for participation in the summer 2013 grant competition. The maximum award is $4,000. The deadline for receipt of applications is Sunday, February 24, 2013.
How to Apply: Applicants for International Research Travel Grants must submit (1) a completed application form; (2) a research proposal; (3) a completed budget form; (4) an unofficial transcript; (5) a Curriculum Vitae; (6) a statement of project feasibility; and (7) two faculty letters of recommendation. At least one of these letters should attest to the applicant’s likely capacity for independent work and the feasibility of the proposed project, and one of the letters must come from the applicant’s likely thesis advisor. Applicants are strongly encouraged to give those writing letters a draft of their proposal to read before letters of recommendation are written.
Criteria for Selection: Applications will be judged on the strength of the research design, the degree of preparation for the proposed work, the candidate’s academic record to date, the feasibility of the research project, and the need for overseas research to bring it to successful completion. Research in a foreign language, while desirable, is not a necessity.
Timetable: Completed applications must be submitted via e-mail to the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs at email@example.com, by 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 24, 2013.
Expectations of Grant Recipients: All grant recipients will be expected and required to do the following: (1) in the spring of 2013, attend the RCGA overseas research workshop. The workshop will provide an opportunity for winners to receive valuable advice and feedback before embarking on their research from faculty familiar with the challenges of research abroad, (special arrangements will be made for students studying abroad); (2) by October 1, 2013, submit a report of no more than 750 words outlining the work accomplished to date; (3) in fall 2013, participate in a meeting to discuss the status of the project; (4) complete the thesis; (5) in the winter or spring of 2014, present the results of the research in a public forum; and (6) in conjunction with your public presentation, post your project on the RCGA Website.
Samuel Koplinka-Loehr '13, independent scholar: environmental justice
"Exploring the environmental justice implications of large-scale hydroelectric development in Yunnan, China"
Anil Menon '13, economics and history major
"Examining how colonial economic policy in the 1860s/70s influenced the impact of the Silver Crisis"
Savant Man Shrestha '13, economics and Spanish major
"Investigating the impact of migration on per capita expenditure in the department of Huechutenango, Guatemala.
Arthur Choo '12, political science and sociology and anthropology double
Proposed research topic: “North Korean Defection and the Hanawon Resettlement Center in South Korea.”
Research presented at the 2012 Student Research Symposium: "Administering Integration: North Korean Refugee Resettlement in South Korea"
The number of North Korean refugees entering South Korea has increased exponentially in the past decade. Whereas only a couple hundred defectors migrated south annually until the 1990s, this figure now hovers at approximately 3,000 refugees each year. To accommodate this increase, the South Korean government continues to develop programs that manage refugee resettlement/integration. Currently, North Korean refugees who arrive in South Korea undergo a highly regulated resettlement process- one that begins with their application for political asylum and continues long after they begin their new lives in the South. This project focuses on how the South Korean government manages resettlement in ways that facilitate the transformation of refugees into functional individuals as defined by the state. In particular, it explores how power operates through the structural composition of various resettlement institutions while also investigating how refugees use their limited agency to resist these transformative processes.
David Tyler Gibson '12, international politics and economics major
Proposed research topic: “The Effects of China’s 2008 Contract Law on Labor Organization.”
Research presented at 2012 RCFIA Research Travel Grant Presentations: "Disenchanted and disorganized: The 2008 Labor Contract Law and the Impacts of Institutional Efficacy on Informal Organization in Chinese Labor"
Kyle McHenry Hunter '12, political science major
Proposed research topic: “The Origin and Function of African LGBT Human Rights Networks in South Africa.”
Research presented at the 2012 Student Research Symposium: "Present at the Creation: Norm Promotion and LGBT rights in International Politics"
In June 2011, the UN Human Rights Council passed the first ever resolution calling on states to protect rights based explicitly on an individual's sexual orientation and gender identity. How did this happen? My thesis research looks at what factors have caused LGBT rights to emerge as a contentious issue in global politics, and also at the domestic level in South Africa. Specifically, this study focuses on interactions between networks as an important variable in determining whether activists succeed in getting their issue noticed, and subsequently codified and/or institutionalized.Â With support from the Rohatyn Center for International Affairs, I spent this past summer interviewing UN officials, LGBT rights activists, those working in the HIV/AIDS as well as government officials in Geneva and Cape Town. This presentation will briefly describe the research experience and then highlight some of my findings from South Africa.
Pui Shen Yoong '12, international politics and economics major
Proposed research topic: "How local governance affects the outcomes of the Bolsa Familia program in Brazil”
Research presented at the 2012 Spring Student Symposium: "Evaluating Brazil's Bolsa Familia: Do Local Governments Matter?"
Brazil’s Bolsa Familia program (BFP) is a conditional cash transfer scheme aimed at ending poverty and inequality. Qualifying families receive a monthly stipend on the condition that they fulfill certain requirements in health and education. Although the BFP is a federal program, each of Brazil’s 5, 564 municipalities play an important role in its local implementation. Using a combination of regression analysis and four case studies from the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, this study evaluates the impact of local government capacity on beneficiaries’ health and education. I find that the percentage of beneficiaries who comply with the program’s health and education requirements is likely to be higher in municipalities with higher administrative capacity – the ability of public agencies to track and monitor beneficiaries. The results suggest that municipalities are critical actors in the success of this program, and that more investment is needed to build local administrative capacity.
Shabana Basij-Rasikh '11, international studies major, “Suicide in the Form of Self-immolation as an Increasing Response to Domestic Violence in Afghanistan
Maxwell Benjamin '11, economics and mathematics double major, “Testing Worker Output Evaluation Differences between American and Japanese Citizens.”
Molly Brister '11, international studies major
Proposed research topic: “Legal ramifications of the Ottoman millet system on sectarian relations in Lebanon.”
Research presented at 2011 RCFIA International Research Travel Grant Presentations: "The Women's Movement in Modern Lebanon (1920-1990): A Critical Reassessment."
Alhaji Jalloh '11, political science major, “The Influence of Economic Development in Religious Extremism in Mali and Senegal.
Xiaoxue Weng '11, international politics and economics major
Proposed research topic: “Political Factors that Shape Japanese Emergency Assistance Abroad.”
Research presented at 2011 RCFIA International Research Travel Grant Presentations: "The Politicization of Japanese Humanitarian Aid: What Political and Economic Factors Shape the Process?"
Elissa Bullion '10, sociology and anthropology major, “Moche Social Structures Evidenced in Archaeological Sites of San Jose de Moro, Peru.”
Forrest Orme '10, history major, “Personal, Religious, and Intellectual Motivations of Cyrus Hamlin for the Development of a Westernized Education System in the Middle East.”
Elizabeth Sutcliffe '10, sociology and anthropology major, African studies minor, “The Impact HIV/AIDS Denialism on the South African people.”
Abigail Blum '09, a political science major, African studies minor, "Overcoming the 'Hollow Ring:' The Implementation of Socioeconomic Rights Rulings in South Africa"
Nicole Conti '09, an art history major, "Illness and Devotion on Hieronymus Bosch's Triptych of the Temptation of St. Anthony in Lisbon"
Ria Shroff '09, a Spanish major, "Cuerpo femenino, arte y memoria: Eva Perón y sus representaciones artísticas y Literarias" (Feminine body, art and memory: Eva Perón and her artistic literary representations)
Grant Recipients 2007
Sage Bierster '07, an international studies major with a focus on Latin America, sociology/anthropology and Portuguese, "Os Meninos da Casa Dom Bosco: Coming of Age in a Shelter"
Amanda Goodwin '07, a political science major, "Ethnic Minority Voting Behavior Explained: Resources, Mobilization and Motivation in Context of the 2005 British Election"
Talia Lincoln '08, a sociology/anthropology major, "Non-governmental Organizations in Northern Thailand"
Grant Recipients 2006
Aglaya Glebova '07, history of art and architecture major, "Representations of Women in Natalia Goncharova's Early Work."
Mateal Lovaas '07, international studies major, "Africa on Stage: Understanding the West's Collective Representation of Sub-Saharan Africa through a Comparative Analysis of Children's Literature and International Development."
Courtney Matson '07, international studies major, "The Politics of Epidemic: How Government and Civil Society Address HIV/AIDS Crisis in the People's Republic of China."
Rachel Rosenfeld '07, international studies major, "Jewberia: The Struggle to Define Russian Jewish Identity in the Postmodern Period."
Devin Wardell '07, international studies major, "Beautiful Craft, Beautiful Life: The Manufacturing Philosophy of William Morris."
Grace Armstrong '06, independent scholar, "North-South Copyfights: Ideology and Copyright in the United States and Brazil."
Rachel Dunlap '06, English and theater joint major, "Brave, Sexy, and Tired: The Collected Experiences of Senegalese Women."
Helen Price Massey '06, international studies major, "An Analysis of Leadership in the Fight against HIV/AIDS: The Cases of South Africa, Malawi, and Uganda."
Danielle Naugle '06, sociology/anthropology and Spanish double major, "The Afro-Uruguayans of Montevideo: Blackness, Discrimination, and Identity."
Pauley Tedoff '06, sociology/anthropology major, "Marriage by Correspondence: A Sociocultural Exploration of Matrimony between Swiss Men and Mauritian Women."
Nathalie Wolfram '06, English major, "'Scenes Not Inferior to Any in England': Creating the Stage in Eighteenth-Century Exeter and York."
Naomi Cookson '05, history major, "Greening a Red China: The Development of Environmental Civil Society in the People's Republic of China."
Amichai Kilchevsky '05, international politics and economics major, "Peace and Economic Interdependence in the Middle East."
Yohanne Kidolezi '05, economics major, "Household Surveys and Street Child Labor: Evidence for Selection and Reporting Bias."
Leslie Lartey '05, political science major, "Examining the Link Between Democracy and Decentralization in West Africa: A Case Study of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.”
Lila Buckley '04, Chinese and sociology/anthropology double major, "The Newborn Kingdom: Voices of Urban Chinese Women and the Politics of Reproduction."
Brian Hoyer '03.5, international studies major, "Nipke Kikupe: Dependency, Reciprocity, and Paradoxes of Food Aid in Lugufu Refugee Camp, Kigoma, Tanzania."
Rituraj Mathur '04, international politics and economics major, "Insurgency and Development: The Case of Assam."
Kristina Rudd '04, independent scholar in international development studies, "Death is Following Us: The Impoverishment of the Ugandan Batwa Associated with Bwindi Impenetrable National Park."
Andrei Takhteyev '03, international politics and economcs and German joint major, "Deutsche unter Deutschen? Die Einwanderungspolitik der BRD und die Eingliederung von Russlanddeutschen" (Germans among/under Germans? The FRB's Immigration Policy and the Integration of "russia"-Germans).