Thirty-eight students have been named as this year’s recipients of the Chappell-Lougee Fellowship, which awards up to $6,000 to sophomores pursuing a summer research project in the humanities or social sciences.
The number of grants awarded this year is the highest since the grant’s inception in 1982 and seven more than last year’s sum. The number of completed applications also rose from last year, from 45 to 67.
Fellowship coordinator Christina Mesa ’82 Ph.D. ’99 attributed the increased interest in part to outreach by Undergraduate Advising and Research (UAR) academic directors, who hosted more information sessions than in previous years and have more experience with the grant process.
“I think that our interactions with them [the students] are a lot about writing the proposal now,” she said.
While UAR’s 12 academic directors are all trained to help students work on their Chappell-Lougee application, Mesa noted that individual directors will often redirect students with specific interests to another director with expertise in a related discipline.
For example, students pursuing an anthropology project are sent to Wilbur Hall’s Cari Kapur M.A. ’99 Ph.D. ’05. At the same time, prospective applicants interested in creative writing—a popular choice among students—are sent to Florence Moore Hall’s Melissa Stevenson ’96.
This year’s awards will support projects ranging from studying modernization in China and Korea to conducting ethnography of tailors in Italy. While fellowship coordinators requested additional funding from UAR to meet the increase in demand, however, Mesa noted that the selection committee had had to make an unprecedented number of cuts.
“I don’t think any of the applications were particularly weak,” Mesa said. “There were just so many and we had to fund the most viable. Sometimes the best ideas need more work or narrowing down.”
While several students were given the chance to resubmit their proposals with suggested revisions, some chose not to. Former scholars emphasized, however, that the invitation to make suggested revisions should not discourage applicants.
“It’s a ‘yes’ in disguise,” said Mailyn Fidler ’14.
Contact Vanessa Ochavillo at vochavillo ‘at’ stanford ‘dot’ edu.