Undergraduate Research

PIIRS provides opportunities for undergraduates to fund their international research at Princeton. 

PIIRS was very supportive of my ideas and the fellowship gave me an opportunity that I would not have had otherwise. I met the most amazing people and collaborators, and I was able to collect research that's not found anywhere else.”
Jake Robertson
PIIRS Undergraduate Fellow, 2014-15

PIIRS Undergraduate Fellows

The Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies administers a program aimed at facilitating summer international research for the senior thesis. The fellowships are available to students working in any discipline who are about to begin the second semester of their junior year on campus and are interested in conducting summer research abroad for their senior thesis.

Up to 10 juniors will be selected through a competitive application process. Those accepted into the program will work with PIIRS faculty member during the spring semester of their junior year to develop a proposal for summer senior thesis research abroad (including a budget).

Upon successful completion of the program, including submission of a grant proposal and budget, students are awarded funds for summer research. Each PIIRS Undergraduate Fellow is eligible for $3,000–$6,000 in funding to meet the entirety of his or her travel and other expenses related to summer research abroad. In the spring of their senior year, PIIRS Undergraduate Fellows are obligated to give a short presentation on their field-work experiences to the incoming junior cohort and to be available for occasional consultation where appropriate with the new cohort. 

Application Requirements

  1. Submit a short statement outlining your senior thesis research interests. Please explain why research conducted abroad is crucial for the senior thesis you hope to write. We do not expect a fully developed research proposal—that is something you will develop if accepted as a PIIRS undergraduate research fellow—but we do want to see evidence of your thinking about your senior thesis and the kind of research you want to carry out.
  2. A statement of relevant course work, international experiences, or skills for carrying out research.
  3. A copy of your most recent transcript.
  4. One letter of recommendation from a professor or instructor familiar with your work.

Submit all application materials in Global Programs System (GPS).

Application Deadline: December 9, 2017

The fellowship adviser is Professor Julia Elyachar.

Class of 2018 Fellows

Fiona Bell, Slavic Languages and Literatures: “Beyond Russia: Marina Tsvetaeva's Poetic Identity in Emigration”. Research conducted in Russia from 8/4/17 to 8/18/17.

Zachariah DeGiulio, Civil and Environmental Engineering: “The Way to Modernity: Itineraries of Kinshasa”. Research conducted in Democratic Republic of the Congo from 7/30/17 to 9/2/17.

Edric Huang, Anthropology: “Life’s Good Ailleurs: The Labor of Hope Among Sudanese Refugees in Paris”. Research conducted in France from 7/30/17 to 9/8/17.

Lachlan Kermode, Computer Science: “Towards Critical Computing: a Template for Animated Documentary”. Research conducted in Germany from 6/5/17 to 9/1/17.

Faridah Laffan, History: “Philosophia a vita Magistra: The Order of Friars Minor in Colonial Salvador da Bahia”. Research conducted in Brazil and Portugal from 7/29/17 to 9/2/17.

Justinas Mickus, Politics: “An Analysis of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership (EaP) Combining Insights from International Relations and Comparative Politics”. Research conducted in Belgium, Latvia and Estonia from 6/5/17 to 9/9/17.

Elon Schmidt-Swartz, Philosophy: “Yeshayahu Leibowitz: Neo-Kantian Religious Challenges to Kantian Modernity”. Research conducted in Israel from 6/5/17 to 6/18/17.

Miki Somosot, Economics: “Identifying the Effects of Remittances and Bank Presence on Regional Poverty Levels in the Philippines”. Research conducted in the Philippines from 8/5/17 to 9/10/17.

Monty Raiser ’92 Fund

The Program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies supports supports summer study of third, fourth or fifth year Russian language, cultural/political research and internships in Russia, thanks to the generosity of the Monty Raiser '92 Fund.  

The Monty Raiser '92 Fund was established in 1993 in memory of R. Montgomery Raiser III, a Princeton student who had a strong interest in Russian affairs.   

The deadline is ongoing. 

Henry Richardson Labouisse '26 Prize Fellowship

The Henry Richardson Labouisse ’26 Prize Fellowship, in the amount of $30,000, is awarded annually to a graduating Princeton senior who wishes to work or study abroad on matters in keeping with the spirit of Labouisse’s life, broadly conceived. Further information on the award may be found on the Office of International Programs website.

The application deadline is January 2, 2019.


PIIRS Undergraduate Fellowship Application

Questions? Contact Rachel Golden, program coordinator, or call 609-258-7497.

Monty Raiser ’92 Fund

Questions? Contact Carole Frantzen, program manager, or call 609-258-5978.

Henry Richardson Labouisse '26 Prize Fellowship Application

Information Session: Friday, November 10, 2017 at 4:30 pm in 144 Louis A. Simpson International Building

The application deadline is January 3, 2018.

Questions? Contact Rachel Golden, program coordinator, or call 609-258-7497.