Research Grants and Internships

Research Grants and Internships

The Pembroke Center invites applications from current Brown students, from any concentration or field, to apply for our research grants and internship. Please see individual grant descriptions and guidelines. Students with projects appropriate for more than one grant may apply for multiple grants, although it is unlikely a student would be awarded more than one.

Steinhaus/Zisson Research Grants
Helen Terry MacLeod Research Grant
Barbara Anton Internship Grant
Linda Pei Undergraduate Research Grant
Enid Wilson Undergraduate Travel Fellowship

Grant applications are accepted in the Fall semester.  For full consideration for 2017-18 funding, applications must be submitted by 5:00 pm on Thursday, October 5. Please see UFunds for additional information.

Apply for all Pembroke Center Grants using UFunds

Steinhaus/Zisson Pembroke Center Research Grants for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

The Beatrice Bloomingdale Steinhaus’33, P’60, P’65, GP’87, GP’91/Gertrude Rosenhirsch Zisson’30, P’61, P’63, GP’91 grants support undergraduate and graduate student research at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women. Student research may be on any topic related to the work of the Pembroke Center, with preference given to research on women's education, health, community activism, philanthropy, and economic status, and women's rights and well-being in the United States and in developing countries around the world.

Undergraduate students are invited to apply for grants up to $1,000. Graduate students may apply for grants up to a maximum of $2,000. Application materials include:

  • a three to five page description of your research project
  • a letter of support from faculty advisor
  • amount requested and plan for allocated grant funds

The Steinhaus/Zisson Fund was provided by Nancy Steinhaus Zisson’65, P’91 and William Zisson’63, P’91 in memory of their mothers, Beatrice Bloomingdale Steinhaus’33, P’60, P’65, GP’87, GP’91 and Gertrude Rosenhirsch Zisson’30, P’61, P’63, GP’91, and the life changing education that they received at Pembroke College in Brown University. It was established in recognition of their family members who are alumnae and alumni of Brown University, including Margaret Steinhaus Sheppe’60, P’87, Harry R. Zisson’61, William Zisson’63, P’91, Nancy Steinhaus Zisson’65, P’9l, Laura Sheppe Miller’87, Michael B. Miller’87, Alex Zisson’91, and Emma Miller’16. These two women inspired a love of learning in their children and grandchildren, and a strong belief that education and self-improvement are important aspects of personal growth that do not stop with the end of formal schooling. They believed profoundly in women's rights and affordable education as a means to achieving these goals.

View a list of all Steinhaus/Zisson Grant Recipients

 2016-17 Steinhaus/Zisson Research Grant
Undergraduate Student Recipient

Camille Garnsey '17
Latin American Studies and Public Health

The History of Reproductive Rights in Cuba

For her Latin American and Caribbean Studies senior thesis, Camille Garnsey is studying the history of reproductive rights in Cuba, the country with the most liberal abortion policies in all of Latin America. Focusing on three specific historical moments and utilizing a mixed-methodology approach, she is analyzing reproductive health policy, discourses surrounding questions of reproduction and the impact of policy change on the lives, perspectives and decisions of Cuban women with the goal of constructing a focused and dynamic history of the evolution of reproductive choice in Cuba throughout the 20th century.  Garnsey will work to accomplish this goal by engaging questions like; can access to abortion and contraception alone ensure women have full control over their reproduction? Do the complicated motives behind seemingly progressive reproductive policy complicate how women experience them? What can we learn from the trajectory of reproductive health policy in Cuba about other factors that limit choice?

2016-2017 Steinhaus/Zisson Research Grant
Graduate Student Recipient

Girija Borker
Graduate Student, Department of Economics

Safety First: Perceived Travel Risk and College Choice of Women

Girija Borker’s project examines the impact of violence perpetrated by strangers on college choice of women in Delhi. Specifically, she assesses whether psychological costs associated with sexual violence make women choose a lower ranked college compared to men. And whether women undertake other coping mechanisms such as choosing longer but safer travel routes or different travel modes relative to men attending the same college. Ultimately, the project aims to quantify the weight women place on safety and travel costs while making higher education choices.

It is well-established that wide gender gaps in parental investments, and human capital investments transform into even wider gender gaps in lifetime earnings. This project identifies an additional mechanism – the lack of safety – that perpetuates this gender inequality by negatively affecting women’s education choices. Using perceived safety data from a mobile app, time series admissions data and primary survey data of college students from a major university in Delhi, Borker relies on rigorous econometric techniques for her analysis. In the first study to add the harassment risk associated with traveling to a model of college choice, her project provides a more holistic view of the factors that affect higher education choices of women in rapidly urbanizing countries.

2016-2017 Steinhaus/Zisson Research Grant
Graduate Student Recipient

Javier Fernandez Galeano
Graduate Student, Department of History

The Argentinean Lesbian Feminist Movement

In this research project, Fernandez Galeano will collect and analyze oral and written sources about the role of lesbian feminism in the emergence of the first movement for sexual liberation in Argentina, the Frente de Liberación Homosexual or FLH (Homosexual Liberation Front), which was founded in 1971 and disbanded in 1976, when the military came to power. Argentinean lesbian activists and groups such as Safo mediated between the feminist movement and the FLH, and contributed to the theoretical foundations and strategies of the group. By focusing on this case study, he hopes to provide an alternative to traditional narratives about LGTB activism that have marginalized countries such as Argentina and the perspectives and initiatives of lesbian feminists. 

2016-2017 Steinhaus/Zisson Research Grant
Graduate Student Recipient

Lydia Kelow-Bennett
Graduate Student, Department of Africana Studies

Conjuring Freedom: A Black Feminist Meditation for Neoliberal Times

The goal of Lydia Kelow-Bennett’s dissertation project is understanding the historical inheritances and present-day investments of Black feminists as the Black feminist tradition they emerge from becomes a more visible ideological intervention into the political and social landscape of the U.S. in the new millennium. Her project is especially concerned with the voices, ideas, and people that are left out of present-day constructions of popular Black feminisms. Black women’s intellectual work has long operated in spaces of marginalization—both within Black intellectual circles and within mainstream spaces of knowledge production. Kelow-Bennett’s project assesses how, why, and with what impact Black feminist thinkers become a more visible part of public political and social discourse, and examines the marginalization of radical Black feminism and womanism. She is creating a genealogy of radical Black feminist resilience that she hopes can propel Black feminists into new spaces of possibility.

The Helen Terry MacLeod Research Grant

The MacLeod grant supports undergraduate honors research on issues having to do with women or gender, or research that brings a feminist analysis to bear on a problem or set of questions. Students currently working on honors theses in any field are eligible to apply. The $1000 grant is to be used to further research.

Application materials should include:

  • a three to five page description of your honors thesis
  • a letter of support from your thesis advisor
  • a brief description of how you would use the grant funds, if awarded

The grant honors the life of Helen Terry MacLeod (1901-1994) who did not herself have a college education but who helped support the undergraduate, graduate, and professional school educations of her grandchildren, including Joan MacLeod Heminway ’83.

View a list of all Helen Terry MacLeod Research Grant recipients

2016-17 Helen Terry MacLeod Research Grant Recipient

Vi Mai '17

 Latin American and Caribbean Studies and International Relations

Contesting HIV/AIDS in Cuba: The Stories Behind the Headlines

Since the 1959 Revolution, Cuba has prided itself of its healthcare achievements, particularly its status as having one of the lowest HIV infection rates and being the first country to eradicate mother-to-child HIV transmission. It attributes these achievements to the country’s HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention program. While the Cuban government sees the program as an effective healthcare model, the Cuban exile community sees it as unethical and ineffective and uses it as a point of criticism against the communist government. Since its emergence on the island in 1986, HIV/AIDS has been a site of political contention between the Cuban government and its exile community. As the Cuban government was confronted with a growing number of gay and bisexual men tested seropositive in the early 1990s, the epidemic became a site for negotiation over social norms related to gender and sexuality as well. Mai’s thesis seeks to understand these phenomena by examining discourses around HIV/AIDS in the Cuban and the Cuban American press and media from 1985 to 1995. It consists mainly of archival research, utilizing newspapers, interviews and official statistics to analyze the history and coverage of Cuba’s HIV/AIDS epidemic both on and off the island.

From 1995-2007 the Pembroke Center awarded Helen Terry MacLeod funds as a prize for an outstanding undergraduate honors thesis that addressed questions of gender or women, or that brought a feminist analysis to bear on a topic of study.

The Barbara Anton Internship Grant

Undergraduate students doing an honors thesis involving an internship or volunteer work in a community agency are eligible to apply for the Barbara Anton research grant. The thesis and community work must be in some way related to the welfare of women and children, and the $1000 grant used to further research.

Application materials should include:

  • a three to five page description of your honors thesis
  • the name of the community organization with which you are working
  • a letter of support from your thesis advisor
  • a brief description of how you would use the grant funds, if awarded

The grant commemorates Barbara Anton’s many contributions to the Pembroke Center over nearly two decades as director of the Pembroke Associates organization.

View a list of all Barbara Anton Internship Grant recipients

2016-17 Barbara Anton Internship Grant Recipient

Sage Fanucchi-Funes '17
Gender and Sexuality Studies, American Studies

Class and Racial Entanglements in Contemporary Midwifery

For her honors thesis in American Studies, Sage Fanucchi-Funes is writing an ethnography concerning the relationship between midwifery, biomedicalization, and pregnancy in the United States. Her research is focused on Rhode Island and draws both on field work and in-depth interviews of providers and patients.

Fanucchi-Funes is looking to address the ways in which midwifery works both on and against the biomedicalization and professionalization of birth. Midwives are often seen as simply working against the medical framework that has depended on the disenfranchisement of black women, women of color, and low-income women in the United States. Yet, the midwifery profession in the United States is complex and their practice can often reflect the inequalities based on race, class, ability, gender, and sexuality built into not only the medical system but our society writ large. But their implication in reproducing these injustices are often invisibilized by dominant narratives. Her research will continue to interrogate the role the midwife might have in achieving birth and reproductive justice for marginalized people in the United States and highlight the complicated relationship between patients and midwives.

The Linda Pei Undergraduate Research Grant

First awarded in 2008, the Linda Pei Undergraduate Research Grant supports an undergraduate research project related to issues of women’s empowerment such as gender equality in the workplace, access to reproductive health care, and women's political leadership. Research projects related to women in developing countries, such as micro-finance and access to education will also be considered. The $1000 grant is to be used to further research.

Application materials should include:

  • a three to five page description of your research project
  • a letter of support from your advisor
  • a brief description of how you would use the grant funds, if awarded

The grant honors the life of Linda Pei ’67 (1944-2007). Linda was born in China and grew up in Tokyo. Her parents sent her to the United States for schooling at the age of sixteen. She graduated from Brown with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, earned a master’s degree in teaching from Wesleyan University, and completed a master’s degree in business administration at Stanford University. She founded the Women’s Equity Mutual Fund in 1993 to advance the social and economic status of women in the workplace by bringing to bear the collective power of individual and institutional investors. She also founded a program to integrate entrepreneurial learning and microfinance in a small community in China.

Click here for a list of all Linda Pei Research Grant recipients

2016-17 Linda Pei Undergraduate Research Grant Recipient

Alice Hamblett '17

Maternal Health Care as a Measure and Determinant of Gender Equality in Cuba

The Cuban maternal health care system has been internationally praised for its yielding of positive statistical outcomes. Through her thesis, Alice Hamblett seeks to explore the role that the Cuban state plays in both reforming and perpetuating gender ideologies via the maternal health care system. Hamblett will examine two dueling effects of this comprehensive, state-funded system. Specifically, what positive impacts does the Cuban state’s financial and institutional support of women’s reproductive health have on gender culture? Conversely, does the extensive care provided by the Cuban state re-inscribe gender stereotypes of women’s frailty and need for biomedical intervention? Rather than rest upon the widely-adopted, positive correlation between maternal health care and gender equality, Hamblett will ask how the Cuban maternal health care system might set an international standard for care and feminist progress while simultaneously re-inscribing negative gender ideology. Hamblett hopes that her research will lead to engagement with themes that extend beyond her essential inquiries. These include the impacts of government spending on gender equality, the relationship between a socialist state and cultural change, and the intersection of the social and the clinical.

Enid Wilson Undergraduate Travel Fellowship

The Enid Wilson Undergraduate Travel Fellowship supports travel expenses for innovative research by undergraduate honors students from any department pursuing work related to women and gender.

Application materials should include:

  • a three to five page description of your research project
  • a letter of support from your advisor
  • a brief description of how you would use the grant funds, if awarded

Click here for a list of all Enid Wilson Undergraduate Travel Fellowship recipients

2016-17 Enid Wilson Undergraduate Travel Fellowship Recipients

Katherine Grusky '17
History, Latin American Studies

Digging Below the Surface: Gender and Family Relations in Chilean Copper Mine, El Teniente, 1904-1930

World War I increased the global demand of copper, leading to an age of ‘new copper mining in Chile.’ Driven by the Chilean government’s favorable foreign investment, the El Teniente mine was bought by New York-based, Braden Copper Company in 1904. From 1915-1930, in order to keep up with copper demand, new technologies were imported to increase production. The company needed a permanent and skilled workforce to operate the new machinery and keep the mine running. To establish a permanent workforce, the company implemented rules and regulations that incentivized male-headed, nuclear families—if miners were in stable families, they would be more likely to stay in the mining town for longer periods of time.

These regulations were not created in a vacuum, but were the result of North American and Chilean culture coming together in a rapidly transforming world shaped by the global market and changing and complicated conceptions of gender and family. Grusky's project will be a comparative study of the ideals of the middle class between Chile and Progressive- Era America, and an exploration of how the convergence and clash of those ideals played out in the lives of women and families in the El Teniente mine.

Andrea Zhu '17
Development Studies 

Specter of the Past, Intrusion of the Future: Gender and (Im)mobility at the China-Myanmar Border

Once a locus of illicit drug trade, the border province of Yunnan is now rapidly transforming into the frontier of China’s regional integration policy with Southeast Asia. In conducting ethnography and interviews with youth in a rural village at this border, Zhu observed a feeling of stagnation, both physical and social, that persisted among them. Young women felt urges to leave the village that external expectations kept them from pursuing, while young men resisted familial pressure to migrate and find work. Zhu’s thesis is an attempt to understand these different states of immobility in the context of China’s border development, and the gendered imaginaries of a collective past and urban futurity that come with it. Her project aims to bring theories of time and memory to bear on the more traditional development subjects of infrastructure and migration. It also hopes to make space, amid the vast literature on rural-to-urban migration and women in cities, for a study of gender and immobility in rural China. Zhu will use grant funds to conduct more fieldwork in Yunnan.