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Whiting Indigenous Knowledge Student Research Awards

Whiting Indigenous Knowledge Student Research Awards

Call for Proposals

Penn State graduate and undergraduate students are invited to submit proposals to conduct research between April 2017 and January 2018 on topics that focus on aspects of indigenous knowledge.  This is a competitive process.  A maximum amount of $2,000 per project will be awarded.  Funding is made available through the M. G. Whiting Endowment for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledge.

To apply, you must be a currently enrolled Penn State University student. Research must be related to an approved honors thesis topic, approved masters or doctoral thesis topic, approved topic for undergraduate capstone course, etc. If your proposal is funded, you will be required to present your research findings and/or project results at a Fall 2017 or Spring 2018 ICIK seminar. You will also be require to write an article highlighting the indigenous knowledge aspects of your project for publication in the ICIK journal: IK: Other Ways of Knowing.

Proposal Deadline: March 3, 2017

Application instructions:

The application should consist of:

  • Cover Page (1 Page):  download cover page here
    • Title of proposal,
    • Contact information for applicant
    • Research must be related to an approved honors thesis topic, approved masters or doctoral thesis topic, approved topic for undergraduate capstone course, etc.
    • Name of faculty research advisor, and department
  • Abstract (150 words maximum, single-spaced).
  • Proposal (approximately 1500 words):Include:
    • relevance of the project to indigenous knowledge research;
    • the background and research objectives of the study or project;
    • project methodology and design; and
    • timeline for completion.
  • Bibliography of cited references.  You may use any standard bibliographic format e.g. APA, Chicago Manual of Style, MLA, etc.
  • Budget and Justification (1 page maximum): Please supply an itemized budget of proposed expenses. Funds may be used for project-related travel, printing/copying, computer software, and disposable supplies. Funds may not be used for tuition, wages, conference related expenses, laboratory equipment, or computer hardware.
  • IRB certification application must have been submitted at time of application. Supply submission number with application.  IRB approval is required to receive the award.  Award will be withdrawn if this certification is denied. 
  • Letter of recommendation from academic/thesis/dissertation advisor.
  • Please submit all documents as a single PDF file. 

How to submit:

All proposals must be submitted electronically to the Penn State Angel group Student Indigenous Knowledge Research Award.  

  • Log into Angel
  • In the MY GROUPS section
    • click on "Find a Group"
    • Search for the keyword "indigenous"
    • click on "enroll"-you have enrolled
    • click on "Student Indigenous Knowledge Research Award"
  • Read submission information
  • To submit proposal as an attachment, click on "Student Application DropBox"

Evaluation criteria:

  • Intellectual Merit.  Shows well thought out research methodology
  • Research Potential.  What is the potential for the research to:
    • Advance knowledge and understanding of IK generally or within the researcher’s field 
    • Benefit the community where research/work is conducted
  • Creativity.  Extent to which the proposed activities suggest and explore original or potentially transformative concepts.
  • Research Design and Evaluation.  Proposed activities are well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound rationale.  The plan incorporates a mechanism to assess project outcomes and includes a mechanism for informing the indigenous community of the results.
  • Qualifications.  Individual is qualified to conduct the proposed activities and has relevant experience or research record.
  • Resources.  Availability of adequate resources to complete the research proposal. Matching funds are encouraged.

If for any reason you are unable to undertake the proposed research, you will be required to return the award.


Please contact Mark Mattson at

View Past Whiting Recipients