January 15, 2015
With graduate school on the horizon, Emily Gong (Artsci’15) credits her participation in the Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowship (USSRF) program for expanding her options.
“Through the research fellowship, I became much more interested in exploring China’s ethnic diversity, a different area of study compared to what I had been doing during my previous three years of undergrad,” says Ms. Gong, a fine arts major. “The experience last summer gave me the resources and confidence to apply for master’s programs in Chinese studies.”
USSRF provides an opportunity for continuing undergraduate students in the social sciences and humanities to develop their research skills under the guidance of a faculty researcher. Over the course of the summer, students complete a research project in an area of interest and/or participate in the research program of a selected researcher.
Working with Xuelin Bai (Languages, Literatures and Cultures), Ms. Gong researched the Mogao and Yulin grottoes at Dunhuang on China’s western frontier. Dunhuang is historically significant because the city is situated at the junction of the northern and southern Silk Routes.
While in China, Ms. Gong conducted field research, collected data and observed the paintings on the cave walls in Dunhuang. The fellowship gave her valuable experience analyzing archival information and literature and working with scholars and experts in a variety of fields such as Imperial Chinese history, cultural anthropology and archaeology.
“This research fellowship allowed me to apply the knowledge from my rigorous academic studies and then expand on my area of interest to develop a deeper understanding informed by primary research,” she says.
Applications for summer 2015 are due on Jan. 28. More information is available on the University Research Services website.