Applications are open for the 2024-2025 cycle!

Applications are due April 1, 2024

“This past summer, through gracious support from the Experiential Learning Fellowship in Anthropology supported by Jonathan F. Plimpton, I was able to travel to India to conduct my own anthropological research!”

-Muskan Sidhu

Picture of Muskan Sidhu

Above photograph: Muskan Sidhu was the recipient of a Jonathan F. Plimpton Experiential Learning Fellowship in Anthropology. Traveling to India to conduct her research, Muskan studied changing trends in ayurveda and conducted patient and staff interviews in an ayurvedic clinic in New Delhi to understand why people are increasingly relying on ayurvedic medicine and what benefits they see within the ethnomedical system. Muskan also had the opportunity to learn more about ayurveda’s underlying principles by observing different types of treatments and learning how small clinics are able to operate within a competitive healthcare market.

ELFA 2024-2025

Experiential Learning Fellowships in Anthropology* provide Anthropology undergraduate majors with the opportunity to have a meaningful experience in another culture, with the specific goal of enhancing understanding of cultural, economic, political and social diversity. The 2024-2025 competition is open to projects that work internationally or domestically.

Award: The maximum award is $5,000. Two awards will be made in 2024-2025.

Student Eligibility: The ELFA is open to students who meet these criteria:

  • Anthropology majors
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.0
  • At least sophomore status
  • Have completed a minimum of 12 credits in anthropology, including ANTH 102 (Being Human: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology)
  • Must be able to complete the project prior to graduation

Project Eligibility: The ELFA is designed to support student projects that relate to business activities, broadly defined. Preference will be given to international projects but domestic projects are eligible. Examples of past projects supported with ELFA funds can be found here. Examples of types of projects that may be supported include:

  • Senior Capstone projects
  • Experiences or projects conducted in conjunction with Study Abroad
  • Honors projects

The following projects may not be supported by these funds:

  • Field schools
  • Conferences
  • Internship programs in Cleveland

Application Procedure:

  • Students must have an Anthropology faculty sponsor. Students are strongly encouraged to work with their faculty sponsor well in advance of the application deadline to provide sufficient time to develop the project plans.
    • If the project involves research with human subjects, students should work with their faculty sponsor to obtain approval from the CWRU Institutional Review Board (IRB). IRB approval and approval from the relevant authorities in the country or local institution where you plan to do research is not required for initial application but is required before funds will be released.
  • Complete the application here. A complete application includes the following:
    • Completed cover sheet, establishing eligibility
    • An introduction in which you provide a brief background for your project, including its anthropological relevance, and a clear statement of your primary thesis/goal
    • A detailed description of your proposed methods, including a description of how you will obtain a sample
    • A detailed budget
    • One letter of recommendation describing the qualifications of the applicant and the feasibility of the proposal. This letter of recommendation will normally be written by the faculty sponsor but it may be written by anyone with appropriate expertise to evaluate the project.

Application Deadline: All applications must be received by the extended date of April 1, 2024.

Review Process: Applications will be reviewed by the Anthropology Department faculty. Applicants will be notified of the decision within 2 weeks of the application deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Terms of Awards: Students who receive an ELFA are subject to the following expectations:

  • Students working internationally must register with the CWRU Study Abroad office prior to travel
  • Acquire all necessary approvals for travel and project activities, including human subjects approval
  • Provide receipts for travel expenditures to the CWRU Department Assistant within 60 days of returning to campus
  • Submit a final report to the Department of Anthropology no later than the last day of the semester following completion of the project

* The Experiential Learning Fellowship in Anthropology is possible through the generous support of Mr. Jonathan Plimpton, a 1970 graduate of the Department of Anthropology of Western Reserve College.