Asian American Studies Undergraduate Research Fellowship

ASAM Research Fellowship Program

General Information

In addition to coursework in Asian American Studies (ASAM), undergraduates can apply for the ASAM Research Fellowship Program, which provides students with comprehensive academic training in research methodology  and theory to enhance their critical thinking and writing skills. Along with a faculty advisor, students conduct original research to complete an independent honors project that strengthens their knowledge of Asian American studies, topics, and identities. The program provides an excellent opportunity to build one's resume while exploring personal interests and learning valuable skills and expertise for one’s professional future.

Fellows have the option to (1) complete an independent research project or (2) intern at an Asian American-based organization during the summer. The project can be for a course requirement, an independent project, or a senior thesis. In addition to pursuing an individual research project or internship, fellows will also participate in bimonthly meetings held over Zoom on Fridays 12-1p ET during the summer. 

Upon return in the fall, fellows will present their research at the ASAM Research Colloquium and collaborate on a connected theme for the Spring semester. Fellows will be given a budget to design and curate a conference of national scholars that will take place during the Spring as the ASAM Fellows Symposium. In addition, each ASAM Fellow will become a part of the ASAM community, attend special fellows’ events during the Fall and Spring semesters, and have lunch with ASAM faculty to learn about their research experience.  Throughout the year, ASAM sponsors conferences and hosts a variety of events, including film screenings, academic talks, and performances.

As part of this fellowship, participants will receive the following:

  • A $ 2,100 to support research initiatives that will be awarded in 3 installments of $700 (Summer, Fall, and Spring)
  • Opportunity to present at the ASAM Research Colloquium
  • Experience with designing, curating, moderating, and executing a symposium
  • Mentorship and guidance from ASAM faculty at Penn
  • Personal connections with ASAM scholars and the support of an academic community
  • Tools for success that students can use inside and outside of the classroom (i.e., writing, research, public speaking, and event planning)

Eligibility Guidelines

Candidates for this fellowship are rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors at Penn who are highly motivated, well-organized, detail-oriented, and able to work in small group settings. You do not have to be an ASAM minor to apply, but preference will be given to students who have taken at least one ASAM class.

Application Details

Applications are due 12 April, 2024, and must provide:

  • Research proposal OR detailed statement of plans (if the candidate is pursuing an organization-affiliated internship or the ASAM archival fellowship)
  • Proposed budget (approximate)
  • Personal Statement discussing how Fellowship and future Speaker Series will enhance your educational goals of approximately 500 words.
  • Reference form to be completed preferably from your research advisor or internship supervisor (does not have to be a Penn affiliate)
  • Your availability for a 30-minute interview on Monday April 22 and Tuesday April 23


Awards will be announced by early May. By May fellows are expected to submit finalized project plans for the summer.

For more information and to apply please contact Dr. Rupa Pillai at