Award Opportunities

Almara History in Museums J-Term Internship

The AHM internship is a concentrated J-term practicum in object-based History and Museum Studies. Two will be offered to History majors. One focuses on the diverse collections of material culture and associated documentary record at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum and the Joseph Allen Skinner Museum.

Projects will explore elements of object and archival research, cataloging and writing, object handling and care, and more. The other internship involving the same elements will be based at a museum or historical site chosen by the student. Prospective interns are responsible for contacting a museum, historical home, or other public history site and arranging for the internship, including supervision at the internship site.
Deadline for application: noon on November 10

The department has compiled advice and resources on how to write a grant proposal.

Almara Grant

Fall Deadline: noon on November 10; Spring Deadline: noon on March 8

Established by an alumna, the Grants (which number several each year) are meant to encourage independent research by students  conducting research supervised by faculty in the History Department. This research usually leads to a 295 to 395 independent study in History. Recent awards have helped Mount Holyoke undergraduates to conduct interviews and research in a variety of places, including Washington D.C., Harvard University, New York City, Bangladesh, France, China, and South Africa. Applications for this grant are requested twice annually, once in the fall and once in the spring.

Wilma J. Pugh Grant

Spring Deadline: noon on March 8

Established by Wilma Pugh, Professor Emeritus of History and her nephew, Emerson Pugh, the Award consists of a research grant to a History major who shall be undertaking an independent project in history during her senior year. The grants cover the cost of travel to a research site and research expenses, such as, visas, research permissions, and copying. 

Recent recipients have used this award to conduct research in the United States, Europe, South Asia, and Africa. Wilma Pugh said of the award, "I hope that students will develop an interest in research and the ability to know how to do research. Whether they go on in history or not, training in research is useful in a great variety of fields."

Wilma Pugh was a History Professor at Mount Holyoke College from 1943 until 1971, and a specialist in seventeenth and eighteenth-century French history with an emphasis on intellectual history. She received a Ph.D. in 1931 from Cornell University and was the first woman to teach history there. Emerson Pugh is a retired IBM scientist and author of four books on the history of the computer industry. He is also father of Sarah Pugh Tate, who graduated from Mount Holyoke College as a history major in 1985.

Applying to the Almara and Pugh Grants

A faculty committee will choose recipients of the awards based on students past achievement and the quality of their research proposals. Students who wish to apply should submit an on-line application form which includes:

  • a 2-3 page description of the proposed project (along with a 1 page bibliography) that defines the topic and describes both the importance of the research for the student's program of study and the uses to which the Award would be put; 
  • a transcript (an un-official transcript from my.mtholyoke is sufficient); 
  • a proposed budget;
  • 1 letter of recommendation from a faculty member in the Department with whom the student has worked sent to Holly Sharac, Academic Department Coordinator. 

Interested students should consult with members of the History Department to plan the project and get feedback on the draft proposal.

Clio Melpomene Prize

Spring Deadline: submit your applications by noon on April 30

The late Peter Viereck, Professor Emeritus of History and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, has endowed this annual prize for 'a young woman who follows her private star in poetic style or historical interpretation.' Applications for this prize are accepted annually near the end of the spring semester.

Applicants must be students of Mount Holyoke College slated to graduate as members of the Class of 2020. There are no GPA or citizenship restrictions. The work need not be completed for a course, independent study, or major.

Applicants should submit an electronic copy (in pdf or Microsoft Word format) of a sample of work in poetry and/or history to Holly Sharac, Academic Department Coordinator in History. The work must be in the English language. The sample should be large enough to fully represent the applicant's work. Also required is a short (one to three page) personal statement, addressing the work, aspirations for continued work in the field, current post-graduation endeavors and plans, or any other information relevant to the applicant's work and future plans. There is no application form. The judging committee is made up of members of the English and History departments.

Constitutional Issues Research Fellowship

Spring Deadline: March 15

Deadline for written proposals is March 15 (copies to Professor Chris Pyle and Professor Daniel Czitrom) Notification: April 15. Applications for this fellowship are accepted annually.

Mount Holyoke sophomores and juniors may submit proposals for research projects on contemporary public policy issues that contain a constitutional history component. Fellowship awards provide funds for summer research that might serve as a basis for a senior thesis or other scholarly work. Up to two fellowships may be awarded for summer 2020.

Modern issues of both global and domestic public policy frequently involve elements of the U.S. or other nations’ constitutions.Questions regarding human rights, privacy rights, immigration rights, and voting rights together with protections such as free speech, the free press, and the free exercise of religion provide examples of current topics rooted in constitutional provisions and subsequent legal interpretations. Applicants and faculty advisors may interpret the scope of potential topics with moderate breadth.For example, depending on the specifics of each proposal, the following topics meet the general criteria.

  • An anatomy of a Supreme Court case, based on interviews with the parties and the files of law firms. 
  • A comparison of early US constitutional development with that of nations involved in the Arab Spring. 
  • An examination of contemporary campaign contribution laws including relevant Supreme Court decisions. 
  • An analysis of citizens’ privacy rights as communications media have expanded to include the widespread gathering of electronic data. 
  • Philosophical debates over major issues of governmental authority, civil liberties, or constitutional interpretation.

Proposals of up to four pages should include a clear statement of the topic and its significance, the research approach, and the expected outcome.In other words, applicants should address these specific questions:

  1. What is the issue? 
  2. Why is it important? 
  3. What will you do to study the issue thoroughly? 
  4. Where will you go for documents? 
  5. Who will you interview? 
  6. What is the form of the final result of the research?

Students interested in this fellowship should consult with Professors Chris Pyle (Politics) or Dan Czitrom (History) for further details.

The fellowship sponsor, Dr. Christine L. Compston (MHC ’71) spent her professional career teaching, researching, and writing on topics of constitutional history in their contemporary context.This career interest began in a senior undergraduate seminar on the constitution.Through these fellowships, she encourages another generation of Mount Holyoke women to base their emerging careers in fields such as law, journalism, and public service on an understanding of the impact of constitutional history on contemporary issues.