Applications due February 5 for Downing Grants for HART Undergraduate Research and Travel

jalenchangdresdencastleHART majors and minors are encouraged to apply for a spring 2016 Downing grant by Friday, February 5.  The department awards these Downing grants for travel to exhibitions and research centers to supplement academic instruction for HART students who are in the Honors Program, senior seminars (HART 4960), or  “W” (writing) courses.  The Downing grants, which provide assistance for up to $1,500 in travel costs, are awarded in the fall and spring of each academic year.

Applications for the spring 2016 Downing grants—due Friday, February 5—should be addressed to the Downing Grants Committee, c/o Professor Elizabeth Moodey and submitted by email. Please email them to Professor Moodey (

The application should consist of a detailed proposal of one page explaining the purpose and rationale of the proposed travel; projected costs (accommodation, travel expenses, and research costs—note that food is not included); and a supporting letter by the instructor in charge of the project.

Past Downing Grants have supported research on projects ranging from a Marcel Duchamp installation in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to the Elgin marbles from the Parthenon in the British Museum, to a Gothic reliquary in the Louvre.

jalenchangbrandenburggateMost recently awarded a Downing grant, Jalen Chang, HART and economics major, spent seven days in Germany, traveling to Hamburg, Berlin, and Dresden over Thanksgiving break.

“At the suggestion of my honors thesis adviser, Professor Christopher Johns, I embarked on this solo journey in order to view the works of Caspar David Friedrich in their homeland, an invaluable and rewarding trip,” said Chang, who viewed more than forty Friedrich paintings. “This was crucial to the quality of my project (involving the nationalistic and anti-Napoleonic interpretations of the German painter’s works), as his pieces have a unique and complicated meaning to Germany’s people and history.”

*Jalen Chang, HART and economics major, Class of 2016, provided the photographs for this blog post:  Dresden Castle; and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin at night.

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