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KUIA awards 10 grants for research and collaboration aboard

Wednesday, May 12, 2021


LAWRENCE — KU International Affairs has awarded more than $49,000 in travel grants to nine University of Kansas faculty members and graduate student to support research and collaboration abroad.  


These competitively awarded funds were dispersed among faculty and students in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and schools of Journalism & Mass Communication and Social Welfare. Through these funds, faculty and students will travel to nine countries on four continents to conduct research, access archives, collaborate with colleagues and strengthen international partnerships.  


Recipients will use the funds between now and June 30, 2022 


Faculty Grants 


South, Southeast and East Asia Fund 

The South, Southeast and East Asia Fund develops, strengthens and maintains institutional exchanges and academic collaborations between KU and counterparts at selected postsecondary institutions within Asia. Grant recipients include:  


Michael Krueger, professor of visual artwho will travel to Japan to build relationships and develop creative projects in tandem with international partners. This visit will result in a co-curated exhibition for U.S. artists in Tokyo and a co-curated exhibition of contemporary Japanese artists in Kansas City, Missouri 


Deborah Smith, professor of ecology & evolutionary biology, who will travel to the Philippines to sample and research the diversity of stingless bee species across major islands. Her research will provide significant insights into conservation and the biogeography of island species.  


Akiko Takeyama, associate professor of women, gender & sexuality studies, who will travel to Tokyo to conduct archival research, participant observations and in-depth interviews to examine the often invisible and silenced lives of poverty-stricken single parents in contemporary Japan. 


Hong Vu, assistant professor of journalism & mass communications, will travel to Vietnam to collaborate with colleagues at the Academy of Journalism and Communication and Vietnam National University. The team will research the adoption of digital technologies in newsrooms in Vietnam and how that is changing journalistic practices in different news organizations in the country.  



KU-UCR Exchange Support Fund 

The KU-UCR Exchange Support Fund, administered by International Affairs, prioritizes support for faculty exchange development between KU and the University of Costa Rica. The fund can also be used to support KU faculty research in Costa Rica or elsewhere in Latin America. Grant recipients include: 


Vitaly Chernetsky, associate professor of Slavic and Eurasian languages & literatures, will travel to Brazil to research writers of Slavic or East European origins who were displaced to Latin America. The research is for an upcoming monograph. 


 Mugur Geana, associate professor of strategic communication, will travel to Chile to conduct health communication research with colleagues at Pontifical Catholic University. 



International Travel Fund for Humanities Research 

The International Travel Fund for Humanities Research supports KU faculty pursuing international humanities research abroad. The funds are intended for summer research projects and provides funding for airfare and related travel expenses. Grant recipients include:  


Marie Brown, associate professor of Middle East history, will travel to England to consult research materials at the Bodleian Library at Oxford University and the Sudan Archive at Durham University for her next book project, "A World of Color: Adventures in Romance in Imperial Sudan."


Kris Imants Ercums, curator of global contemporary and Asian art, will travel to China to gather archival materials and engage self-identifying queer creatives through a hybrid methodology that merges structured interviews with the iterative strategies of the curatorial studio visit. 


Mehrangiz Najafizadeh, associate professor of sociology, will travel to Azerbaijan to conduct fieldwork including in-depth dialogues to compile narratives of women in the Republic of Azerbaijan who were forcibly displaced from their homelands three decades ago due to the Nagorno-Karabakh War and who, due to the recent 2020 war and liberation of those homelands, now face the prospect of finally being able to return home. 


Graduate Grants 


Pre-Dissertation Travel Grant 

Pre-Dissertation Travel Grants support six- to eight-week trips for preliminary dissertation field activities taking place in Latin America. The grant recipient is:  


Linda Banda, a doctoral student in social welfare, will travel to Africa to conduct preliminary research on the impact of implementation of child marriage related laws, including evidence-based initiatives to promote sustainable practices in ending child marriage in Malawi. 

For more information visit international.ku.edu.  

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