The Department values independent student research and encourages all majors to undertake it. Most years one or more Williams students accompany Prof. Antonia Foias to her archaeological field site in Guatemala, Motul de San José. Recent thesis projects by majors in Anthropology or Sociology have included studies of the Smithsonian folk life festival, the meaning of volunteerism in community health programs in Honduras, the negotiation of Ghanaian identity in Chicago, and the significance of social class to first-generation college students.
Summer Research Funding
In addition to college-wide opportunities for independent research funding, Anthropology and Sociology has departmental funds designated for student research connected to an independent study or a thesis project. If you would like to submit a proposal for independent research funding, start early by finding a faculty advisor and discussing your plans with him/her. Once you have the faculty member’s support, you will need to prepare (in consultation with her/him) and submit to the Department Chair the following documents:
- Cover Sheet (download here)
- Research proposal (approx. 2-3 pp.)
- Research timeline, and
- Realistic itemized budget.
Research proposal should follow the guidelines for thesis proposals available here.
Please note that, in case of competing submissions, thesis research proposals will receive preference. Proposals will be evaluated on the merits of the proposed project, and the likelihood that it will result in a significant piece of research. In the interests of serving the greatest number of interested students, awards may not be combined (i.e., if your project receives full funding from another source, an offer of departmental support may be redirected to another student).
First deadline (reserved for students planning to conduct thesis-related research in the summer): April 5, 2019
Second deadline (contingent on the availability of funds): May 3, 2019
- Williams IRB process (a must-read if you are contemplating ethnographic fieldwork or interviewing as part of your summer research)
- Useful writing guides for students in Anthropology & Sociology
- Gateways to the Williams College Library’s guide to research in Anthropology & Archaeology and Sociology.
- AnthroSource, the American Anthropological Association’s online publication portal (Williams College and AAA members only)