Resources & Funding Opportunities

Every spring the Human Rights Institute sponsors a Graduate Human Rights Research Grant Competition. The objective of the competition is to support and promote research projects on human rights related questions. The funding competition is open to all masters and doctoral students in all disciplines from Storrs and the regional campuses. Awards are in the range of $2,000 per project.

For a detailed explanation of our funding for graduate students see our Research Funds page.


Human Rights Dissertation Fellowship – Summer 2014

In an effort to support graduate student dissertations with a human rights focus at the University of Connecticut, the Human Rights Institute will be funding a $5,000 dissertation fellowship for the summer of 2014.

Evaluation of Dissertation Fellowship Applications

The dissertation project should demonstrate overall excellence with a focus on human rights issues, understood broadly. Projects should make a significant contribution to ongoing scholarly and policy debates in the field of human rights. All proposals will be reviewed and ranked by a multidisciplinary review committee chaired by the Interim Director of the Human Rights Institute and comprised of members of the Gladstein Human Rights Committee.

Application format
The Human Rights Institute Dissertation Fellowship is open to University of Connecticut Doctoral students (ABD) in all disciplines from Storrs and the regional campuses.

Each application should include:

1. Narrative description of the dissertation project (five pages)
The narrative should include the following:

2. Detailed timeline of the plan for completion of your dissertation 
3. One-page bibliography for the project
4. Current CV
5. Include a separate statement from their supervisor on how the funding will advance the applicant's research.

Progress Report
Award recipient agrees to submit a progress report (two page maximum) on their dissertation progress by October 1, 2014

Deadline for applications is March 25, 2014.
All applications should be submitted electronically in PDF format to If you have any questions please call 860-486-8739 or email


2011-2012 Grad Student Research Funding Recipients

Isaac Ampofo, International Studies
"The Formulation and Implementation of Policies in the Maternal Health Sector of Ghana,"
This project will address how public policies on health are formulated in Ghana, such that there is fair allocation of resources to the maternal health sector. Additionally, it will look into whether health care during maternity in Ghana is considered a basic right of a woman and if so, whether there are special concessions for such women to access health care.

Robert Allen Booth, Anthropology
"War Remembered: Museums and the Contestations of World War II Narratives."
This project examines how past societal traumas are contested within four museums in Slovenia through addressing questions of how these museums address deeply divisive, traumatic topics in a manner that is not also divisive and potentially harmful.

Cathy Buerger, Anthropology
"The Impact of Religious and Political Identities on Legal Strategies in Ghana"
This study aims to consider the impact of religious and political identity on the process of claiming rights within a plural legal system. The study will be organized around two main themes: what influences where individuals choose to settle disputes and how individuals prioritize their multiple identity based group memberships in the context of justice.

Michele Eggers, Social Work
"Reproductive Health and Human Rights in Chile"
This project investigates the criminalization of abortion in Chile as a violation of the human rights of women. The study will focus on the nature of community-based responses to the economic, political, social, and legal inequalities that exist within the context of restrictive reproductive health policies.

Maria Fernanda Enriquez, Political Science
"The Right to Nature in Ecuador"
In 2008, Ecuadorians endorsed a new constitution, the first in the world that grants rights to nature. This study asks why the environmental movement developed a right to nature frame, and whether environmental human rights and rights to nature are inherently compatible or not. 

Melissa Skye Kerr, Anthropology
"Assessing the Economic and Social Benefits of Carpet Weaving for Repatriated Afghan Refugee Women"
This project will determine whether repatriated refugee women working as carpet weaver achieve an increase in status due to carpet weaving activity. Additionally, it will consider whether there is the potential for negative outcomes for women when international programs encourage women to behave in ways that are not culturally legitimate in the eyes of the community.

Jennifer Willett, Social Work
"Environmental Injustice in Mombasa, Kenya"
The following study proposes continued development of knowledge on the intersection of human rights and environmental harm in Mombasa, Kenya. This study aims to tell the stories of individuals seeking environmental justice, allowing for fusion with their completed environmental science studies to enable a better understanding of the complex dynamics of environmental inequality.


Past Fellowship Winners