Research & Travel Opportunities

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Research & Travel Opportunities

UNC in Israel Archaeological Excavation – Summer

Application deadline for Summer 2018: February 14, 2018

This field school program, directed by Professor Jodi Magness of UNC-CH, provides students with the opportunity to participate in an archaeological excavation while learning about ancient and modern Israel.

Huqoq (modern Arabic name: Yaquq) is a small ancient village located 1.5 miles to the northwest of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 6:75 as part of the inheritance of the tribe of Asher: “Huqoq, with its pasture lands….” Later rabbinic sources (third to fourth centuries A.D.) refer to the gathering and processing of the mustard plant at Huqoq, reflecting the village’s agrarian base. Huqoq flourished especially in the Late Roman and Byzantine periods (fifth and sixth centuries).

This four week summer field school program will provide participating students with 6 hours of UNC academic credit for the following course: CLAR 650: Field School in Classical Archaeology. The ruins of Huqoq are spread over an area of approximately 25 dunams (= 6 acres). The village lies in the center of the region that was the focus of Jesus’ ministry. Capernaum, the home of the adult Jesus, is 3.2 miles to the east, and the town of Migdal, the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, is 2.8 miles to the south. An ancient synagogue building, the remains of which are still visible in the midst of the ruins of Huqoq, will be the focus of the Huqoq Excavation Project (HEP).

For more information on the program, including application procedures, please see the UNC Study Abroad website. You can also contact Professor Magness directly with questions, or visit the Huqoq Excavation Project website.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

Deadline: Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program is designed to enhance the educational experience of undergraduates by engaging them in research opportunities. Students can receive awards in the amount of $3,000 to support a research project over 9 weeks in the summer. SURF applications require a faculty research advisor, and faculty in the Department of Religious Studies regularly serve in this role. We encourage you to contact faculty members as soon as possible if you are interested in exploring this opportunity.

More information about SURF is available at this link.

Honors Undergraduate Research Awards

Deadline: Varies, usually sometime in March

The Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence provides these competitive awards to support a limited number of students in the writing of a senior honors thesis. Funds from these awards may be used for expenses directly connected to undertaking the senior thesis project. Individual awards generally do not exceed $500, though projects with an international dimension may qualify for a supplemental award of up to $500 from the Center for Global Initiatives. Any equipment or non-expended supplies purchased through the award become the property of the Department at the conclusion of the project.

Applications and further information about the award are available from the Johnston Center. Applications are submitted through the Department’s honors advisor.

Bernard Boyd Memorial Fellowship

Deadline: to be announced for 2018 (usually in early/mid-spring)

The Boyd Fellowship is a $11,000 fellowship given annually to a major or double major in the Department of Religious Studies who plans to pursue either graduate or professional education in religion. Current majors, as well as those who graduated the preceding year but did not immediately enter graduate or professional school in religion, are eligible.

Individuals wishing to apply should submit the following documents:

  1. A statement (3-5 pages, typed, double-spaced) explaining the reasons for wanting to pursue advanced work in religious studies;
  2. A description of the educational program the award is to support;
  3. A transcript;
  4. Three letters of recommendation, including one from a professor outside the Department of Religious Studies. (Forms may be obtained from the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the Department Registrar, Myra Quick.)

The Department may require additional documentation and personal interviews in the course of its deliberations.

A recipient must provide evidence that he or she has enrolled in an accredited graduate or professional program in religious studies, or the equivalent thereof, not later than the following fall semester. In the event that he or she does not, the award shall be reassigned to the next most qualified candidate. (A student who forfeits the fellowship may reapply without prejudice the following year if less than a year has elapsed since graduation from college.)

Priority shall be given to persons who have designated religious studies as their major or double major. Lacking a superior candidate, the Department may award the fellowship to a student entering the Department’s graduate program.

All documentation, including letters of recommendation, should be submitted to:

Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Religious Studies
125 Carolina Hall CB#3225
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3225

Bernard Boyd Memorial Prize

Deadline: Not applicable

Students do not apply for this award. Instead, they are nominated by faculty members.

The Bernard Boyd Memorial Prize was established in 1979 by the Department of Religious Studies in memory of Bernard Boyd, who was James A. Gray Professor of Biblical Literature from 1950 to 1979. The prize is presented annually to the member of the senior class majoring in religious studies who has been selected by a faculty committee as most outstanding in academic achievement.

This award of $500 is given in recognition of academic achievement by a senior religious studies major or double major. Lacking a suitable candidate, persons who are effectively majors, either by virtue of the number of courses taken in the Department, or by virtue of participation in the common life of the Department, shall be eligible.