Research & Travel Opportunities

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Research & Travel Opportunities

UNC in Israel Archaeological Excavation – Summer

Application deadline for Summer 2020: February 10, 2020

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.

Other Study Abroad Opportunities

For students interested in other study abroad possibilities, the following members of our faculty are available to advise on such matters (please contact each faculty member individually):

Barbara Ambros (Asia)
Brandon Bayne (Latin America)
Jessica Boon (Europe)
Lauren Leve (Asia)
Evyatar Marienberg (Europe)
Zlatko Plese (Europe)
Brendan Thornton (Caribbean)

You can also see the UNC Study Abroad website.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

SURFs are major awards (at least $3000) to enable undergraduates to engage in research, scholarship or creative performance under the guidance of faculty advisors (and possibly also graduate student mentors) for at least 9 weeks (20 hours/week) during the summer. Applications for the SURFs are considered once a year in the early spring. 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.


This award covers in-state tuition for one three-hour research-intensive course at UNC-Chapel Hill. The course must offer one-on-one mentorship. Such courses have a standard course number of *95 (i.e., 395, 495) and are offered in many departments already or can be added for a specific year.


Deadline: Tuesday, May 1, at 5:00PM

URCT’s are small “strike teams” of students from multiple disciplines who execute well-defined, one semester projects guided by a faculty advisor. Students will register for a 1-credit course (IDST 195) under the supervision of the faculty advisor as part of the award. Award Amount: Awards will provide up to $5,000 per team to cover costs of conducting the project (e.g. supplies, travel, etc.), graduate research assistant support, and/or faculty adviser support.

If you are interested in international research or research involving a global audience, check out the funding database and other resources maintained by UNC’s Center for Global Initiatives.

For other sources of summer support, please visit the Carolina Internal Funding Database. Many of the programs listed on our Undergraduate Research Programs at UNC page also offer funding for undergraduate research.

Applications are submitted through the Department’s honors advisor.


The Department of Religious Studies hosts an annual Virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium in April (spring semester). The idea is to offer an opportunity for undergraduate students, particularly those who have taken a class with one of our faculty, to showcase their work in a welcoming and scholarly environment. Those students who have applied for our Halperin-Schütz Essay Prize will automatically be considered for participation in the Symposium.