Each year, a small group of Stanford students are awarded up to $2500 grants to produce audio stories through the Braden Storytelling Grant. The grant is designed to support students who want to research, write, and produce an audio documentary based on interviews, research, or oral history archives. It’s an opportunity to learn how to tell research-driven stories in sound, and receive mentorship, teaching, and training throughout the process.
Ready to apply? Here’s what you need to know.
Grantees must be enrolled undergraduate students during the entire duration of their project (March through December). Typically this means that the applicant is in their junior year or earlier, but seniors may apply if they will co-term and/or enrolled through the following fall term.
Timeline and Requirements for Applicants and Grantees
- Attend Braden Grant info session on Tuesday, January 16, 2023, 5:00-6:00 p.m. at the Hume Center Lounge. Food and Boba provided!
- Set up a meeting with one of the SSP staff through Storylab to discuss your project idea and receive coaching for your application.
- The Braden Grant application system will be open for submissions through February 28, 2023.
- Please note that you must meet with an SSP staff member prior to submitting your application.
- Complete your application and submit it here.
Applications must be submitted through the link above by no later than 11:59 p.m. on February, 28, 2023 (2/25/23). Applications for students who have not met with an SSP staff will not be considered.
Accepted grantees will be notified in March, and will complete their grant through the steps below.
- Attend three (3) 2-hour training sessions designed to equip you with the foundations you’ll need to conduct your interviews, pursue your research, and begin writing and producing your audio story.
- Schedule a minimum of three (3) 30-minute meetings with your assigned mentor in spring quarter to review the content of training sessions, map out your story, refine your research questions, schedule your research and interview schedule for the summer, develop interview questions, and become familiar with equipment and software.
- Schedule and commit to a weekly meeting with your mentor (via phone or Zoom) throughout the summer.
- Work with your mentor to complete short exercises designed to help you learn audio editing software, implement what you learned in the spring workshops, and lay the foundation for your interviews and research.
- Meet with your mentor weekly (phone or Zoom) to update them on your progress, troubleshoot issues, and discuss story-crafting as you complete interviews and research and your project develops.
- Complete ALL interviews and upload them both to Descript and to a shared Google Drive folder by NO LATER than August 15th, 2023.
- Complete a step script of your project by no later than August 30th, 2023. Submit the script to your mentor and also upload it to the shared Google Drive folder.
- Submit a full draft of your script by September 15th, 2023. This should include any clip pulls from your interviews, as well as written narration and notes for sound design.
- All grant recipients must enroll in ORALCOMM 126, a 1-unit graded production workshop course in the fall quarter that will guide you through the final steps of podcast production (e.g. tracking narration, sound design, editing interview clips, mixing and mastering). Please note that the 1-unit is not a reflection of the amount of work you may do to complete your project outside of class in conjunction with your mentor.
- Continue to meet weekly with your mentor to update them on progress, troubleshoot issues, and receive help with writing, audio editing, tracking narration, sound design, and all other aspects of podcast production.
- Submit all assignments for the Braden class, which include smaller weekly assignments to keep you on track with your project, as well as listening assignments and workshop feedback for your classmates as you together work toward your final projects.
- Turn in your final project by the end of the fall quarter (see specific date on the ORALCOMM 126 syllabus). This includes uploading to the shared Google Drive folder the exported audio (.mp3 and .wav), corresponding transcript, and all audio files and Hindenburg sessions used for the project.
How to Apply
Using the form below, submit your project proposal and your proposed budget. You’ll upload your completed proposal both as a pdf and as responses to each question in the form below. We recommend copying and pasting the questions below into a separate document. For each of the questions, your responses should be no more than 200 words (and you are encouraged to use fewer words when possible).
Your application will include responses to the following questions:
1) Question: What question are you exploring with this project?
2) Context/Conversation: How will the work that others have already done on this topic inform your work?
3) Stakes: Why does it matter so much to you to tell this story? Why will it matter to listeners to hear it?
4) Method: What steps will you take in conducting your research? (e.g. are there texts or archives you’re consulting, specific people you will interview?)
5) Preparation: What previous training, experience, or exposure have you had to the topic, and how has it prepared you for this project?
6) Budget: What will it cost to complete this project? Please attach a budget with line items for all expenses (e.g. translation services, travel, etc.). Note: audio recording equipment will be provided by SSP.
7) Timeline: In addition to the project deadlines provided by your mentors, what specific goals and deadlines will you set for yourself to complete this project in the allotted time, particularly in the early months of your project (March-August 2023)?
The link to submit your 2023 application is here.
Listen to projects completed by previous Braden Grantees here.
For any questions about the award not answered here, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org