Undergraduate Grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded to research and create an audio documentary podcast episode based on oral history archives, research, or interviews conducted by the student. Awards will be made in the spring quarter for research to be conducted over the summer.

All pieces will be featured on the Storytelling Project’s website, and have the opportunity to be considered for inclusion in State of the Human, the Storytelling Project’s premier, award-winning radio show and podcast. State of the Human episodes are aired on KZSU, Stanford’s public radio station, and some stories reach national broadcast outlets.

Kinds of Research

This grant program supports two kinds of research:

  1. A documentary about a specific community or historical event. This research would focus on a specific community that has formed around a discrete historical circumstance, interest, or identity (e.g., political movement, community space, hobbies, identity) or specific event (e.g. a protest, a cultural phenomenon, or scientific discovery). Students are encouraged to choose communities or events that have not already been well documented and be able to identify oral history archives or people whom they will interview for the documentary. Students may belong to community or have experienced the event that they will document.
  2. A documentary about an oral tradition. This research would focus on a specific tradition, culture, or medium of storytelling, from ancient traditions and indigenous cultures to contemporary radio and performance. Students might study the oral tradition of a particular geographic region, language, or ethnic group. Students might also study a specific oral tradition or genre, such as German folklore or Zen Buddhist teaching tales. Or students might study modern forms of oral narrative from live monologues to radio documentaries, like those produced live by The Moth or broadcast by programs such as This American Life or Radio Diaries.

Listen to previous grant winning projects here


Applicants must commit to the following requirements to be considered:

  • Grantees must be enrolled undergraduate students at all times during the undertaking of their project, to its conclusion during the fall term after summer research. Typically this means that the applicant is in their junior year or earlier, but seniors may apply if they will co-term or if they will be enrolled through the following fall term.
  • Grantees will attend three 2-hour workshops during the Spring term. These workshops are designed to teach you the foundations of audio storytelling and give you the tools to conduct your research and create your project.
  • Grantees must enroll in a formal 1-credit graded course in the subsequent fall quarter that will guide them through the production process to create a high quality audio documentary that is broadcast-ready, and to complete their projects by the end of the fall quarter.
  • As part of the award, students will learn how to use audio recording equipment, and then check out that equipment to complete their research over the summer.
  • Grantees will be paired with a Storytelling Project faculty mentor, and will meet weekly with their mentor throughout the entire duration of the project (March-December).
  • While a faculty letter of support is welcome, it is not required.

How to apply