Anna Polishchuck

Photo credit: L.A. Cicero

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Student Research Funding

Funding is available for Stanford University undergraduate and graduate students interested in studying Iran. Applications may focus on any aspect of Iranian history, culture, politics, and language. Priority will be given to those minoring in Global Studies/Iranian Studies. 

The following types of projects are supported:

  • Intensive language study: The proposed course of language study must be integral to the applicant’s academic or professional development. 
  • Fieldwork or advanced research projects: Travel destinations are limited by Stanford policy for student safety.*
  • Public service or internships in the U.S. and abroadFunds may be used to fully or partially defray the costs of a relevant internship opportunity in a local, national, or international organization.*

  • NEW: Homa Sarshar research fund to support study of the Iranian diaspora. 

How to apply for general student research funding 


Danielle Farah

Student Research Projects

Explore past student research projects involving travel, language study, research, internships, and more. 

Examples of past projects: 

  • Archival research on the assimilation of Jews into Iranian society under the Pahlavi Dynasty 

  • Language study: Farsi, Avesta, Kurdish

  • Research papers

  • Curatorial support for art history exhibit

[This project] was an incredible capstone experience to my Stanford career. Being able to apply the knowledge I had gained in Iranian Studies courses to a novel research topic has been truly rewarding.
Jack  Hennessy (2016)
Jack Hennessy

How to Apply for Research Funding

Grant applications are reviewed by the Iranian Studies Program and decisions will be made within four weeks of the application deadline. For questions, please contact the Iranian Studies rparhad [at] (Associate Director), Roma Parhad.

Application Form

Applications for funding are currently accepted on a rolling basis. Please submit applications at least four weeks before funding is needed.  All funding will be contingent upon university policies, including those regarding COVID and travel.  

1. Project Proposal (1-2 pages)

Describe the project to be undertaken, relevance to the study of Iran, and significance for the student’s research and academic development. Include a budget outline (estimated) for proposed activity.

2. CV or Resume
3. Unofficial Transcript

A copy of unofficial transcript from AXESS, saved as a PDF document.

4. Single Letter of Recommendation

A single letter of recommendation from the applicant’s thesis advisor or the primary faculty member with whom they are working. The letter(s) should speak to the specific project being proposed and sent directly by email to rparhad [at] (Roma Parhad). Please note: letters of recommendation must be submitted by the application deadline! You are encouraged to reach out to faculty in advance so they have enough time to try to accommodate your request.


  • Preference will be given to students minoring in Global Studies with a specialization in Iranian Studies and to applicants who have not previously received Iranian Studies funding.
  • Funding is available to undergraduates, coterms, and graduate students whose research interest focuses on Iran. Coterm students must still have undergraduate status. 
  • Stanford policy may restrict undergraduate student travel to countries with State Department advisories. Read Stanford University’s International Travel Policy. Please contact the Iranian Studies associate director if you have questions about how this policy would affect your project or grant application.


The grant may be used for travel, lodging, and living costs associated with off-campus research or training; the purchase of research materials; research-related services (e.g. duplication costs, production of questionnaires/surveys, human subject costs, data entry, transcribing interviews, running focus groups); and costs associated with training (e.g. tuition,  registration fees, tutoring costs).

Requests must be for expenses that are not covered through other sources of funding. Applicants may simultaneously apply for other sources of funding, but they may not accept multiple sources of funding for the same expenses. The itemized budget should clearly list sources of confirmed and/or pending funding.


Recipients are expected to submit a 1-2 page report upon the completion of their project, describing how the project has developed, what was learned, and next steps regarding their research project and career. Recipients who use the grant toward language training are expected to submit a transcript or training completion certificate.

Iranian Studies Program cultivates student’s passion for history

Anna Polishchuck works in the library archives
Photo credit: L.A. Cicero

Anna Polishchuk has been interested in history, arts and culture since she can remember. But when she stepped onto the Stanford campus for the first time, she wasn’t sure what path her studies would take. “I took whatever classes I found interesting,” Polishchuk said.

The road to that research opportunity began after Polishchuk accidentally stumbled on courses offered by Stanford Global Studies’ Iranian Studies Program.

Polishchuk said she became curious about Iran after taking history courses early on as an undergraduate. She then took a course on Iranian cinema and another on contemporary politics of Iran with Abbas Milani, the director of the Iranian Studies Program. Her curiosity about Iran and the region persisted, leading her to become the first student at Stanford to graduate with a minor in Iranian studies, according to the program’s administrators.

“I realized just how relevant and influential the ancient history of that region still is, and I was hooked,” Polishchuk said.

(from a Stanford News article by Alex Shashkevish) 

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