Grants of up to $3,000 will be awarded to research and create an audio documentary based on oral history archives or interviews conducted by the student. Awards will be made in the spring quarter for research to be conducted in the summer of 2015.

All grant recipients will take an informal 1-credit course in the fall quarter of 2015 to help them script, edit, score, and mix their audio documentary and all pieces will be featured on the Storytelling Project's popular, award-winning radio show and podcast.

Note that you must be enrolled at Stanford during the research, so students completing their studies at Stanford in June of 2015 are not eligible.

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, gaming, military veterans) or specific event (e.g. a protest 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.


The following conditions must be met for any proposed project to be considered:

  • Grantees must be enrolled undergraduate students at all times during the undertaking of their project, to its conclusion. Typically this means that the applicant is in their junior year or earlier, but seniors may apply if they submit a credible plan to complete their project before graduation.

  • The majority of students will deliver their research findings in the form of an audio documentary of professional quality. As part of the award, students will receive recording equipment and training before research begins and also guidance during the summer from Storytelling Project faculty and staff.  All grant recipients will also take an informal 1-credit course in the subsequent fall quarter that will help them transform their research into an accomplished audio (or, in some cases, multimedia) documentary.  Click here to access stories produced by previous winners of the Braden Storytelling Grant.

  • Some students may elect to deliver their research findings in the form of an oral storytelling performance. Students who elect this option are encouraged to discuss this with the grants manager before applying.  

  • Grantees are encouraged to enlist a faculty mentor who will provide a brief supporting letter along with assistance as needed throughout the project. While a faculty letter of support is welcomed, it is not required. 

How to Apply

To apply, students must submit a research proposal of no more than 1,500 words in length. Click here to download a word document with the Braden Grant application guidelines.

Please note: since students will receive recording equipment as well as training in interviewing and audio recording, do not include the cost of audio equipment in your budget.

The application deadline in 2014-15 will be April 15, 2015 at 12 midnight. Submit your application to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For any questions about the award, please also contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .