Grants of up to $3,000 will be awarded in the spring quarter for research to be conducted in the summer of 2014 to support undergraduates interested in the study of oral narrative. Note that you must be enrolled at Stanford during the research, so students completing their studies at Stanford in June are not eligible.
This grant program supports two kinds of research:

  1. Analysis of the practice or craft of oral narrative. 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.

  2. An oral history of a specific community. This research would focus on a specific community that has formed around a discrete historical circumstance, interest or identity (e.g., 9/11 Commission, gay rights, gaming, historical preservation). Students would research and collect stories of a small, physical community, such as a village or neighborhood or organization. Students are encouraged to choose groups or communities that have not already been well documented. Communities should be stable, have a significant history, and be small enough to make for a manageable project. Students may belong to the group or community that they study.

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 project must deliver its findings in the form of an audio documentary or audio narrative of professional quality. Students will receive assistance in crafting this from Storytelling Project faculty and staff once research and collection is complete. Click here to access stories produced by previous winners of the Braden Grant for Oral Narrative.

  • Alternatively, the final product may be an oral storytelling performance. Students who elect this option are encouraged to discuss this with the grants manager before applying.

    Note that we do not award grants for creating films or written essays or stories.

  • The final product (an audio documentary or narrative, or an oral storytelling performance) must be completed during the quarter following the conclusion of research. So, for example, if the grantee conducts their research during the summer, the final product must be delivered during the fall quarter of the following academic year.

  • Grantees are strongly encouraged to enlist a faculty mentor who will provide a brief supporting letter along with assistance as needed throughout the project. Faculty support increases the chances of an award.

As part of the award, students will receive recording equipment as well as training in interviewing and audio recording, as necessary. Do not include the cost of audio equipment in your budget.

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.

The application deadline in 2014-15 will be April 15, 2015.

On March 6, 2015, at 1PM in 250-106, there will be an info session on the Braden Grant at Storylab.

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