Opportunities in Mongolian Studies

Western Professor David Sattler with Mongolian boy and older man holding photos in front of Ger.  Photo 10

Dr. David Sattler (WWU Psychology), sharing photographs from his previous trip with the same people in the images they are holding

Mongolia Kharkhorin Ger Camp at sunset. Photo by Holly Diaz

Dr. Holly Diaz (WWU Karen W. Morse Institute for Leadership) photo of Kharkhorin Ger Camp

Mongolian men wearing traditional dress riding horses. Photo by Cynthia Horne

Dr. Cynthia Horne (WWU Political Science) photo of Mongolian soldiers in full regalia for the Naadam parade

John C. Street Research Award in Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies


Background: John C. Street (1930-2017), linguistics professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison and an international authority on the structure and history of the Mongolic languages, established the John C. Street Endowment in 2015 in order to benefit Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies at Western. The endowment supports teaching, the development of library collections, funding for faculty and students to research and study in Mongolia, the dissemination of knowledge, and related programmatic needs.

John C. Street Research Award eligibility: Current Western faculty and students for whom research is a required component of their professional responsibilities or course of studies.

Time frame: April –October is the optimal time of year to conduct research in Mongolia.

Number of projects funded annually: To be determined based on the number of applicants and total requested amounts.   All grant funds must be spent by September 15, 2025. IGE may approve a grant extension due to extenuating circumstances.

Evaluation Criteria: Preference will be given to projects focused on Mongolia or Inner Asian regions of China (Inner Mongolia, Tibet, and Xinjiang); that include the participation of Western students; actively engage with and benefit local faculty, staff, students, community members, and/or Mongolian organization; and result in collaborative scholarship or creative activity.

Funding amount: Up to $10,000. Both new proposals and continuing projects will be considered. Faculty projects that include graduate or undergraduate students may apply for additional funding for student travel.   Additional funding may also be available from the American Center for Mongolian Studies’ Field Fellowships.

Deadline: April 12, 2024

Research Proposal Application

Past Awardees

In 2021, Sondra Cuban, Director of Adult and Higher Education, received funding from IGE as well as from the American Center for Mongolian Studies and Henry Luce Foundation to support two research projects in Mongolia.  The first project explores factors that help explain the contemporary migration of Mongolian women from their home in the countryside to the capital city of Ulaanbaatar.  The other study looks at reasons why Mongolian women have moved to South Korea, the strategies employed, and the contributions and sacrifices they have made in that migration process.

David Sattler, professor of Psychology at Western, received the award in 2020 to continue his work on climate change and mental health in Mongolia, working with colleagues at the National University of Mongolia. This research has led to co-authored publications in Journal of Environmental Psychology and Learning Environments Research. Dr. Sattler's collaborative scholarship with Western and NUM students on the social and psychological impacts of COVID-19 vaccination in Mongolia appears in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Cynthia Horne, a professor in the Political Science department, received the award in 2019. Her research on the nexus of globalization and women’s empowerment in Mongolia has led to a publication in Europe-Asia Studies, a forthcoming book chapter, as well as a presentation for the American Center for Mongolian Studies Invited Speaker Series in Ulaanbaatar.

With Street funds awarded in 2019, Diana Gruman, professor of Psychology (in collaboration with David Sattler and several colleagues at National University of Mongolia), engaged in a project begun the previous year: an assessment of the climate for students in Mongolian schools. This research resulted in "School Climate in Mongolia: Translation and Validation of the What’s Happening in This School," published in Learning Environments Research in 2022. 

David Sattler, professor of Psychology, received the award in 2018 to commence field research climate change and mental health in Mongolia, working with colleagues at the National University of Mongolia.

In 2017 Holly Diaz, an instructor in Leadership Studies, conducted research on women in leadership in Mongolia with support from the Street grant. Her work expanded on data collected in 2016 by Karen Stout, Diaz, and students who were participating in a Global Learning Program to Mongolia. These several visits informed Dr. Diaz's 2019 dissertation on the persistence of Mongolian women leaders. Dr. Stout's and Diaz's collaboration also resulted in two conference presentations at the International Leadership Association's annual meeting: gender equity and collaborative practices in Mongolia (2016) and Mongolian women and leadership (2017).

Support for Conferences and Publications

Faculty and students may apply for up to $2,500 in funding per year to support the costs associated with presenting their research in Mongolian/Inner Asian Studies at an academic conference.  Expenses can include transportation, accommodations, and registration.  Funds also may be requested to assist with manuscript preparation and publication.

Preference will be given to peer-reviewed scholarship and open assess publications and licensing fees.  Proposals are evaluated on the 15th of September, January, April, and June.  Up to $10,000 will be awarded annually.

Mongolian Landscape by Elbegsaikhan Tsogtbayar

Photo by Elbegsaikhan Tsogtbayar