Call for Proposals: Charlotte A. Jirousek Undergraduate Research Fellowship in the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection

Eligibility: All Cornell University undergraduate students are eligible to apply, including freshmen and seniors.
Applications must be e-mailed to Professor Green ( by Friday, November 20, 2015!
Dr. Charlotte Jioursek (center) with her daughter (left) and research participants (front and right)  during a research trip to Turkey.
Dr. Charlotte Jioursek (center) conducting ethnographic fieldwork research in Turkey.
The late Dr. Charlotte A. Jirousek, former curator of the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection (CCTC) and Associate Professor in the Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design, was passionate about integrating the CCTC into the undergraduate educational experience.  Between 1992 and 2014, she mentored hundreds of students who conducted research, curated exhibitions, and were employed in the CCTC.  Thanks to a very generous donation, we are pleased to offer our students the opportunity to apply for an undergraduate research fellowship in the CCTC, named in honor of Dr. Jirousek.  Each year, one student will be selected to conduct research on a project of the student’s choice, using CCTC collections as inspiration for an exhibition.  The student will have up to one year to complete their research project and install their exhibition. Past undergraduate exhibitions under Dr. Jirousek’s mentorship included: Finding Closure: A Study of Garment Fastenings (Soule Golden, 2004), Fashioning the Tourist: An Andean Traveler’s Wardrobe (Alana Staiti, 2006), and Street Fashion and Youth Subculture: An Ethnographic Costume Exhibition (Denise Green, 2007), to name a few.
Dr. Charlotte A. Jirousek
Dr. Charlotte A. Jirousek
Cornell undergraduate students may apply for up to $4,500, out of which a portion is paid to the student as hourly wage ($10/hour) for time spent working in the collection and conducting research. The remaining funds are to be budgeted by the student for research and exhibition costs.
Application Procedure & Required Documents:
  1. Project Proposal: Include a one-page (single spaced) proposal describing your research idea and how you anticipate sharing your findings through a costume exhibition.  Please give examples of items you hope to use from the collection. For example, you might decide you would like to research a particular designer whose work is represented in the collection (e.g., Bonnie Cashin, Arnold Scaasi, Oleg Cassini, etc.), or the history of a particular garment (e.g., swimsuits, hats, shoes, etc.), construction or design details (e.g., garment closures, use of flat felled seams, cowls, kimono sleeves, etc.), a specific material (e.g., silk, synthetics, wool), a cross-cultural comparison, or exploration of a concept or socio-cultural phenomenon (e.g., politics and fashion, uniforms, feminism, sustainability, etc.).  The possibilities are endless!  In order to identify pieces in the collection relevant to your research interests, you may search the collection records using our online catalog database (using the “guest account” option; no username/password necessary): In addition, you may schedule a meeting with Professor Green to review your ideas and identify relevant items in the collection.
  2. Budget: Include a budget outlining how you plan to spend the $4,500.  Please take into consideration compensation for your time ($10 hourly wage), research and exhibition expenses.  We realize that this budget may change as your research and exhibition design develops.  Please indicate how you anticipate spending the money.  For example: you may need to travel to another museum, library, or archive to conduct further research; you may wish to borrow items from another museum or private collection (in which case you may have to pay transportation and insurance costs on the items); you may wish to purchase an item to include in your exhibition (in this case, all items purchased with research funds must be accessioned as part of the CCTC collection).  In addition, the student is responsible for installation costs related to the exhibit: e.g., printing high quality photographs, photograph permission (if copyrighted), printing labels, and other materials required for installation (e.g., insect pins, adhesives, display props, etc.).  If your budget deviates from the proposal significantly, a revised budget will be requested.
  3. Timeline:  Please include a timeline (no longer than one page), which indicates how much time is needed to complete project milestones, and ultimately the date of exhibit installation.  Keep in mind that the fellowship period begins January 2016 and may last up to one year. Exhibit installation may be as early as August 2016 and as late as December 2017.   Please outline how much time is required for research, research travel (if applicable), sourcing objects, exhibition design, and exhibition installation.  Please indicate the date you anticipate installing your exhibition.
Dr. Jirousek puts finishing touches on the 2013 exhibit, “Chinese Traditional Dress and Its Influence (1840-1960).”  Photo by Mark Vorreuter.
Dr. Jirousek puts finishing touches on the 2013 exhibit, “Chinese Traditional Dress and Its Influence (1840-1960).” Photo by Mark Vorreuter.
If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Professor Green by e-mail, She will be happy to answer your questions, help you to understand what is available in the collection, and provide guidance about creating a budget, curatorial design, and etc.
Dr. Jirousek and researchers move the CCTC  from MVR to its new storage facility in HEB. Photo by: Mark Vorreuter
Dr. Jirousek and researchers move the CCTC from MVR to its new storage facility in HEB. Photo by: Mark Vorreuter
All proposals are due on Friday, November 20, 2015.  Students will be notified of the decision in mid-December and the fellowship period will begin January 2016.

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