The Yidan Endowed Fund for Transformative Learning Opportunities for the Study of Asia

Summer 2020 applications now open!

Application deadline: February 28, 2020

Who can apply? All currently enrolled and continuing Pomona College students in good standing.

The Yidan Fund supports high ­impact experiential immersion in Asian studies and cultures.

High-impact activities include

  • intensive language training (either domestically or internationally)
  • apprenticeships
  • master classes
  • community engagement opportunities
  • trainings and high-quality workshops, for example for students in the performing and visual arts
  • international internships (through Pomona’s International PCIP program—deadline February 10)
  • summer undergraduate research on or in Asia (through Pomona’s SURP program—deadline February 21). SURP/Yidan applicants should include a budget for travel funds in their application

About the Yidan Endowed Fund

The Chen Yidan Foundation takes a broad view in its educational philosophy, in which educational choice and the development of different skill sets is paramount. The Foundation wants to enable students to follow their intellectual passions and to develop a wide range of different skill sets to further their understanding of Asia.

Application Guidelines

To apply for a Yidan Fund award, students must submit a 2-page narrative proposal (double spaced, 12-point font), describing the proposed project and how it aligns with the Yidan Fund’s objective to engage students deeply with Asian Studies and Asia. The proposed project does not need to entail travel to Asia, but it must be focused on Asian languages and cultures. Students should provide evidence in the narrative that they have carefully thought about the goals of the project, what they expect to gain from it, and evidence that they have thought through the logistics. Please note that projects involving travel to countries for which there is a Travel Advisory are unlikely to be funded.

Students must also provide an unofficial transcript, a detailed budget using the form provided below, and a letter of support by a faculty member assessing the student’s ability to complete the proposed project successfully and safely. The faculty member should send that letter directly to If the proposed project is an internship, master class, or workshop, students will need to provide an email statement or a letter confirming the sponsoring organization’s willingness to host/accept the student. Students applying for a master class, a workshop, an intensive language program or a similar opportunity organized by another organization should include additional information about the program to allow the Selection Committee to assess the quality of the program.


To create a line item budget, please use this budget template. Line items may vary depending on the proposed activity, but common line items are: travel, accommodation, ground transportation, supplies, meals, workshop fees, program tuition, and so on. Please provide appropriate breakdowns, such as “3 meals a day for 30 days @$12.”

Selection Process

Funding from the Yidan Fund is awarded through an open competition. Internship programs will be evaluated through the Career Development Office’s PCIP program. Research proposals will be reviewed by the Research Committee, with consultation by the Yidan Selection Board. All other proposals will be reviewed solely by the Yidan Selection Board, consisting of key staff and faculty representing the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the arts. At least one committee member will be an expert on Asia.

Criteria for Evaluation

All proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • the proposed project’s alignment with the Yidan Fund’s objectives, i.e., deep engagement with Asia
  • the impact of the project on the applicant’s personal, academic and career development
  • the feasibility and cost effectiveness of the proposed project
  • the letter of support

Pre-Travel Responsibilities

Students whose projects include travel to Asia

  • must ensure that they have a passport valid for six months past the scheduled return date
  • will be responsible for obtaining necessary visas
  • will be required to acquire an International Student Identification Card ($100 cost should be included in the budget worksheet)
  • will be required to register with the iJet tracking program
  • will be required to sign a travel waiver
  • will be required to attend a one-hour pre-travel orientation

The contact person for the ISIC, iJet, travel waiver, and orientation is Anne Dwyer, Associate Dean of the College.


The application deadline is February 2, 2020. Grant winners will be announced in March, 2020.


All grant recipients are required to submit a written report of 2-5 pages on their grant-funded summer experience. In addition, students may be asked to present on their experience as part of an on-campus speaker series. If the “deliverable” is a talk or an event, it should normally be scheduled during the Fall semester immediately following the summer award.

Oldenborg Research and Travel Grant

Summer 2020 applications now open! At this point, we are still accepting Oldenborg Grant applications and have extended the application deadline to April 1. The College has not, however, decided whether it will be able to fund any student travel this summer. Students will receive updates once policies are clearer.

Application Deadline: April 01, 2020

Who can apply? Pomona College juniors (rising seniors) may apply for funding to complete research toward the senior thesis/exercise.

The Oldenborg Research and Travel Grant offers financial support to help cover expenses for international research for a senior thesis or senior exercise. Domestic projects with a focus on languages other than English will also be considered. Awards may be made in varying amounts up to a total of $5,500. Grant awardees present a summary of their research and experiences during a special student research presentation (Oldenborg Luncheon Colloquium) held in spring semester during Family Weekend.

For More Information on these summer opportunities, contact Anne Dwyer, Associate Dean for Curriculum and International Initiatives: