Grants and Awards

Student grants and awards enhance the learning experience through assistance with conducting research and experience in writing about their research. The travel grants allow Graduate students to attend conferences that they might not otherwise attend if not presenting a paper and to travel to libraries, museums, and cultural sites to conduct research related to their dissertations. 

Please visit the Art History Department website for related support from the department and the division of humanities.

For questions or to submit an application for grants listed below, please reach out to the CAEA Administrator,


Travel and Research Grants

Hou Beiren Graduate Student Enhancement Fund

This travel and research grant is open to: University of Chicago graduate students in East Asian Art History with rolling applications throughout each academic year.

The grant provides modest support for students traveling outside the Chicago metropolitan area to attend conferences and conduct research at museums and other locations relating to East Asian art. The grant takes the form of reimbursement for up to $800 for domestic travel and $1000 of international travel expenses that would not otherwise be covered. To apply, send an email to Center Administrator <> with the following information:

  1. Name and date of the conference or exhibition, or communication with museum curator for viewing art objects, and a budget listing expenses.
  2. Endorsement from the applicant’s primary faculty adviser and the completed form "Student Certification for Business Related Reimbursement" should also be submitted. Students may apply for and receive this grant more than once in an academic year.

More details on Uchicago student travel and reimbursement policy

The fund to honor the Chinese-American artist Hou Beiren supports graduate student research projects in East Asian art with the approval of faculty advisors. This fund is established with a generous gift from Mark Barnekow and his wife Jean Song to promote the study of Chinese painting and other fields of East Asian art and for the CAEA “to attract and support top graduate students and extend its global influence in the arts of East Asia for many years to come.” Hou Beiren has used contemporary approaches to establish new directions for Chinese ink-based art. The artist, now 108 years old in 2024, was born in Liaoning Province China in 1917 and studied with master painter Huang Binhong before leaving China for Japan and then coming to the U.S. in 1956. He founded the American Association for the Advancement of Chinese Art (ASACA) in 1979 and has taught hundreds of students. His life’s work should inspire new research directions for future generations of students.

For more information see, Advancing Innovative East Asian Arts Research Within the Humanities


Robert Christy Research Fellowship Fund

This fund supports University of Chicago Humanities Division Ph.D. students conducting dissertation research-related travel or projects in the field of East Asian Art. Dr. Robert W. Christy (1922-2020) gifted this fund for the benefit of the Division of the Humanities to provide support for research projects and travel grants to graduate students studying East Asian Art. Students are not required to be ABD to receive the fellowship; however, it may be held only once during a student's time at the University. Applications are due to the Division of the Humanities each spring.

Dissertation Research Travel Grant Parameters:

  • Applicants will be awarded funds based on their specific travel and financial needs, the quality and feasibility of their projects, in addition to other academic qualifications.
  • If a student's research needs can be met in Regenstein Library, funding from these grants will not be possible.
  • These grants are not intended for pre-dissertation survey trips (except for students who qualify for the Robert Christy Research Fellowship Fund).
  • Students who have previously done research at the location for which they are applying must explain why a return trip is necessary to complete their research. They must ask their recommender to comment on their explanation.

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Admission to candidacy before disbursement of the award (with the exception of those students who qualify for the Robert Christy Research Fellowship Fund);
  2. Begin research at the location no earlier than the start of the Summer Quarter
  3. Complete research at the location no later than the end of the Spring Quarter

Application Requirements:

  1. A completed application form (attached) which includes a statement of intent, itinerary, and budget;
  2. One letter of recommendation, which should be from the chair of the student's dissertation committee
  3. If the student will be consulting either individuals or archives that have limited access, the student must also provide confirmation that these resources will be available to them;
  4. A curriculum vitae (CV).
  5. Transcripts will be provided by the Dean of Students office.

For more information or to apply, contact or visit the Humanities Division Dissertation Research Travel Grants website.


Liu Cong Memorial Prize for the Best Essay on East Asian Art and Visual Culture

The Center for the Art of East Asia invites submissions for the Liu Cong Prize for the academic year 2023-24. The essay should be a well-researched and potentially publishable paper on any subject relating to East Asian art and visual culture authored by a graduate student enrolled in the Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago.

The Liu Cong Memorial Prize was established in 2010-2011 in memory of Liu Cong (1979- 2008) who was a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art of History when she died of brain cancer. She was a promising young scholar in East Asian art who was much admired for her talent and vitality of mind and spirit. These qualities along with her great strength and courage in the face of her illness inspired those close to her to remember her by awarding a prize in her name. The CAEA is grateful to all those who were involved in the creation and continuing support of this prize.

The competition is open to students who are currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago. Papers must be written within the past 3 years, and previously unpublished. The length should be 20-30 pages (not including notes and images, 12-point, double-spaced). Include a 100-word abstract. The essay may be related to a dissertation topic or chapter but should be able to stand alone with potential to be a publishable essay. Dissertation chapters as such will not be accepted. The winner will receive a prize of $1,000.

Please direct any questions and send the essay with a 100-word abstract to CAEA Administrator email, by March 31, 2024.

Announcement in PDF



2024: Le Lucien Sun

2023: Alice Casalini

2022: Yueling Ji

2021: Meng Zhao

2020: Zhenru Zhou

2018: Yin Wu

2017: Tingting Xu

2016: Anne Feng

2015: Zhiyan Yang

2014: Jin Xu

2013: Seunghye Lee

2012: Catherine Stuer, Jie Shi