THE FOUNDER’S FUND FOR STUDENT RESEARCHERS

The Founder’s Fund was established in honor of the DEFA Film Library’s founding director, Professor Emeritus Barton Byg. Its purpose is to help support research into East German cinema on the part of student scholars in the U.S. and Canada. During its initial three-year phase (2019-2021), $2,000 will be allocated to the Founder’s Fund annually. Graduate, undergraduate and high-school students undertaking supervised research into topics related to East German cinema are welcome to apply for Founder’s Fund support to help cover costs associated with DVD rentals and/or research visits to the DEFA Film Library. 

APPLYING FOR A STIPEND FOR DVD RENTALS

All DEFA Film Library staff members are always happy to answer questions, advise students on our resources and help plan student research projects. All inquiries and applications for stipends should be directed to Dr. Skyler Arndt-Briggs at sky@german.umass.edu. Please get in touch as soon as possible in your planning process and include “FOUNDER’S FUND” in the subject line of all emails.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but must be submitted at least three weeks before the first DVD is needed. (NB: Hundreds of DVDs are available in our collection here at UMass Amherst; but if the DVD you request must be specially ordered from Germany, it will take longer than three weeks to get it.)

Students wishing to rent DEFA films for a research project that are not available at their home institutions should send a 1-to-2 page proposal to Dr. Skyler Arndt-Briggs: sky@german.umass.edu. The proposal should include:

  • Name; grade- or academic-level; institution; type of project (e.g., paper, thesis, film, etc.)
  • The name and email address of the professor or instructor overseeing the project and (where applicable) the name of the course for which you will submit the project
  • A description of the project—explain the topic, your research questions, etc.
  • A list of the films you would like to rent, with a brief indication of how they relate to your project
  • The timeframe during which you will need access to the films (DVD rentals are generally for two weeks, but can last longer if necessary.)

NB for high-school students and college undergraduates: Please also have your professor/instructor/teacher send an email to Dr. Arndt-Briggs indicating their willingness to sign our rental agreement and take responsibility for seeing that the DVDs are returned to the DEFA Film Library at the end of the rental period.

APPLYING FOR A STIPEND IN SUPPORT OF A RESEARCH VISIT TO THE DEFA FILM LIBRARY

All DEFA Film Library staff members are always happy to answer questions, advise students on our resources and help plan student research projects. All inquiries and applications for stipends should be directed to Dr. Skyler Arndt-Briggs at sky@german.umass.edu. Research visits must be arranged well ahead of time, so as not to coincide with periods of peak activity at the DEFA Film Library. Please get in touch as soon as possible in your planning process and include “FOUNDER’S FUND” in the subject line of all emails.

Application deadlines:

  • March 15 (for summer and fall semester visits)
  • October 15 (for January and spring semester visits in the following calendar year)

Students wishing to come to the DEFA Film Library to use our collections and consult with our staff should email a proposal to Dr. Skyler Arndt-Briggs. Our collections include historic film journals* and a reference library, as well as an extensive collection of films; in developing your proposal, please be advised that primarily films available on DVD can be viewed on our premises. Further collections on East German society and culture are held in the Special Collections of the University Archives (SCUA).**

The proposal should include:

  • Name; title of research project; academic level; institution; name and contact information for professor or instructor overseeing the project; your resume or CV.
  • Project proposal, including:
    • Size, scope and type of project (e.g., paper, thesis, film, etc.)
    • Summary description of project
    • Background or literature review explaining the context and importance of the project
    • Main question/s driving the research and the sources you plan to use
    • At the DEFA Film Library: what specific materials or types of materials would you like to consult? Insofar as possible, please list the titles of films and journal articles.* Please also indicate if you wish to consult SCUA materials at the WEB Du Bois Library.**
    • Proposed dates or general timeframe of visit
    • Budget itemizing costs involved in the research visit and total expense
    • Other possible sources and amounts of funding

*  NB: Indexes for many of our film journals can be seen at: https://ecommerce.umass.edu/defa/collections/film-journals

**  For some collections related to East Germany at SCUA, part of UMass Amherst's W.E.B. Du Bois Library, see: https://ecommerce.umass.edu/defa/collections/du-bois-library

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