Are you or your graduate students looking for opportunities for hands-on training in linguistic fieldwork and language documentation?  Our experimental program is aimed primarily at first-year Doctoral students and MA students who hope to get a Ph.D. in linguistics with a major fieldwork component.  We are especially interested in students who would like to explore the possibility of fieldwork in Indonesia, an area of the world that is both very diverse linguistically and one in which many of the languages are endangered.

Our program is intended to test whether an effective way to increase the pace of language documentation and description in Indonesia is to form teams of several Indonesian students with an interest in documenting their native language and an American Doctoral student with an interest in fieldwork and language documentation.  Students will arrive in Indonesia in mid-June.  After about two weeks of orientation and training, the teams of American and Indonesian students will spend approximately a month in East Indonesia working on the documentation an endangered East Indonesian language (with assistance and supervision from project staff).  At the end of the summer, the results of their work will be archived at Paradisec, a DELAMAN-member archive located in Australia, that specializes in languages of the Pacific.

Funding:  American students will receive funding for travel expenses, food and lodging, and a stipend of $1600 for participation.

Duration of the program:  The program will be conducted for two consecutive summers, 2018 and 2019, with different student participants each year, and with possible modifications of the program in 2019 based on our experience in 2018.

Capstone Workshop: In addition to the fieldwork experience itself, American students are asked to make a commitment to write a paper based on their field experiences for presentation at a workshop to be held during the Fall Semester of 2019 (after the second summer).  We will also invite some of the Indonesian students as well as a number of early or mid-career faculty members whose work draws heavily on linguistic fieldwork in the Pacific and on language documentation, all of whom who will present papers based on their work.  Participation in the Capstone Workshop will be funded by the project.

Qualifications: We are interested in graduate students at U.S. universities who are in the early stages of their graduate work in linguistics, and who are seriously considering writing a dissertation involving linguistic fieldwork and language documentation.  In considering applications, we will take into consideration previous training and achievements in linguistic fieldwork and language documentation, and evidence of interest in the languages of Indonesia.  This is an opportunity for students to gain experience in field linguistics and qualifications that would facilitate applying for dissertation funding by the NSF Documenting Endangered Languages - Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants  (DEL-DDRIG) program (

Deadline:  We will accept applications until the awards are finalized, but for fullest consideration we would like to receive nominations and applications for the project by December 1, 2017, when we will start to make decisions on applications.  We hope to interview and select participants by the end of January, 2018 if possible.

What to submit to us and how to submit it:  Applicants should submit 1) a statement of no more than two pages explaining why they are interested in this project (how it fits in to their long term educational and career goals), a CV, and a copy of their academic transcript (may be unofficial).  Students who have completed relevant research papers may send one such paper as well.  All application materials should be submitted by email to Additionally, applicants should request two letters of recommendation from faculty members who are appropriate to discuss their applications for this program.  Letters of recommendations should be sent to by the faculty members directly.  To facilitate our processing of the applications, the subject field for letters of recommendations should be: Indonesian summer research: student’s name.

This is a unique opportunity for graduate students in linguistics to gain training in linguistic fieldwork and documentary linguistics.  We value the candid recommendations of colleagues for whom linguistic fieldwork has played an important role in their career.  We can only accommodate approximately four students a year from U.S. universities, so we ask for your help in selecting those who will benefit the most and contribute the most to the field. 

For more information, please contact Peter Cole ( or Gabriella Hermon (