Each year, the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute awards students interested in developing, implementing and working in human rights with funding for summer research. These grants support research both in the United States and abroad. This year’s recipients include two undergraduate and four graduate students with projects ranging from genocide and historical memory in Spain to women’s role in providing financial aid during the Korean War.

Undergraduate Students


Cara Leigh Downey (’19) will talk with organizations working with trafficking victims in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, GA, to help recommend a course of study to better understand best practices for treatment of trafficking in persons. This research will culminate in her senior thesis. She is specifically interested in how policy can advance the rights of people in vulnerable situations such as human trafficking.





Tyler Goldberger (‘19) will work directly as a research analyst with a social movement in Madrid, Spain, Asociación para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica. Tyler plans to continue focusing in on Spain through its recognition, or lack thereof, of its own past, the Holocaust and Argentinian Dirty War, human atrocities that have impacted the field of historical memory drastically.





Graduate Students


Katy Hansen is a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Policy and will research whether or not voters hold local governments accountable for drinking water services. She will merge panel data from the Local Elections in America Project and Environmental Finance Center to compare changes in incumbent vote share in districts with and without rate increases in North Carolina for 2002-2017.






Nora Nunn is a doctoral candidate in Duke University’s department of English. For her dissertation, she will conduct archival research this summer on collective violence and how language shapes individual and collective understandings of genocide.







Hannah Ontiveros is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the history department and will examine the roles of women providing voluntary foreign aid to Korea during the 1950s for her dissertation. She will travel to archives in Minnesota, Illinois, and Indiana and study the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) and American Legion Auxiliary chapters in the Midwest.






Bill Sharman, Ph.D. candidate in the history department, will research the archives of NGOs and government agencies involved in refugee activism and immigrant regulation in Germany, as well as the historical collection of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland. His research will be part of his dissertation Moral Politics: Humanitarianism and the Third World in West Germany.





For more information and to follow their research, visit the Summer Research Grant page.