Graduate Phillips Ambassador

The Phillips Ambassadors Program offers one Phillips Ambassadors Scholarship at the graduate level. The intent is to further enrich the overall educational experience of undergraduate Phillips Ambassadors by involving one outstanding graduate student who is engaged in research related to some aspect of Asian society, culture or history in the program each year; to further integrate the program into the life of the University by creating a strong link to the community of graduate students with interests in Asia; and, in general, support the study of Asia at UNC at all levels.

The Graduate Ambassador will be a student in a PhD program at Carolina who is committed to conducting thesis research on some aspect of South, East, and/or Southeast Asia. Zardas Lee, a PhD candidate in History at UNC, served as the Graduate Phillips Ambassador in 2017. She is pictured below with her Malay teacher. 

Stipend and Duties

  • The Graduate Ambassador will:
  • receive a stipend to support summer travel and research in South, East and/or Southeast Asia
  • assist the program academic director in leading the weekend retreats for the undergraduate Ambassadors (two to three days in the spring prior to departure to Asia, and two to three days in the fall upon return). Confirmed dates for fall 2018 retreats are Saturdays, September 8, October 27 and November 10. 2019 dates are TBD.
  • participate actively in the online discussion forum, engaging with and responding to the comments posted by the undergraduate Ambassadors
  • meet and stay in contact with, as much as practical, undergraduate Ambassadors in the country or sub-region where s/he is conducting summer research. (Doing so helps to create a direct human link to the program in addition to the connection provided by the online discussion forum.)
  • provide information on research conducted upon request
  • attend various Phillips Ambassadors events including: luncheon in April, welcome back reception in September and dinner in November
  • engage with the Phillips Ambassadors alumni network and social media community


  • Current UNC graduate student in good academic standing
  • Must be enrolled as graduate student and present on campus for fall semester following summer research
  • Does not have to have been an undergraduate Phillips Ambassador
  • All majors welcome

Application Process
Submit the following items to the program manager as one packet via mail (Phillips Ambassadors Program, CB 7582) or in person (Room 3116, FedEx Global Education Center):

  • A cover letter (one to two pages) explaining why you will be able to make a positive contribution to the educational experience of the undergraduate Phillips Ambassadors. 
  • A brief (two page) research proposal, outlining your plans for summer research as related to your thesis work.
  • Resume with phone/email contact information 
  • Transcripts (undergraduate and graduate) in sealed envelopes
  • Letter of recommendation from thesis adviser in sealed envelope (this item can be mailed/emailed directly to Phillips Ambassadors Program Manager) 
For applicants interested in summer 2019 research, applications are due on February 13, 2019. Applicants will be notified in mid-March.  

Please direct questions to Phillips Ambassadors Program Manager, Dori Brady, at or (919) 843-7522.