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Kū ā Kukui

A professional development program to mentor students doing research in Hawaiian knowledge


Growing Hawaiian leaders. Strengthening Hawaiian research. Empowering the lāhui.


For the Spring and Summer 2019 terms, NHSS is implementing a new pilot program proposed by the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, with funds from the UH Mānoa OVCAA office. The program, “Kū ā Kukui,” will create a pilot fellowship for students (with a priority to graduate students) in Hawaian Knowledge and related studies. Also prioritized in this program will be students who have paired with a  faculty member around research projects that lead to accepted conference presentations. The research pairs would be directed to work collaboratively on a panel presentation for an academic conference. Although not limited to these opportunities, two international conferences that annually  attract hundreds of Indigenous researchers, He Au Honua and Native American and Indigenous Scholars Association (NAISA), will take place in March and June of 2019 respectively.

By assisting student and faculty presenters, this program increases the visibility and stature of UH Mānoa scholars, encourages and supports mentor/mentee relationships, and provides students with an introduction to other peers and to established luminaries in the indigenous studies academic world.

There will be approximately 33 individuals supported, at up to $1,500 per participant.  Applications would be open to students and faculty across Mānoa who are doing research in any area that involves the use of Hawaiian language sources or indigenous research approaches originating from Native Hawaiian arts and sciences.


  • Undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at UH Mānoa in both Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 in good standing with at least 9 credits (for graduate students) or 12 credits (for undergraduate students) per semester
  • Presenting at a conference, attending a conference, or participating in a professional development opportunity related to Indigenous or Hawaiian knowledge before August 1, 2019 (although funds will be disbursed by June 29, 2019)
  • Present at the Kū ā Kukui symposium as well as the NHSS Lāhui Hawaiʻi Research Center student conference in Spring and Fall 2019, including a synopsis of experience to promote student research

This program is also open to Hawaiian faculty at UH Mānoa as well, if they are working with a student and presenting together at a conference. Faculty should be able to articulate why funds are needed and unable to be secured through their department. Nonetheless, priority is given to students over faculty.


  • Graduate student at UH Mānoa in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019
  • Accepted to present at a conference on Indigenous or Hawaiian knowledge
  • Working with a faculty member/sponsor on a research project

For questions or inquiries, please contact Nalani Balutski at

Application deadline: November 18, 2018

Program notification: December 1, 2018

Applicant Information

Project Description


All the information in this application is true and complete. Should I be selected as a finalist, I will send verification, justification, and quotes of the information provided in this application for the committee to review. Furthermore, I understand that if I am awarded, I must attend the conference or professional development opportunity for which I am applying in this application. I also commit to attending and presenting at the NHSS Lāhui Hawaiʻi Research Center conference in Spring 2019 and the Kū ā Kukui symposium in either Spring 2019 or Fall 2019.

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