Funding Opportunity: VIRGINIA HORNE HENRY FUND For Women’s Physical Education and Movement

The goal of this fund is to help the University of Wisconsin-Madison develop a margin of excellence in women’s physical education by creating a campus resource dedicated to the pursuit of women’s lifelong learning skills in the areas of physical education, including knowledge and appreciation of women’s movement and the female body in culture.

A generous bequest from Patrick Henry, honoring his wife, Virginia Horne Henry, has made this program possible.  Virginia Horne Henry received her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the UW-Madison.  After graduation, she taught swimming, tumbling, and physical education at the UW.  She also taught at Wellesley College and the University of Illinois.  She was the author of “Stunts and Tumbling for Girls: A Text for High Schools and Colleges.” In her book, she described the objectives and values of Women’s Physical Education to be the process of gaining knowledge and understanding of the human body and its range of motion, the appreciation of the human body, the development of such qualities as creativity, courage, self-confidence, and perseverance, and “an appreciation for the recreational values of physical accomplishments”.

Administered through the School of Education, the Fund is used to support an annual competition for activities related to women’s physical education, movement, health and the female body in culture.


The Virginia Horne Henry Fund provides money for an annual competition for a number of activities related to women’s physical education, movement, health and the female body in culture, including:

  • Research Grant: Research support for projects specifically addressing women’s physical education, movement and/or the female body in culture. Graduate student support and/or study expenses not available through other funding sources may be covered. Faculty salary support is generally only available to new investigators.
  • Student & Sports Clubs: Initiatives by recreational sports clubs to increase involvement and physical activity among women (e.g. women specific recruitment efforts, purchase of equipment sized to women, etc).
  • Special Project & Visiting Scholar: Special programs/Visiting scholars (e.g. workshops that involve women or girls in dance or physical activity; performances involving students; outreach activities that represent the Wisconsin Idea).
  • New Course Development: New course development that supports women’s involvement in physical activity, movement, health or the female body in culture.

Funding may be requested for one-time events, such as guest scholar’s visit to campus (special project & visiting scholar), or as temporary or seed money for various projects (research grant/new course development). Funds are not intended to support ongoing programming or operational expenses.

Projects may be proposed for a period of one year from the date of activation, with the possibility of a one year extension. No amount of money is too small to request.  Research grants are often in the range of $10,000-$40,000. Last year there were four research grants awarded, five special project & visiting scholar awards, two fellowships, and support provided to student & sport clubs. Funds will be available for use as of May 1, 2020, provided animal and human subject approvals have been finalized.

At the end of the funding cycle, award recipients are asked to submit a brief report of their accomplishments.

Awards will be granted on the merits of the project and the close connection to the fundamental principles of Virginia Horne Henry’s work.  Only those projects that have a clear relationship to the values that inspired her work will be funded. Specifically, the Committee considers:

  • Relevance to women and their involvement in physical education, movement, health and the female body in culture
  • Potential impact of the project on women’s health and well-being
  • Number of women students involved

ELIGIBILITY: Faculty, staff, and student organizations at UW-Madison are eligible. Student organizations should have a faculty or staff advisor submit the proposal on the group’s behalf.

Graduate students have two options for seeking an award:
1.  VHH Distinguished Graduate Fellowship (1-2 awarded per year)
2.  Research Project submitted by the student’s faculty mentor

Application Process: Application procedures vary according to the type of funding being requested. Be sure to select the appropriate application form (1. Research Grant, 2. Student & Sport Clubs, 3. Special Project & Visiting Scholar, 4. New Course Development). Completed applications must be submitted electronically and received by: February 3, 2020, by 4:30pm

Awards will be announced by April 15, 2020.

Application questions may be directed to Stephanie Trigsted, or 608-262-8730. Questions regarding proposal content or the awards process may be directed to Jill Barnes, Committee Chair, Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology at 608-262-1654, or

Grant Application forms

2019 Funded Grants

  • Dr. Susan Andreae – “Increasing Physical Activity in Mothers and Children: Developing and Pilot Testing a Family-Centered Physical Activity Program”
  • Dr. Jill Barnes – “The Influence of Biological Sex and Ovarian Hormones on Brain Blood Flow Regulation after Exercise”
  • Dr. Dane Cook – “Brain Inflammation during Post-Exertional Malaise”
  • Dr. Kreg Gruben – “Standing Balance Control: Simulation of Gender Effects and Age-related Declines”

2019 Funded Special Projects & Visiting Scholar

  • Cindy Kuhrasch – “Picked Last: Affected for Life”
  • Kelly Kwiatkowski – “Pre-Collegiate Dance at UW Madison”
  • Stephanie Richards – “The Dance of Mentorship: Leadership Development for Women in Dance”
  • Marlene Skog – “Shakespeare: Dance Folio II”
  • Dr. Jin-Wen Yu – “Presentation of the Quintet “Paged” at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe”