Research Travel Award

Do you need financial support for travel related to your research? If so, apply for the Research Travel Awards! The 2017-18 competition is now open and applications are accepted on a rolling basis with multiple review deadlines. Funding for these awards generously comes from WARF,  and the Vilas Trust.

Please note: due to a large number of applications and limited funds, only dissertators in a graduate program or final-year MFA students are eligible to apply for Research Travel Awards. 

Awards for domestic and international travel are available to UW–Madison graduate students traveling to conduct research supporting their dissertation, thesis, or final project.  Applicants for the Research Travel Awards will be considered for the $300, $600 or $1,200 award based on merit and financial need. Applicants traveling internationally will also be considered for a limited number of $1,500 awards.  Only dissertators or final-year MFA students are eligible to apply for Research Travel Awards.

The 2017-2018 application closes on April 30, 2018. Applicants are typically notified of acceptance within six weeks after the posted reviewing deadlines.

Reviewing Deadlines of this year:

  • September 30, 2017
  • December 31, 2017-- *submission deadline extended to January 8, 2018
  • March 31, 2018
  • Must be enrolled at UW-Madison as a dissertator in a graduate program or a final-year MFA student.
  • Must be traveling to conduct research supporting dissertation, thesis, or final project. The Research Travel Awards do not support conference travel.
  • Travel must occur during the fiscal year between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.  Students beginning travel after July 1, 2018 will not be considered until the 2018–19 competition is announced.
  • Students may not receive Student Research Grant funds more than once in the fiscal year (this includes both Conference Presentation Funds and Research Travel Awards).

Prepare the following documents:

  1. Synopsis: Justify how you will use a Research Travel Award in no more than two pages. Your synopsis must include the following information:
    • the importance of this travel to your research and professional advancement
    • the significance of this research to your field of study
    • a clear description of travel plans
    • demonstration of financial need
    • the synopsis should be clear, professional, and well-written

    There are no formatting guidelines for the synopsis other than the two-page length limit.

    Your application will be evaluated by a committee of graduate student readers. Please note that your application may be read by a student from any discipline; strong applications are able to convey the importance of an applicant’s research and travel plan to a non-expert or person outside your field.

  2. Estimated Budget: Fill out the itemized form in your online application.

    Note: Budgeting and expense reporting for all travel activities must follow the UW–Madison travel policies. A food and lodging calculator is availlable on UW TravelWIse to help with developing your budget.

  3. Letter of support from your faculty advisor. Reviewers look for the advisor’s enthusiastic recommendation of the student and clear support of the student’s research as a worthwhile contribution to the field of study.
  4. Complete and submit the electronic application by any of the posted reviewing deadlines. Your synopsis must be submitted in the application as a PDF file, with your name as part of the file name (e.g. LastName_FirstName_Abstract.pdf). Late and/or incomplete applications and/or applications that do not comply with the above specifications will be immediately rejected.
  • This competition follows UW–Madison travel guidelines.  You are strongly encouraged to review the UW-Madison travel policy page and to arrange your airline travel through the UW System’s managed travel program website. Please work with your advisor and program staff as appropriate to use this resource. A calculator to help you plan your lodging and food budgets is also available on that site.
  • International Students with Non-Resident Alien Status: if you are selected as a Research Travel Award recipient, you may need to submit additional documentation before you can receive the funding. The process you will need to follow will be based on whether you have already held an appointment at UW–Madison.
    • Have already held an appointment—the Glacier system through the UW-Madison HR Office will follow-up with you to determine if you need to submit additional documentation;
    • Have not held any appointment—the Graduate School Payroll Coordinator will send you a letter requesting a W-4 form and a direct deposit form before your information is forwarded to the UW–Madison HR Office.

All recipients must submit proof of financial need totaling at least the awarded amount before checks can be dispersed. This documentation should not be submitted with your application.

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