University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

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University of Illinois Graduate College - Dissertation Travel Grants (Fall competition)

Deadline: Anticipated 11/2023 ( Previous deadline 11/11/2022 )

Nominations are due at 5:00 p.m. on the deadline day.

Dissertation Travel Grants provide reimbursement to subsidize travel and associated costs necessary for doctoral dissertation research, whether for exploring a potential dissertation topic (i.e., before extensive research has been done) or for conducting dissertation research. Approximately 12 grants at amounts up to $5,000 will be awarded given sufficient funding. An awardee's nominating department must commit to contributing 12% of the cost of the grant.

The criteria used in making awards are the necessity for travel; the significance, coherence, and feasibility of the proposed research as determined from the proposal; and letters of support. The student's productivity and efficient progress toward the degree as shown in the academic record are also evaluated. Students who have already received a Graduate College Dissertation Travel Grant are not eligible. Grants will not be awarded for travel that has taken place prior to the completion of the competition process.  Grants will not cover costs that are covered by other funding. 

Departments may submit up to three nominations.


      • Applicants must be enrolled in a program leading to the PhD, DMA, or EdD.
      • Travel funded through the fall 2022 competition must begin no later than December 31, 2023 and must conclude by May 31, 2024.
      • Students do not need to be registered at the time of application or during the time of travel.

Award Amounts: Awards are contingent on availability of funds. The proposed budget should be cost-effective and commensurate with the distance and time of travel. The highest priority for awards will be transportation expenses. Other allowable expenses include lodging, food, insurance, research passes or permits, visas, and required vaccinations, but these expenses may receive lower priority due to budget constraints.  Expenses not allowed include expenses for any travel that has already occurred; travel expenses for colleagues, assistants, personal companions, or other participants; cost of using a university vehicle; participant incentives; equipment; supplies; photocopies; conference travel; course registration; and tuition.

Nomination Procedure:  Students must be nominated by their department, and departments may nominate up to three students each. Students, nominating officials, and letter writers should each submit their respective materials to the department's contact person by the department's internal deadline (check with the department's Director of Graduate Studies to identify the appropriate contact person and ascertain the deadline).  The department must then scan materials into a single pdf, and the file should be named as follows: LastName, FirstName - DeptAbbreviation - DissTravel2022 (for example: Smith, John - Anth - DissTravel2022).   The pdf should then be uploaded to this online Box folder by the campus deadline.

Note that there are rigid formatting guidelines for each of the required items indicated below.  Nomination packages containing items that do not follow the formatting guidelines will be disqualified without review.

The nomination package must contain the following documents, arranged in the following order:

1.  Dissertation Travel Grant Nomination Form, as completed by the nominating official (either the Department Head or the Director of Graduate Studies).  As part of the form, the nominating official must include a statement supporting the nomination as well as a note explaining how the department ranked its nominees.  Refer to the Nomination Form for more specific guidance on writing the statement.
2.  CV.  The CV is limited to three pages, and it must have one-inch margins and at least 11-point font throughout.
3.  Research Proposal. The Research Proposal must be written in an accessible, jargon-free manner appropriate for a multidisciplinary review panel, and it should explain and justify the specific activities to be undertaken during the grant period. The proposal should include the following sections:
           A. Introduction/Problem Statement. (In this section, the research question, hypothesis, or engineering goal must be stated explicitly.)
           B. Background and Significance.
           C. Preliminary research.
           D. Methodology.
           E. Timeline.
           F. Expected outcomes.
      Within the above sections, the research proposal should explain how the proposed travel is essential for the research, including specific locations and dates of travel. The student should indicate how far he/she has progressed in the research project, what remains to be done, and how the research would contribute to the quality and timely completion of the dissertation. If the research project involves human subjects or vertebrate animals, the student should indicate what steps have been or will be taken to secure the necessary approvals.
      The research proposal is limited to three pages, and it must be double-spaced, in Times New Roman, with 12-point font and one-inch margins.  
      A separate one-page References Cited section is allowed (must be single-spaced, in Times New Roman, with 12-point font and one-inch margins).  No appendices or other supplemental sections are allowed.
4.  Dissertation Travel Grant Budget Worksheet, as completed by the student. The worksheet must give the dates of travel and also specify and justify expenses up to $5,000 during the proposed travel. Do not use per diem calculations. Indicate the source of the budget estimates (travel agency, website, etc.). The worksheet should be accompanied by a brief (~1/2 page) budget justification narrative explaining each of the items requested.
5.  Letter of support from the student's advisor that discusses the importance of the proposed travel within the overall significance of the dissertation, the student's academic and research accomplishments, and the student’s specific stage in the degree program (milestones passed, requirements remaining to be completed, and estimated length of time to degree completion).  The letter must be a maximum of two pages, in 12-point font and with one-inch margins.
6.  Current University of Illinois transcript (unofficial will suffice).

Reporting Requirements: All Dissertation Travel Grant recipients are required to submit a one-page report and reimbursement paperwork within one month after travel has concluded.

Disbursement: Funds are generally disbursed in the form of a reimbursement following submission and review of all required reporting materials, and the guidelines for submitting that reimbursement request are found here.  The Graduate College recognizes that, in some case, a pre-travel disbursement is required, and the guidelines explain how to request such a disbursement. 

Ken Vickery, PhD
Director of Fellowships



Categories: Social Sciences; Sciences/Engineering/Math; Fine Arts; Humanities; US Citizens, Nationals, or Permanent Residents; International Students; Early Years of Doctoral Program; Dissertation Research; Research/Study Abroad; Short-Term Travel; University of Illinois Students

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