Seeking Travel/Research Funding
We all know that presenting at academic conferences is an important part of professional development, as is time spent at research libraries. But what to do when conferences and the libraries hosting your research materials are far-flung?
Unfortunately, these types of trips are notoriously difficult to fund, particularly on short notice, so plan ahead well in advance of your trip.
The best place for researching funding opportunities is via the databases linked on the library’s grants and funding research guide. Most of these databases have advanced search functionality that will allow you to limit your results to travel funding, or perhaps programs that support your specific area of interest. Grant Forward is worth a look. (Create an account using your GC email address, and set up a profile to begin receiving automatic grant recommendations based on your research interests; you must list The Graduate Center, City University of New York as your institution). Pivot is a particularly handy database for scholars in all disciplines that allows users to set alerts for opportunities featuring keywords of your choice. The database Grant Advisor can also be useful, both in its interface and its convenient chronological arrangement of grants by deadline. (Use the link above from a GC computer; note that this link worked for me while writing this post, but the GC no longer subscribes to this database so it may not work for much longer.)
Opportunities for GC Students
GC students can apply for conference presentation support of up to $300 once a year from the GC. Applications are usually announced by email, so keep your eye on your @gradcenter.cuny.edu account. Know that you will need to follow certain requirements for international travel under the auspices of the GC. Applications for conference presentation support for the Fall 2018 semester must be submitted by November 4, 2018.
The GC also offers Doctoral Student Research Grants (scroll to “Doctoral Student Research Grant Program”) for students in their second through sixth years at the GC; these grants can be up to $1,500.
CUNY Academy for the Arts and Sciences offers Adjunct Faculty Travel Awards for up to $500 for academic conferences (travel, conference registration and/or lodging). This award is for part-time faculty at any of the CUNY colleges.
Expanding Your Search
Check whether local research libraries at your travel destination would be compatible with your research and might offer grants to visiting researchers.
If you are a member of our union, the Professional Staff Congress (join!), and you are teaching six or more classroom hours, you may be eligible for PSC/CUNY Adjunct Professional Development Grants of up to $3,000.
Check with the organizers running your conference. Many professional organizations offer travel funding to graduate students and/or contingent faculty. Applications for such grants are usually announced shortly before the conference, so keep your eye on your email. Sometimes, you won’t learn till after the conference whether you’ve secured any funding (or, if so, how much), but be sure to keep all of your travel-related receipts anyway, as many grantors will want to see these. (If you’re not sure how to word this or whether to ask, consult your adviser.)
National Fellowship Programs
The Council on Library and Information Resources offers fellowships generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for dissertation research in the humanities or related social sciences in original sources.
The Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad program provides grants to colleges and universities to fund individual doctoral students who conduct research in other countries, in modern foreign languages and area studies for periods of six to 12 months. Projects deepen research knowledge on and help the nation develop capability in areas of the world not generally included in U.S. curricula. Projects focusing on Western Europe are not supported. (NB: Interested students should contact Rachel Sponzo in the Provost’s Office at 212-817-7282 or firstname.lastname@example.org, not the U.S. Department of Education.)
If you do research in China studies, the American Council of Learned Societies has some grant opportunities.