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Office of Undergraduate Research

Preparing your Travel Grant Application

If you are preparing for a Research Grant application, click here.

Grants from the Office of Undergraduate Research are competitive—we cannot fund everyone that applies. The information on this page will help you prepare a proposal that has a good chance.

  1. Carefully read through the application materials and talk with your mentor (and group members, if applicable) well in advance of the deadline.
  2. Write your application materials and get feedback.
  3. Prepare your budget and budget justification.
  4. Submit a letter of support.


We are happy to talk with you about your grant application. You can:


Read through the application materials and get everyone on board

Although you will submit your application online, you can download a PDF of the application to prepare your materials (PDF examples coming soon!) 

Talk with your mentor well in advance of the deadline and discuss whether or not you should apply. Discuss what would be in your project description and your budget. Make sure your mentor knows that they will have to write a letter of support for you. 

If you are part of a group, select one student to take the lead on submitting the application, and make sure that student has everyone's first and last name and CWU email address. 

If the research that you will be presenting involves animal or human subjects, you will need to provide documentation that you have received approval for your work as part of the application; this can be the letter of approval you and your faculty mentor received from the Human Subjects Review Council (HSRC) or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

 

Write your application and get feedback

The application includes significant written components in addition to information about you, your mentor, and budget. These written sections take time to prepare well.

For travel proposals, you need to prepare:

  • An abstract or creative statement for the application: This should describe your project and the context for it in a way that is understandable for a committee of faculty from across the university. It's possible that your abstract could be the same thing you submitted to the conference as long as it falls within the length guidelines (250 words maximum), but you may need to modify it if it is highly specialized. The committee will be looking for a realistic project that is well-described within its context. Note: If you are applying for a group travel grant, you only need a single abstract or creative statement
  • A professional development statement from each student: This is your chance to describe why you want to go this particular conference or performance and how it fits into your academic or career goals. The committee is looking for thoughtful, specific reasons—avoid describing generic benefits like "it's a resume builder" or you will get public speaking practice. Who else goes to this conference? Are there particular people or events that you will seek out? Talk to your mentor about what you might expect to do there. Show the committee that you have done your homework. Note: If you are applying for a group travel grant, every person in the group should prepare a professional development statement.

 

Prepare your budget and budget justification

A well-considered budget is a very important part of your proposal. Please show real, total costs in your budget. Although the amount of funding you can receive from the OUR is limited, the budget should accurately reflect all of your expenses.

Put your budget together using a spreadsheet (template and example provided below).

Your budget should include:

  • Mileage costs for any travel in a personal vehicle, calculated at the state rate ($.54/mile)
  • Airfare
  • Ground transportation costs (e.g. a shuttle to or from the airport)
  • Conference registration and any other conference costs
  • Lodging (show cost per student, assuming that rooms will be shared)
  • Meals, shown as a per diem (per day) amount
  • Other sources of funding received and/or requested.
  • Travel budget template
  • Travel budget example

Your budget justification helps us interpret your budget. It describes why you need what you've asked for, and how you calculated the costs. The budget justification should be written in paragraph or bullet list form, or a combination of the two. 

  • You may need to explain how expenses will be split among several students.
  • Describe any unusual costs or circumstances (additional conference costs besides registration, for example).
  • ​If your expenses total more than the amount you are requesting from the OUR, describe how you plan to cover those additional expenses.
  • If you have applied for other funding, describe what you've applied for and when you expect to hear about your funding status.


Submit a letter of support

A letter of support from your mentor is an important part of your application—and it's required. Talk with your mentor and make sure that he or she knows what they need to do. The letter should be specific to you and your project, written on letterhead, and needs to be submitted alongside the other required documents in the application.

It is the responsibilit of the student(s) applying to obtain the letter of support from their mentor and submit it in the application. Your application will not submit without the letter of support being uploaded.

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