Funding Opportunities

Description & Criteria for Participation

  • An ICS Research Travel Grant will help support a period of independent research for an honors thesis during the summer before the senior year.
  • These awards may not be used to subsidize participation in a summer study-abroad program.  However, a rising senior studying abroad or participating in DukeEngage may use the grant to help fund an extended stay for independent research.
  • A research travel grant can only be awarded if a student is admitted to the Distinction Program and is enrolled in the honors seminar sequence.
  • ICS research funds are limited and awarded on a competitive basis. Awards are typically capped at $500. We strongly encourage application to other sources of research funding at Duke. The Undergraduate Research Support Office can help prospective honors students locate other funding sources. Most have deadlines in early March.

Applying for a Research Travel Grant

A student whose planned project will require research travel may apply for admission to the Distinction Program and for an ICS Research Travel Grant in the same process, by substituting the materials specified below for those in the Distinction Program application.

An ICS Travel Grant application includes the following:

1. Expanded Project Proposal

The expanded project proposal should provide, in addition to the information specified for the Distinction application, a clear statement of how travel, as opposed to research in a library or archive closer to home, will help a student complete a project.  A section of the expanded proposal should discuss research trip logistics:

  • Does the applicant have any contacts in the proposed travel destination?
  • What research materials/people does the applicant seek? Is it certain that the materials/people sought will be available?
  • What are the applicant's housing plans? Will obtaining a visa be a problem?
  • Are the applicant's language skills sufficient?  (If language competence is not obvious from the applicant's ICS curricular plan, a language teacher should supply a supplemental letter of recommendation for the application.)

2. Basic Bibliography

The bibliography should include two kinds of materials: primary sources you will analyze or interpret as part of your thesis; and relevant secondary scholarly sources you have consulted as you have begun thinking about your project. The initial bibliography should reflect a cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary engagement with your sources. It is helpful to discuss your proposal and initial bibliography with your prospective research supervisor with these expectations in mind before you submit it. 

3. More Detailed Recommendation from the Proposed Research Supervisor

A more detailed recommendation from a Duke faculty member should include an evaluation of the proposed project, a statement of willingness to supervise the student's work, and, additionally, consideration of the feasibility of the proposed research trip and its value for completion of the project.

4. Proposed Travel Budget

The proposed travel budget should include estimated transportation and living expenses anticipated during the travel period as well as any costs to complete the research. Copying costs are not covered by this grant.