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Writing a Travel Grant
April 21, 2008 2:34 AM   Subscribe

I am applying for a small travel grant to fund a trip to a semi-local conference. The problem is that I have no idea how to write one!

I am interested in presenting the results of my undergraduate research project at a small conference taking place at a nearby province. To help fund this trip, I would like to apply for one of the undergraduate travel grants available at my university -- but I have no idea what I am supposed to say. The application instructions are fairly minimal: "attach a one-page explanation of your role at event and title of presentation."

Some specific questions:
* Do travel grants have a standard format that I should follow?

* What kind of information are they looking for in the grant proposal? My role at the event and title of presentation will not take up a whole page -- what are they actually asking me to say?

* There is a separate application cover sheet that contains the important information such as the name of the conference, the amount of money requested, as well as the proposed dates of travel. Should I repeat this information in the proposal?

* Should I attach some documents that are not explicitly requested? I am thinking of things like the abstract, a proposed budget, and my resume.

This is my first time writing a grant, travel or otherwise (see: undergrad), so any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
posted by tickingclock to Education (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Talk to your profs. They should have some ideas.

Call the people to whom you are applying for the grant and ask what they're looking for. You'll probably be surprised at how much they will help you.
posted by winston at 5:54 AM on April 21, 2008


what are they actually asking me to say?
As a previous travel grant granter at a university, we were primarily looking for, and you should definitely address:
* what your objectives are (so, how you will benefit from presenting at this conference)
* how your objectives match with the intent of their scarce, dear, monies.

should I attach some documents that are not explicitly requested?
The budget is a super-double-plus good idea, especially if you fit it on your one-page. The rest may just be additional stuff for them, and if you want to make it accessible, provide a link or something. If they need it, they will visit. I know I did. As far as the abstract, something brief (1-2 sentences) should be in the proposal itself, since it ties in to your objectives.


any advice is greatly appreciated
* proofread, dammit!
* bonus points were definitely given to students whose budgets or applications otherwise showed that they were looking for other sources besides just ours.
* when in doubt, make an appointment with or send off some email to the coordinators ask for clarifications. shows seriousness in your intent, too.
posted by whatzit at 6:03 AM on April 21, 2008


ask your tutor and get them to help you, i did that and got a nice travel grant this year : )
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:02 AM on April 21, 2008


II administer the travel grants program for my organization. I'm surprised that they don't base the application largely on the abstract itself, which is a fairly common practice.

I very strongly second asking the grants office what they expect, though. They should give you more detailed instructions if you call.

Generally speaking, though, if they aren't asking for your abstract, at least definitely summarize your research. Discuss how presentation of your work at this conference (this particular conference, specifically) is particularly relevant to your work. Describe how you will maximize the experience of attending and presenting to help you progress in your career.
posted by desuetude at 8:06 AM on April 21, 2008


OP here. I was surprised that the application did not ask for my abstract, either. Then again, maybe this is how they select applicants -- by removing people that do not bother to find out what kind of information they should include.

I am going to school now, so I will most definitely drop by their office and ask.

Thanks for the responses so far -- keep'em coming!
posted by tickingclock at 9:13 AM on April 21, 2008


From my experience, the advice above (especially whatzit's) should serve you well. I'll just add that you might want to include a conference or society website URL, if it exists, on your application. Oh, and if you cannot attend without assistance, note that also.
posted by Jorus at 9:16 AM on April 21, 2008


OP again. I followed all of your advice, and ended up getting that travel grant! Thanks for your help, everyone!
posted by tickingclock at 6:06 PM on May 1, 2008


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