Earth Institute Travel Grant Program
The Earth Institute Travel Grant Program provides funding for Columbia and Barnard students to work on a variety of sustainable development and environmental projects, both domestically and internationally. Travel grant funding supports research for which the student(s) will receive academic credit towards their degree programs at Columbia University. Funding is awarded for different types of projects, including studios, graduate workshops, theses, senior seminar projects and independent studies, among others. Conferences are not eligible for this funding. The Travel Grant Program is offered during the fall and spring semesters only.
Funding Amounts & Requirements
Students may apply for up to $750 and groups may apply for up to $2,000 in funding.
Please note that Travel Grants may be subject to taxation, and/or affect your financial aid package. To that end, we recommend you follow up with your financial aid office and/or tax advisor.
Students selected to receive grants are required to attend a pre-departure meeting held by the Office of Academic and Research Programs at the Earth Institute to ensure that they prepare properly and are in compliance with the University’s International Travel Policy guidelines. Adequate health and travel insurance policies, including coverage for MEDIVAC, are required. Pre-departure requirements must be met before funds will be disbursed.
All students who are awarded funding are required to participate in the spring Student Research Showcase, which is hosted by the Earth Institute. As part of this showcase, students present summaries of their findings in person at a poster session. The summaries are also posted on the Earth Institute website. The event provides a unique opportunity for students to publicize their research.
Current Columbia and Barnard undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students, who are pursuing research related to sustainability and the environment, may apply to the program. Projects must be related to the students’ degree programs at Columbia. Applications are only accepted for future travel. Students must be matriculated in a Columbia program for the duration of their travel, and in good academic standing at the time of submission.
Groups should submit one application for the entire group; there are no restrictions on the number of students per group. There must be a faculty advisor working in conjunction with the individual student or the group. The faculty advisor should be an instructor of record at Columbia in the same field of study as the research project.
To access the application, click on “Apply” to the right.
- Online application form
- Project description (a one-page, detailed description of your research in PDF format. This should include your research question, detailed research plan, as well as confirmed interviews and meetings, if applicable).
- Detailed budget for project (must include specific line items for expenses such as flights, accommodations, food, in-country travel, research materials, translators, etc).
- Cover letter
- Faculty letter of endorsement (This person should be familiar with your research project and be able to explain how he/she is supervising your work. The letter should also describe your ability to undertake the research in that specific location and under the timeframe proposed)
- If your research involves human subjects, you will need to obtain IRB approval and provide proof of the approval in your application
Please note that students are responsible for working with their faculty advisors to determine if Institutional Review Board approval is required as part of their Columbia sponsored research while abroad.
Applications are evaluated on the basis of the proposed research objectives. Projects that are not related to the degree program will not be considered.
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Fall 2019 Deadlines:
August 9 - Funding application opens
October 13 - Applications due
November 1 – Decisions sent out
Spring 2020 Deadlines:
December 9 - Funding application opens
February 9 - Applications due
February 28 – Decisions sent out