Graduate Research Funding

This Application is for students requesting support for the cost of research materials, online conference fees, and professional opportunities.

The Dean’s Conference Research, and Professional Advancement Fund is now available to students to support the cost of research materials, online conference fees, and professional opportunities. A special form will be used for these COVID-19 related expenses and can be found here: (LINK TO FORM). This is not for travel-related opportunities. Please note that advisor and DGS approvals are not needed for this application.

Please include the following in your application: 

  • a detailed reason for your request (include your research area or dissertation title and how this request directly relates to your research)
  • receipts or documentation that equals the amount requested. For extensive book lists, please upload a file listing the title, cost for each book, and the seller (amazon, half-price, etc)

All students who receive funding from the Dean's Fund for research materials will be required to email an itemized receipt of your purchase(s) to dean_s_.82tyifdv8j6sr29w@u.box.com. Please combine all receipts into one file (pdf or jpg) and use the naming convention LastName_FirstName_Amount.

The receipt does not have to exactly match your original book list but should have limited changes. Please consider your funding needs for the entire academic year. We ask that you only request the amount you need at the time of the application. You may need funding in the spring or early summer.

The Dean's Fund should only be used for the purchase of research materials (e-books are allowed), online conference fees, and professional opportunities directly related to your research. The Dean's Fund does not provide funding for computers, headphones, e-readers, or other electronics or special software. Anyone purchasing these items with award money will no longer be eligible for the Dean's Fund. 

Applications will be reviewed weekly.

Please contact your Graduate Program Administrator if you have any questions.


The Dean’s Conference, Research, and Professional Advancement Fund for travel-related opportunities is currently on hold until further notice. Please contact your Graduate Program Administrator if you have any questions.

Purpose: The Dean’s Fund was created to provide opportunities for travel and professionalization for students, especially in departments that have been historically underfunded in these areas.

Eligibility: All current PhD students in the School of Humanities who are in good standing and making good progress toward degree completion. The support of PhD students in their research and professionalization endeavors is priority. While it is unlikely that comparable support will be offered to MA students, MA students may submit funding requests which will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Approved Use: Funds may be used for conference, research, and professional advancement for PhD students. Preference will be given to requests for conference presentation travel, research travel, and travel to job interviews taking place at a conference. Additionally, professional development opportunities such as workshops, etc., will be considered.

Deadline: Completed applications must be submitted in advance and no later than the day before travel commences. NO exceptions. Early applications are strongly encouraged, as funding awards are not guaranteed until after review and approval.  Incomplete applications will not be considered under any circumstances. Ensure your application is COMPLETE (see Application Requirements below) before submission.

NOTE: Students awaiting a conference acceptance may still apply early. The anticipated conference acceptance date must be included in the proposal.

Review and Approval Process: Applications are reviewed beginning the second day of each month.  Submitted applications will be reviewed by the Office of the Dean, and final decisions will be made by the Dean and/or Associate Dean. Decision letters will be sent to each applicant no later than the 10th of each month.

Funding Amount: Students are eligible for up to $1,500 per fiscal year (July 1-June 30) once any available department funding has been awarded. Students in departments where funding for conferences and research is available, must first apply through their respective department, in accordance with its policies and timelines. We will be doing our best to meet demand, but please be aware that these funds are subject to availability.

Student budgets must be as detailed as possible and can include the following: conference registration/membership, airfare (including baggage) and/or ground transportation, lodging, and $30 per diem for meals. Budgets should not include the following: travel insurance, airline upgrades, data plans, and other incidentals.

Award Disbursement: Students awarded funding will receive their award via Check Request/Student Award1. Awards above $600 in a calendar year are considered taxable income. For domestic students, taxes are not deducted at the time of disbursement and a 1099 will be issued at the end of the calendar year. For international students, the check request is run through payroll and taxes are deducted based on the student’s country of citizenship.

Students will not be required to submit Concur reports post-travel, and do not need to provide receipts after the trip.

Summary Report: Within 30 days of return, students who have received funding must submit 1-2 paragraphs summarizing the impact of the award on their research or professional development. Students will upload their reports to the 2019-20 Summary Reports folder in Box: https://rice.app.box.com/folder/82059129866.

Reports must be titled in the following format:

LAST NAME (caps), Destination (or Conf Name), Month, Year.    For example: WESTBROOK, Asian Cultures Conf, Singapore, Aug 2019.

Failure to submit this report on time will render the student ineligible for subsequent funding. See your Graduate Administrator if you have trouble uploading to Box.

Application Requirements: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY and FOLLOW THE STEPS BELOW:

1) Complete  a PDF icon Dean's Fund Proposal Form.

2) For conference presentations, combine the conference acceptance with the Proposal Form.  If acceptance is pending, note the anticipated acceptance date in the Proposal Form.

3) Obtain Advisor approval via signature on Proposal Form or via email*

4) Obtain the department's Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) approval via signature on Proposal Form or via email*

5) COMBINE the completed Proposal Form WITH the Conference Acceptance AND Approvals into ONE PDF.

6) Upload ONE PDF to the  Dean's Fund Application online.

*If approvals are made via email instead of signatures, the student secures first the email approval of their Advisor and then sends the Dean's Fund Proposal Form PDF (complete with conference acceptance as appropriate) to their DGS. ALL approval emails are combined with the Dean's Fund Proposal Form (along with the conference acceptance as appropriate) into ONE PDF and then uploaded online.

Approval emails sent or forwarded to Graduate Program Administrators will NOT be accepted. The student is responsible for securing approval emails (if signatories are not available) and including them in the PDF upload.


1 In order to receive the award via direct deposit, students need to make sure, in ESTHER, that their Payroll Allocation account is also selected as their Accounts Payable Deposit account.

Instructions for setting up direct deposit:

Login to ESTHER, through https://esther.rice.edu
Navigate to the Direct Deposit Allocation page (Main Menu > Employee > Pay Information > Direct Deposit Allocation) 
Already have direct deposit set up? Under Proposed Pay Distribution, make sure that one of the accounts says “Yes” under the Accounts Payable column

If you need to set up direct deposit, or if the Accounts Payable column does not says “Yes”, select “Update Direct Deposit Allocation” 
From there, you can add a direct deposit account (or more than one) through the “Add Allocation” section, making sure to check “Accounts Payable Deposit” (can only be selected for one account). You can also select an existing direct deposit account, and make sure that check box is checked.
Don’t forget to save! You should now be set up to receive direct deposit as well as reimbursements into the selected account.