Graduate Research Funding

(Revised November 2021)

University-sponsored travel to take part in research or other activities directly relevant to degree progress is currently permitted both within the United States and internationally. Like all other policies related to COVID-19, these policies may change as the public health environment evolves.

Per University Policy 852, university-sponsored international travel needs to be registered at

The Dean’s Conference, Research, and Professional Advancement Fund 

Purpose: The Dean’s Fund was created to provide opportunities for research, 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 presentation travel, research travel, and travel to job interviews taking place at a conference. 

The Dean's Fund is also available to students experiencing difficulty with acquiring research materials related to their degree (e-books are allowed), online conference fees, and professional opportunities directly related to their 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.

Deadline: All applications are reviewed beginning the second business day of each month. 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. 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 business 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) after any available department funding has been exhausted. 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. Please be aware that these funds are subject to availability.

Award Disbursement: Students awarded funding will receive their award via check request (direct deposit). Awards above $600 in a calendar year are considered taxable income.

Students will not be required to submit an expense post-travel and do not need to provide receipts after the trip. Please keep in mind that travel funds are to be used for official Rice University business only, in accordance with Rice University travel policy 806 (

Summary Report: Within 30 days after travel end date, students who have received funding for travel must submit 1-2 paragraphs summarizing the impact of the award on their research or professional development. Students will email their reports to the Summary Reports folder in Box:

Reports must be titled in the following format:

LAST NAME, 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.

Receipts for Research Materials or Online Conference Fees: All students who receive funding from the Dean's Fund for research materials or online conference fees will be required to email an itemized receipt of your purchase(s) to Please combine all receipts into one file (pdf or jpg) and use the naming convention LastName_FirstName_Amount.


The Dean's Fund application is set up so that students can request funding for travel or non-travel expenses. Adobe Sign will guide you through the required fields based on your funding request type (travel, non-travel). You must submit a separate application for each funding request (you cannot request travel funding and research materials at the same time).

For Travel Requests:

Travel Proposal Summary
Please upload a proposal summary, 200 words or less, that includes:

  • explanation of how this travel funding will benefit your research or professional advancement
  • area of research and dissertation title (if applicable)
  • title of the conference paper and conference panel,
  • conference or professional opportunity name and relevant URL

Student Budget
Student budgets must be as detailed as possible and can include the following:

  • conference registration/membership
  • airfare (including baggage)
  • ground transportation
  • lodging
  • $30 per diem for meals
  • list of additional funding awarded or applied for in relation to your travel request

Budgets should not include the following: travel insurance, airline upgrades, data plans, and other incidentals.


Please use the BUDGET TEMPLATE (downloadable Excel spreadsheet) with your application for travel.

Advisor Letter of Support:
Upload an email or letter of support from your advisor. It can be a simple note acknowledging that they reviewed your proposal and budget and support this travel opportunity. Signatures are no longer required.


For Research Materials or Online Conference Fee Requests:

The amount must match your documentation.

Receipts and/or documentation:
Please upload a receipt 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)

Reason for requesting research materials or online conference costs:
Please provide a detailed explanation of how this funding will support your research; include your area of research and also your dissertation title (if applicable). 


Incomplete applications will not be considered under any circumstances.