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Travel and Research Grants

Visual Studies Travel & Research Grants

Visual Studies travel grants are awarded to our graduate students to assist with expenses related to travel for thesis-related research, or to attend conferences or workshops related to their graduate projects. Non-travel research needs will also be considered. Requests can be submitted before or after travel has taken place after the quarterly call has been sent. Please note that for expenses related to the dissemination of your research (such as conference presentations or publications) we expect you to request support from the Arts Dean's Fund for Excellence (see below) before you apply to our program. 

The graduate coordinator will send a call for applications a few weeks before the deadlines which will be early December and late March.

Applications should include the following:

1. A description and justification of the travel or research need, with special attention paid to the importance of the travel to your research project (500 word limit).

2. Itemized budget with explanations of the expenses (as needed). Only part of the request may be funded, so please identify what is the highest priority.

3. Statement of support from your faculty advisor.

4. The Graduate Committee will meet to review the grant requests. After being notified that you have received a grant, contact the graduate coordinator for details on how to obtain the funds.


Arts Dean’s Fund for Excellence Grants

Arts Dean's Excellence grants come from the Arts Division and are awarded on an on-going basis to Arts graduate students to support the dissemination of their research projects and activities that the department and the Arts Dean consider significant in the promotion of excellence. The fund provides aid for students to participate in professional conferences, pay for image reproduction rights, or the costs associated with exhibitions, or those incurred in the acceptance of internships. On occasion, the Dean will consider requests for language study abroad when it is not practical to study the language in the U.S. The Excellence Fund typically does not support student requests in the initial stages of research or creative projects, unless it is to serve as a match for previously secured external funds (not from our department).

Please see their webpage for further information and the online application.


Graduate Student Association Travel Grants

GSA Travel Grants are awarded to assist students who travel to perform research or attend conferences related to their graduate projects. This also may include thesis related travel to workshops and programs. The maximum award is $500 per applicant per academic year. Students receiving funding from another source (such as an advisor, department, or grant) may be offered an award that is less than the maximum. Student travel must be completed before applying and must have occurred within the last two years. You may only apply after all travel has been completed. Please visit for further details on application instructions and deadlines. Late applications are not accepted.


Please ensure compliance with IRB (Institutional Research Board) and ORCA (Office of Research Compliance) regulations

Students whose research involves human subjects (e.g. conducting interviews) should review this page for information regarding the need for approval by the Institutional Research Board (IRB):

Currently the IRB defines “human subject research” as the systematic research or survey of multiple subjects for the purpose of drawing generalized conclusions (as is done in clinical or ethnographic research). Individualized personal interviews seem not to be considered “human subject research” according to the above definition. However, it is best to contact to describe the type of research you intend to conduct and verify that you do not need to submit an IRB form. If you are planning to travel to potentially dangerous areas during your research, you should also discuss this with ORCA (Office of Research Compliance) so that they may advise you on any necessary steps. Please maintain a copy of ORCA’s reply to your inquiries for your records, as it might be required at a later time, to prove eligibility for further UCSC funding.