Open To

Continuing Ph.D. students in any discipline who is traveling outside the United States for pre-dissertation or dissertation research. See Eligibility section for details.

The International Dissertation Research Travel Award from The Graduate School provides funding for Ph.D. students to travel outside the United States in order to conduct pre-dissertation or dissertation research. Student can apply for up to $5,000 in international travel support, depending on the research project and the number of proposals funded. Funding generally includes travel costs, some living expenses, and direct research expenses.

Please note: All students conducting international research much register their travel with the Global Travel office and ensure relevant research oversight approvals are completed prior to conducting travel (IRB, IACUC, etc.)


  • Applicants must be in good academic standing.
  • All Ph.D. students enrolled full-time in a Graduate School program at Duke are eligible, but preference will be given to those who have not received a prior Dissertation Research Travel Award (known as the Pre-dissertation/Dissertation Research Travel Award prior to 2014-2015).
  • This award is not for conference travel expenses. Students seeking conference travel support can apply to The Graduate School's Conference Travel Award.
  • This award cannot be concurrently accepted with another Graduate School or external fellowship or award for the same proposed travel expenses.

To Apply

You Need

  • Approval from your department (see step 1 below)
  • Your CV (PDF)
  • A copy of your current Duke transcript or DukeHub report (PDF)
  • Two letters of recommendation from your DGS and faculty advisor. If your DGS and faculty advisor are the same individual only one letter of recommendation is required.
  • Information about your trip (sites, departure and return dates, amount and sources of other funds for the trip)
  • A PDF that includes, in the following order,
    • A detailed budget for your dissertation research travel
    • A brief statement (no more than 3 pages, using 1-inch margins, 1.5 line spacing, and Arial 12-point font) that includes
      • the dissertation title or proposed subject,
      • a description of the research project,
      • the specific research location or resource to be visited,
      • research plans while abroad, and
      • the significance of the trip to the proposed research.


  1. Get approval to apply from your department. Each department can only nominate up to two students each year for this award. Before you can submit your applications for this award to The Graduate School, you must first get approval from your director of graduate studies (DGS). Programs differ in how they choose their nominees. Check with your DGS.
  2. Once you have received approval from your DGS, go to The Graduate School’s fellowship application system to submit your application. | Application instructions (PDF)

Application Period

The application cycle opens in early October and closes in late November. Award recipients will be notified in spring semester. The Graduate School will announce exact dates closer to the start of the cycle, and they will be posted with the award listing on the school’s online application system.