The CAS Honors Research Travel Award program funds grants of up to $1,000 for travel to conduct research by advanced undergraduates pursuing the B.A. with honors in any College of Arts & Sciences major. These awards recognize outstanding student scholars and enable them to execute Senior Honors Projects that require travel in the course of research. The specific purpose of the travel may be any kind of fieldwork required for the project, including activities such as consulting archival or library materials, conducting interviews, collecting data of any sort, attending performances, exhibitions, or other cultural events, or working with scholars in the relevant field. Up to 10 Honors Scholar Research Travel grants will be awarded each year.
Honors research travel may be scheduled for any point during the student’s junior or senior year or the intervening summer, provided that the student has an approved Honors Project proposal on file in his or her major department. The best time for research travel will vary by field and by project. Each student works with the faculty mentor supervising his/her Honors Project to formulate an overall research plan and timeline where the benefits of research travel can be most fully realized in the final thesis or paper.
These awards are restricted to travel for the purpose of conducting honors research. Students whose projects entail costs for a) research supplies (books, subscriptions, software, consumables, etc.) or b) travel to professional meetings to present results may apply for funding in those categories to BU’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). The Student Academic Enhancement Fund (SAEF) can also provide funding for travel to professional meetings in which the applicant is presenting or has a leadership role.
Featured Honors Research Travel Award Recipients
With support from the Honors Travel Research Fund, Sydney Hunter (CAS ’19), an archaeology major, spent a month in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan as part of an archaeological team. Sydney collected samples of plant remains and soils at the excavation site of Sim-Ata, an agricultural hub during the Islamic Golden Age, in order to investigate the existence of developed agricultural practices prior to the Arab conquest in 712 CE. She was able to collect samples vital to her research and immerse herself in local culture and history. (Photo provided by Sydney Hunter)
Carolyn Hoffman (CAS ’19), an International Relations Major, traveled to Padua, Italy to spend a week with Medici con l’Africa CUAMM, a non-governmental organization that provides healthcare aid to African countries. Carolyn conducted a series of interviews with the organization’s employees to gather information on the state of maternal and child health care in Uganda, looking in particular at the influence of rebel groups like the Lord’s Resistance Army. (Photo provided by Carolyn Hoffman)
- With support from the Honors Travel Research Fund and the Pardee School, International Relations major Ziling Cheng (CAS ’19) traveled to Kyoto, Japan to research China’s and Japan’s use of cultural heritage to shape and create their national identities. Ziling visited local temples and shrines and participated in traditional Japanese customs to observe how Japan promotes cultural tourism and its own history to develop its unique, globally-facing brand.
- History major Teresa Brock Moneo (CAS ’19) traveled to Madrid, Spain to visit El Estilo, founded in 1959 as the first secular, co-educational school founded under the dictatorial rule of Francisco Franco. Teresa met with the daughter of the Josefina Aldecoa to discuss the school’s history, its impact, and the pedagogical influences that drove Aldecoa to create a haven for creative expression under an oppressive regime. Teresa also gathered valuable information on the Spanish education system from Aldecoa’s thesis and historical student newspapers.
- Hallie Coyne (CAS ’19), an International Relations major, received travel support to attend the International Security and Intelligence Program at Cambridge University over the summer. Hallie worked with top scholars in the field of intelligence-sharing policies inside and outside the European Union and conducted research on the complex security challenges facing the EU’s member states.
- International Relations major Elizabeth Burke (CAS ’18) used her award for a trip to London and Brussels to research the informal barriers facing migrants seeking access to healthcare in the United Kingdom and the European Union. Elizabeth met with researchers, organizers, administrators, and others from a large number of organizations, exploring the issue all the way from doctors’ clinics to the offices of policymakers. Through these interviews, she gained firsthand insight into the many levels of migrant healthcare policy.
- Paulina Prasad (CAS ’18), an International Relations major, traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, to attend the 37th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Paulina attended a number of panels to gather research on the state of refugee policies in Uganda as well as the UN discourse on these policy responses to increased migration. The trip provided her with valuable insight into refugee policy and strengthened her desire to work for the protection of human rights.
Who can apply for Honors Research Travel Grants?
All CAS juniors and seniors with an approved proposal for a Senior Honors Project on file in their major department are eligible. Preference will normally be given to students who have not previously won an Honors Research Travel Award or similar travel grant.
The following guidelines are applied in the allocation of travel funds:
- Local/regional travel: maximum $300 per student
- National travel: maximum $600 per student
- International travel: maximum $1,000 per student
Honors Research travel funds can be used to support the following expenses within reasonable limits:
- Air, train, bus, or taxi fare
- Car rental
- Gas (if traveling by personal vehicle)
- Hotel lodging expenses
- Admission to institutions or events
CAS departments, individual faculty grants, and UROP may also contribute to research travel. If you are requesting or expecting additional travel support from those or other sources, please note this on your application.
How do you apply?
- Complete the Honors Research Travel Award application
- Ask your honors advisor to complete the Faculty Endorsement Form
- Check if your travel destination has a current U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory. If it has an Advisory Level of 3 or 4, reconsider your proposed travel or complete a petition for a travel restriction exception
- If your research involves human subjects, work with the BU IRB (Institutional Review Board) to determine if approval is needed
When do you apply?
Applications are welcome throughout the year and will be reviewed on receipt by the CAS Dean’s Office. However, students must in all cases apply at least one month before they are scheduled to depart. Deadlines are as follows:
- For fall semester travel: mid-September
- For travel during Winter Break: November 1
- For spring semester travel: January 6th
- For summer travel: March 31st
Travel support cannot be provided for travel that has already occurred.
Pre-Departure Steps for International Travelers:
- Student researchers will need to register their travel with the Office of Global Programs
- Student researchers will work with the CAS Dean’s Office to procure proper insurance (to be provided by the College in some cases)
- Student researchers will attend a pre-departure meeting with the Office of Global Programs
For student applicants and recipients of Honors Research Travel Awards:
These awards are competitive and represent a special mark of recognition by the College of Arts & Sciences. Recipients may be recognized in CAS publications and during Commencement weekend. Students are encouraged to cite their Honors Research Travel Award on the acknowledgments page of their honors thesis and any resulting publications, in keeping with the best scholarly practices. After completing their funded travel, recipients will be asked by the CAS Dean’s Office to submit a one- to two-page report or short photo/video essay documenting their research travel and how it contributed to their Honors Project.
For faculty supervising the Honors projects of student applicants and awardees:
You will be asked to certify the quality of the research project, the appropriateness and necessity of the travel, and the likelihood that the student will carry out the project to the highest standards. You will also be required to work with the student to ensure that the expenditure of any funds awarded is fully appropriate.
Please address any questions to Rachel Daigle, the Administrative Coordinator in the CAS Dean’s Office (email@example.com).
Last updated: April 2019