CAS Honors Research Travel Award Program
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
- Carolyn Welter (CAS ’22), a History major, traveled to the New York Public Library’s Theater on Film and Tape Archive to study thepublic and critical reception to two musicals about American history: Pacific Overtures (1976) and Assassins (1990), both written by John Weidman and composed by Stephen Sondheim. She observed interviews of Weidman and Sondheim, viewed historical recordings, and attended an off-Broadway production to understand how audience reception to the portrayal of American history in theater, and the impact of the production itself, can change over time.
- History major Carly Mast (CAS ’22) visited the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco, CA, to view the archives of Judy Freespirit, a prominent Jewish activist in the 1970s – 1980s who wrote the 1973 Fat Liberation Manifesto for a rising movement dedicated to fat acceptance. Mast studied Freespirit’s journals, correspondence, and photos to support her research around the important role of Jewish women as leaders in the Fat Activist and Acceptance movements.
- With support from the Honors Research Fund, International Relations major Stephanie Hince(CAS ’20) traveled to Ecuador to study the impact of the Villonaco wind farm, located in Loja. She conducted interviews in both Quito and Loja and toured the wind farm to learn about its political and socio-environmental impacts on the neighboring communities and the country as a whole.
- Sui Fung Justin Wong (CAS ’20), a History major, traveled to branches of the National Archives around Washington, D.C. to view federal documents related to the Chinese-American experience in America during the Red Scare of the 1950’s. He consulted historical materials on immigration, policy, and law to determine the government’s role and the impact of its policies on Chinese Americans during this time.
- History major Heather Donnelly (CAS’20), who wrote her thesis on the depiction of Russian national identity in patriotic imagery during World War I, traveled to the archives of three institutions—Johns Hopkins University, Yale University, and the Blavatnik Archive in New York City—to study historical posters, picture postcards, popular prints (lubki), and letters from the early 20th century.
- History major Renata Nunes (CAS ’20), studying modern race relations in Brazil, spent time in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro interviewing local Brazilians of different ethnic backgrounds on their perceptions of racism in Brazil. She also visited historical sites and museums to learn about the country’s historical legacy of race relations and immigration.
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.
*As of August 16, 2021, students must be in compliance with the BU COVID-19 vaccine requirement to undertake University-sponsored travel.*
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
- 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 (considered a High-Risk Destination), reconsider your proposed travel or complete a petition for a travel restriction exception from Global Programs
- If your research involves human subjects, work with the BU IRB (Institutional Review Board) to determine if approval is needed
- Ask your honors advisor to complete the Faculty Endorsement Form
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 on the CAS website. 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.
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Last updated: March 2022