Travel Grants

The GSO offers grants to GRS doctoral students who plan to present at conference and conduct research outside of Boston. 

***Update as of 7/31/20 2:00PM EST***: The University Provost has stated as such, “University-Sponsored Travel for graduate and undergraduate students is prohibited for the fall semester. Graduate students may petition their dean for an exemption.” GSO grants fall under university-sponsored funds. The committee encourages you to apply for conference and research grants but to keep restrictions and most of all your safety in mind. Feel free to refer to the PDF distributed by the Provost.

The number of grants offered annually is dependent upon our budget. In previous years, we have offered 40 grants annually : ~33 presentation grants and ~7 research grants.

There are three application deadlines: December 1st, April 1st, August 1st unless specified as otherwise by the GSO travel grant chair. Graduate students will receive an email if changes to these deadlines occur.

The next grant deadline is: August 20th, 2020 11:59PM EST (pushed back from August 1st)

Applications must be emailed as a word document to the GSO at  

General Requirements

Travel requirements and time:

  • To qualify for a grant, your trip must begin after the application deadline date and occur within the year of receiving the award. For example, if a doctoral student is notified on April 14th 2019 that they have received a grant, they have until April 14th 2020 to use it.
  • Travel must be outside the Boston area


  • Who is eligible:  Any PhD student in GRS from a department represented at 3 or more GSO meetings in Spring 2020.
    • To determine if your department is eligible for travel grants, click here.
    • ***COVID-19 Update*** for the the August 2020 grants, we are accepting all GRS departments and programs and waiving the usual eligibility requirements
  • If you have received a travel grant, you are not eligible to receive one until the next grant cycle. So, for example, if you received a grant in April 2019, you are not eligible to receive another until April 2020, when the new cycle begins.

Additional notes:

  • MA students are not eligible to receive a travel grant.
  • Preference is typically given to PhD students in their second year and later.


Due to COVID-19, the GSO travel grant committee has reimagined the criteria for conference and research grants. This is money that GRS designates to GSO, and the committee aims to distribute these funds to as many students as possible. Even if doctoral students are unable to travel for research or conferences, the travel grant committee encourages doctoral students to continue to apply for grants as the expanded criteria will fit the needs of many students. Some of these updated criteria include, but are not limited to expenses incurred during in-person or virtual conferences, purchasing of research materials, books, image copyrights, and online workshops as acceptable uses of grant funds.

Please refer to this document for the broadened criteria for travel grants effective August 2020: GSO expanded grant criteria

If doctoral students are unsure whether they fit within the criteria, email the GSO travel grant email ( The head of the committee will return your email as soon as possible.

The GSO sponsors two types of travel awards:

Conference Presentation Grant: For students planning on directly participating in a conference or research forum by presenting a paper or poster, participating in a discussion panel, or chairing a discussion or paper session. Presentation travel grants of up to $500 are awarded in the fall, spring and summer semesters each year. Reimbursement occurs after completion of travel.

*** Please see above for updated COVID-19 expanded criteria.*** The committee is accepting applications for both in-person and virtual conferences

Click here for the GSO Conference Grant application.


Research Grant: For students planning to visit an archive, attend a training workshop, or use a research facility. Research travel grants of up to $500 are awarded in the fall, spring, and summer semesters each year. Reimbursement occurs after completion of travel. 

***Please see above for updated COVID-19 expanded criteria*** The committee is defining “research” as more than simply traveling to a specific site. Please read the expanded criteria carefully to see what constitutes as acceptable use of GSO research grant funds.

Click here for the GSO Research Grant application. 


If you are interested in getting involved with the Travel Grant committee, contact