What are Research Travel Grants?

Research Travel Grants (RTG) are small grants that support research travel, both domestically and internationally, in preparation for a student’s thesis or dissertation. RTGs do not support travel to present at conferences.

Funding for these grants generously comes from the following endowments:

  • Class of 1890 Fellowship
  • Walter B. Cline Memorial Fellowship
  • Norman J. Dewitt Memorial Award in Humanities
  • Albert Howard Award
  • Frieda M. Kunze Fellowship
  • Patrick R. and Kathryn J. Lewis Graduate Fellowship Fund
  • Eva O. Miller Fellowship
  • Shevlin Fellowship
  • Hugh J. and Elizabeth R. Thompson Fellowship Fund
  • Alexander P. Anderson and Lydia Anderson Fellowship


Doctoral candidates: up to $3,000

Doctoral pre-candidates: up to $1,500

Master’s students: up to $500

Grant awards do not provide tuition and/or health insurance benefits.


  • U.S. citizens, permanent residents, graduate students lawfully in the U.S. on a non-temporary basis, MN Dream Act graduate students, and International students
  • Applicants must be actively pursuing a research-based graduate degree at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities or Duluth campuses
  • Applicants must be enrolled in tuition-bearing credit at the graduate tuition rate during the term in which they apply
  • Applicant must have research travel days during the term in which they apply
  • Applicants are eligible to receive one award at pre-candidacy level (master’s or doctoral pre-candidate) and one award at candidacy level
  • Master's students are ineligible if they have already received a Judd Travel Grant; cannot receive RTG and Judd Grants simultaneously
  • Doctoral candidates are ineligible if they have previously received a Thesis Research Travel Grant
  • Applications for conference travel will not be considered


Graduate students apply directly through the electronic application form.


Applications accepted October 1-31 for Fall research travel (selection by November 15)

Applications accepted February 1-28 for Spring research travel (selection March by 15)

Applications accepted June 1-30 for Summer research travel (selection by July 15)


The applicant will upload a single PDF of the application materials in the following order:

  • Research Proposal (1-page maximum), see details below
  • Budget Statement
  • Curriculum Vitae (2-page maximum), see details below
  • IRB/IACUC Documentation, see details below
  • Unofficial UMN graduate transcript

Depending on the nature and location of your proposed research, you may need to submit additional application items. Please see the FAQ below for more details.

Required PDF title format: Last Name, First Name - Name of Graduate Program


The Graduate School Fellowship Office (GSFO) and an interdisciplinary faculty review committee review all applications each cycle to determine 1) eligibility requirements are met and 2) application is recommended for funding. All applications recommended for funding will go into a lottery system, one recommended by UMN OIT, for award selection.



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  • One-page maximum, single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman type, 1-inch margins. Key references, diagrams, or pictures may be included (they are not required) on a single additional appendix page (no formatting requirements).
  • Include a working title for your research project at the top of the proposal.
  • Describe your research plan in terms that are accessible to a non-specialist. Avoid jargon. If jargon must be used, please define the language.
  • Explain the importance of the proposed travel and the direct impact it will have on your thesis or dissertation.
  • If your research is part of a larger group project, be specific about your role and independent contribution.


  • Two-page maximum, single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman type, 1-inch margins
  • Focus on publications, presentations, academic accomplishments, and awards


Please consult the IRB and/or IACUC webpages for additional information.

If your research involves Human or Animal Subjects, provide the date of IRB/IACUC approval and documentation of approval (1-2 pages).

If your project involves human or animal subjects but IRB/IACUC told you that approval is not needed then provide the email or letter stating this decision.

If your Advisor has IRB/IACUC approval that covers this research project then provide that approval page (1-2 pages).

If your research does not involve Human or Animal subjects then submit the Human Subjects Statement (requires Advisor signature).

If your IRB/IACUC application is still pending, provide documentation to show the submitted request (1-2 pages). Once received, IRB/IACUC approval can be submitted directly to gsfellow@umn.edu. If selected to receive a Research Travel Grant, funding is contingent upon proof of IRB/IACUC approval and/or decision.


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Do I need to obtain a language evaluation to conduct my research?

If you are conducting research in another language and you are not a native speaker of the language, you will need to obtain a language evaluation. Please email gsfellow@umn.edu for more information.

If you are a native speaker of the language, please include a signed statement indicating the language which will be used to conduct research and that you are a native speaker of that language. You may sign this statement yourself.

Do I need to obtain a letter of affiliation?

Depending on the nature and location of your proposed research, you may need a letter of affiliation.

A letter of affiliation demonstrates to faculty reviewers that, if selected to receive grant funding, you will be able to successfully carry out your proposed research. Reviewers are hesitant to approve funding if there is any doubt that the research can be successfully conducted.

If you are conducting research in a library archive, museum, or other public space, you can submit an email from an employee that verifies that you will have access to the required materials. If the archive/materials in question are available to the public, you can include a copy of the webpage highlighting the pertinent information.

If you have questions about a letter of affiliation, please email gsfellow@umn.edu.

Do I need a letter of affiliation to conduct surveys?

Yes, because you will want to provide proof to reviewers that you will be able to successfully conduct your proposed research. If you are conducting surveys, please provide documentation that demonstrates your ability to connect with the appropriate resources (e.g. community, business, and/or scholarly contacts).


The cycles correspond to the semesters or terms in the current academic year.

Fall cycle requests are accepted for research travel start and/or end dates between September 1 - December 31.

Spring cycle requests are accepted for research travel start and/or end dates between January 1 - May 31.

Summer cycle requests are accepted for research travel start and/or end dates between June 1 - August 31.

The travel dates can span more than one term. Applicants should apply to a cycle during which they will have some or all of their travel days taking place. In addition, in order to be eligible for funding, if selected, the applicant must be enrolled in the corresponding fall semester, spring semester, or summer term in which they are applying for an RTG.

If travel dates span more than one semester, and an applicant is not selected for funding during one cycle then they can apply again during the next cycle that contains research travel dates.

How is the RTG funding disbursed?

Research Travel Grants (RTG) count as estimated financial aid assistance and are disbursed via scholarship upload to a recipient's student account. Once posted to the student account, and if there is no current past due balance, then the RTG will disburse into a recipient's bank account via direct deposit, if set up, or a paper check will be mailed to the address on file.