Student Funding


“This small-grant program is a terrific help to students…It greatly enhances the collaborative nature of research on campus.”


Graduate Student Research and Professional Development Funding

Buechley banding a bird while children look on

Evan Buechley banding birds in Ethiopia. The GCSC funded his project with Dr. Cagan Sekercioglu, “Conservation agriculture: A study of birds, ecosystem services, and the ecology of Ethiopian coffee farms”

As part of our commitment to graduate training, the Global Change and Sustainability Center offers small grants to eligible graduate students whose academic or research mentors are active faculty affiliates of the GCSC. Additional research and travel funds are available to all U of U graduate students this year thanks to support from the Wilkes Center for Climate Science and Policy.

Research funding reinforces the importance of expanding research beyond a single discipline. Graduate students who conduct interdisciplinary projects benefit from exposure to other fields of study, gaining a broader perspective on approaches to research questions.

Professional development funding supports graduate students’ continued professional development. We will consider requests to support presenting at or attending meetings and workshops held online, as well as other qualifying activities which include learning components that contribute to professional skills development.

Travel funding supports student participation in professional meetings, opening the door to a number of important benefits. Students have the opportunity to present their research to peers and professionals in the field. Networking at professional meetings can not only lead to potential collaborations and other professional opportunities, but students are also likely to gain an expanded view of the discipline, its culture, and how their research interests fit into the broader landscape.

For more information, please contact: Laurie Mecham, Program Coordinator.

Go here to see past funded student research projects.

Applications  are considered twice each year.
Be sure to plan ahead and work with your faculty advisor on your proposal.
  • Fall deadline EXTENDED to October 1, 2022

Decisions by end of October

  • Spring deadline March 15, 2023

Decisions by mid-April

Research Funds

Research funds ($1,000-$3,000) can be used for thesis-related research needs; however, the research project must be interdisciplinary, combining the graduate student’s thesis interest with another area of focus.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS
  • Discuss your project well ahead of time with your advisor, from whom you’ll need a letter of recommendation.
  • Be accessible – write your proposal so that reviewers from outside your discipline can understand it.
  • Help reviewers to say “yes.” The selection committee will consider the following criteria in evaluating proposals, so make sure that you clearly address each in your application.
    • Relevance to the GCSC mission
    • Interdisciplinary nature of the project
    • Clarity of the proposal (rationale, methods, goals)
    • Likelihood for success within the given timeline and budget
    • Relevance to the student’s thesis/graduate degree
  • Compliance and follow up
    • Check with your advisor well ahead of the deadline to ensure that the recommendation letter was sent.
    • Like government and other funding agencies, the GCSC will strictly adhere to deadlines and other proposal requirements in order to have an equitable process for all applicants. Be sure to understand and comply with those requirements. Reach out to us ahead of time if you have questions.
Eligibility and Requirements
  1. The graduate student’s advisor/research advisor must be an active member of the GCSC
  2. The project or activity must be in an area related to the mission of the GCSC: interdisciplinary research on global change and sustainability
  3. Proposed projects must be interdisciplinary
  4. Applicant must not have received a GCSC research award in the preceding 12 month period. (If you received an award in March 2022, you will not be eligible until the March 2023 cycle.)
  5. Expenditures made prior to receiving an award cannot be reimbursed.
  6. Awardees must acknowledge support from the Global Change & Sustainability enter in the dissemination of the research.
  7. Awardees will be expected to present a research poster at the annual GCSC Research Symposium
Proposal submission
  1. Please use this grant application form to submit a 1 to 1 1/2-page (max) proposal describing the proposed project or activity. Include the general objectives or hypotheses, general methods and expected outcomes. The proposal should be written for individuals from different disciplines. Avoid jargon as much as possible.
  2. Please submit a detailed budget description of no more than a half-page. The following items are non-allowable expenses: computers, tuition, graduate student or faculty salary-related expenses and benefits.
  3. Please ask your faculty advisor to submit a letter of recommendation with the following to gcsc@utah.edu. (These are not to be submitted by the applicant.)
    • Recommendation for your proposal
    • Description of the faculty advisor’s participation with the GCSC in the past year (committee service or other engagement.)
  4. Applications that are incomplete at the deadline (including letters of recommendation) will not be considered.

Students receiving awards are eligible to re-apply again (only one award may be made in a 12 month period). For more information, please contact: Laurie Mecham, Program Coordinator.

Travel Funds

The GCSC is committed to supporting graduate student participation in professional meetings. Travel awards of up to $500 are expected to assist students in leveraging other funds (e.g., from Departments and Colleges, the Graduate School etc.) to cover meeting expenses.

Eligibility and Requirements
  1. The graduate student’s advisor/research advisor must be an active member of the GCSC.
  2. The work that the student is presenting must pertain to an area of research related to the mission of the GCSC.
  3. The work must be interdisciplinary.
  4. Applicant must not have received a GCSC travel award in the preceding 12 month period. (If you received an award in March 2022, you will not be eligible until the March 2023 cycle.)
  5. Applications for travel that has already occurred prior to the application deadline are not eligible.
  6. Students who receive travel grants will be expected to present a poster at the annual GCSC Research Symposium.
Application submission
  1. Please use this grant application form.
  2. Using the application form, upload a copy of the student-authored abstract that was submitted to the meeting organizers. (On rare occasions, the GCSC will consider supporting travel for professional meetings at which the student is not presenting.)
  3. On the form, explain how the research is interdisciplinary and relates to the mission of the GCSC.
  4. Please ask your faculty advisor to submit a letter of recommendation with the following to gcsc@utah.edu. (These are not to be submitted by the applicant.)
    • Recommendation for your proposal
    • Description of the faculty advisor’s participation with the GCSC in the past year (committee service or other engagement.)
    • The GCSC may not be able to provide funds to more than two students from a lab group. In the event that more than two students from a lab group apply for funding, the faculty advisor should communicate funding priorities to the GCSC.
  5. Applications that are incomplete at the deadline will not be considered.

Professional development funds

The GCSC is committed to supporting graduate students’ professional development, including participation in meetings held online. Eligible graduate students are invited to apply for GCSC awards of up to $500. For some purposes such as virtual conferences, these awards may help students leverage other matching funds (e.g., from Departments and Colleges, the Graduate School, etc.) to cover expenses.

Qualifying activities must include learning components that contribute to professional skills development. Examples of qualifying activities include:

  • Attending an online conference
  • Online webinars, workshops, or training modules
  • Certifications
  • Publication costs
  • Software or hardware purchases

Examples of activities not eligible for funding/reimbursement include:

  • Academic work for credit
  • Field research data collection or activities that are part of the degree program
  • Travel expenses
  • Living expenses
  • Editing services
  • Memberships or dues for professional organizations
  • Computers
  • Graduate student salary-related expenses and benefits
ELIGIBILITY AND REQUIREMENTS
  1. The graduate student’s advisor/research advisor must be an active member of the GCSC.
  2. If presenting at a workshop, the work that the student is presenting must pertain to an area of research related to the mission of the GCSC. The work must be interdisciplinary.
  3. Applicant must not have received a GCSC professional development or travel award in the preceding 12 month period. (If you received an award in March 2022, you will not be eligible until the March 2023 cycle.)
  4. Applications for activities/purchases that have already occurred prior to the application deadline are not eligible.
  5. Students who receive professional development grants will be expected to present a poster at the annual GCSC Research Symposium.
Application submission
  1. Please use this grant application form.
    • In the application, upload a copy of the student-authored abstract that was submitted to the meeting organizers (if presenting at a meeting), or describe the planned professional development activities or purchases.
    • On the form, explain how your research is interdisciplinary and how it relates to the mission of the GCSC.
  2. Please ask your faculty advisor to submit a letter of recommendation with the following to gcsc@utah.edu. (These are not to be submitted by the applicant.)
    • Recommendation for your proposal
    • Description of the faculty advisor’s participation with the GCSC in the past year (committee service or other engagement.)
    • The GCSC may not be able to provide funds to more than two students from a lab group. In the event that more than two students from a lab group apply for funding, the faculty advisor should communicate funding priorities to the GCSC.
  3. Applications that are incomplete at the deadline will not be considered.

Logo and Text: The Wilkes Center for Climate Science & Policy
The Wilkes Center for Climate Science and Policy is partnering with the GCSC, making additional funds available for interdisciplinary research projects and student travel related to climate science and/or climate policy.

Please refer to the relevant sections above for guidelines on proposal submission and budget requirements. These are the same for Wilkes funding, except as noted below.

ELIGIBILITY AND REQUIREMENTS
  1. All graduate students enrolled at the University of Utah are eligible to apply.
  2. Applicants who have received a GCSC award in the preceding 12 month period are eligible to apply for Wilkes funding.
  3. Funded students are required to present a poster at the annual spring GCSC Research Symposium and at the following year’s Wilkes Summit (May).
  4. Prior to receiving funding from the Wilkes Center, awardees must submit a brief summary/bio and relevant photograph to the Wilkes Center coordinator to be used on their website.
  5. Awardees must acknowledge support from the Wilkes Center for Climate Science and Policy in the dissemination of the research.
Proposal submission
  1. Please refer to the submission guidelines for research or travel grants from the sections above and use the relevant GCSC application form to submit your proposal.
  2. Explain how the research relates to climate science and/or policy and the potential impact of the research.
  3. Please ask your faculty advisor to submit a letter of recommendation to gcsc@utah.edu (not to be submitted by the applicant.)
  4. Applications that are incomplete at the deadline (including letters of recommendation) will not be considered.

For more information, please contact: Laurie Mecham, GCSC Program Coordinator.

The Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund is another funding opportunity for students (both graduate and undergraduate), faculty, and staff from all disciplines and departments to engage in projects that enhance the sustainability of our campus and community.