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Student Research and Travel Support

The College of Arts & Sciences provides a variety of resources to support graduate and undergraduate students in research and travel.

Please see also:

Graduate Resources

College of Arts and Sciences students who are giving papers or presenting research at scholarly conferences may request up to $500 from the College to help defray allowable expenses of attending the conference. These requests will be filled on a rolling basis. Generally, students will only receive a maximum of $500 for travel in a fiscal year, which runs from May 1 to April 30. 

Students are advised to apply for funding before committing to travel as these funds are not guaranteed and are subject to budget review and approval, and must satisfy eligibility requirements (this includes providing proof of presentation acceptance, and appropriate budgets). Note that lodging and food costs for presentations within 50 miles of the university will not be reimbursed, but conference fees and travel costs (e.g., bus, train, or federal per diem for mileage) can be reimbursed. You will need to submit the original, itemized receipts for all reimbursed expenses, including food, lodging, and transportation. Alcohol will not be reimbursed. Any lodging above the US government per diem requires approval and must be justified in writing. The college will only reimburse standard economy class airfares. Upgrades at the traveler's or airlines expense will not affect reimbursement, however, only the standard economy class fare will be reimbursed. Please check with your department administrative assistant if you have questions about allowable expenses.

The Application for Student Travel (writable PDF) should be sent to the Associate Dean for Research at For more information about signing and saving writable PDFs, please review this FAQ. Both students and faculty advisors are encouraged to sign digitally. Alternatively, the form may be printed, signed, scanned, and emailed to

Graduate Student Research Support
(Student Mellons)

Graduate students may compete for funding of up to $1000 per academic year from the College in two categories:

1. To support funding for research materials, data collection and/or field work necessary for the successful completion of a thesis or dissertation

2. To fund international travel for thesis or dissertation research.

Note that the maximum Graduate Student Research Support award is generally reduced by the amount of any Graduate Student Travel Support awarded in the same year. Departments with restricted accounts for student research should contact the CAS Associate Dean for Research to discuss providing matching support. Student awardees are required to present their results at the Robyn Rafferty Mathias Student Research Conference in the spring. Students who previously received funding from this program must include in their proposals a description of how those funds were used.

There will be separate rounds of graduate student research awards in the fall and spring semesters. Announcements of these competitions are typically sent to all CAS faculty toward the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. Applications are typically due in October (for the fall competition) and March (for the spring competition). All proposals are reviewed by the College of Arts and Sciences Research Committee.

Download: Graduate Student Research Support Announcement and Application (writable PDF). For more information about signing and saving writable PDFs, please review this FAQ. Both students and faculty advisors are encouraged to sign digitally. Alternatively, the form may be printed, signed, scanned, and emailed to

University Doctoral Student Research Awards

The Office of the Provost provides competitive intramural research grants to doctoral students to support their dissertation research. The awards are managed by the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Research. Awards are available to doctoral graduate students who have

  • been admitted to candidacy for the doctorate before the grant period begins. (In some departments, admission to candidacy may be spoken of as "ABD - "All But Dissertation." If you have questions about this requirement, check with your department.)
  • an approved dissertation proposal, and
  • an active dissertation chair and committee. The activity may occur anywhere in the world. The grants are intended to provide supplemental funds to support basic research, fieldwork, lab work, or closely related endeavors. The awards may be for up to $5,000. The funding period for the award is for the following Fiscal year, which runs from May 1 to April 30. Applications are typically due in March. Please see for more details about applying for this opportunity.

Undergrad Resources

The College of Arts and Sciences at American University is committed to fostering research opportunities for undergraduate students. Below is a list of resources geared specifically towards undergraduate students interested in designing, funding, and presenting their research projects.


AU Provost Undergraduate Research Funding

Guide to writing abstracts


General research help

Library research tutorial

EndNote Tutorial

Style Manuals

Citation Style Guide


AU Conferences

Robyn Rafferty Mathias Student Research Conference


National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR)

Georgetown University Health and Sciences Research Conference

Gaulladet Psychology Research Conference


Columbia University Undergraduate Research Journals

UT Austin Undergraduate Research Journals

Further Opportunities


Community-Based Research Scholars


Amgen Scholars