The Graduate Student Research and Travel Grants
Western Kentucky University is a center of learning dedicated to opportunities for creative scholarship and pursuit of excellence in higher education. The University strives to provide a suitable range of undergraduate and graduate specialties within an academic climate designed to promote the constructive objectives of liberal education.
Creative scholarship implies research and the University recognizes that creative inquiry frequently leads to the necessity of acquiring essential materials and assistance not normally available. To encourage the extension of creative inquiry and contributions to knowledge, some limited monetary assistance has been made available for student research projects that conform to the general guidelines set forth below. This monetary assistance is to be treated as grant funding and the recipient will be held accountable for any misuse of funding.
The Graduate Council Research Committee (GCRC) reviews the student proposals and recommends funding to the Graduate Council. This committee consists of faculty members from the Graduate Council.
A graduate student interested in securing funds through the GCRC of the Graduate Council should have a logical and clearly defined project. To assist in the formulation and for purposes of grant consideration, the student is requested to complete a rather basic grant request application form and supporting proposal documentation. Students are encouraged to consult with their research mentor in the completion of application materials. Please use these guidelines to prepare your proposal.
Application Due Date
The deadlines for fall and spring terms are the second Tuesday of October and the first Tuesday of February by 11:59 PM respectively.
Recipients of grants have one year to use the funds. All funding accounts will be closed prior to student's graduation.
Students are encouraged to apply for this grant by the earliest possible application due date, as funds may be depleted later in the cycle. However, awarded funds need to be spent before the funding deadline.
The following documents are REQUIRED when applying for a Research Grant. Failure to submit the required documents will result in an incomplete application and the Graduate Council will not review the application. ALL REQUIRED MATERIALS SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TO firstname.lastname@example.org.
1.) Research Application Form (link)
a. FOUR signatures are required: Student, Advisor, Department Chair, and College Dean
Please note: Signatures can be signed digitally, electronically, or with ink.
2.) Formal Budget Form (link)
a. Further guidance to fill out the Formal Budget Form is provided in the Application and Budget Form.
For students requesting Research OR Research and Travel funds (Maximum $2,000):
Please submit the following REQUIRED documents with your application:
- Formal Budget Form (Please see Form for more details other than those listed below)
- Materials/Supplies (Item, quantity, cost per unit, total cost)
- Travel. Please refer to current WKU travel policy.
- Participant Support and/or Human Subjects
- Cost sharing (if there is cost-share, the applicant needs to note exact amounts/sources of cost share.)
- Research Proposal
- Title of Proposed Project
- Purpose of the Study
- Design of the Study
- Intended Use of Results and Possible Application of Results
- One-page student Bio (CV/Resume)
- Statement from the student and the advisor certifying that no documents included in the research grant proposal have been plagiarized.
- Letter of endorsement of the research project or creative activity from the advisor.
- Please be sure to submit Human Subjects (IRB), IACUC, or IBC approval letter (if applicable).
For students requesting ONLY Travel funds(Maximum $500):
Please submit the following REQUIRED documents with your application:
- Formal Budget Form
- Conference/Meeting Registration Fee
- Transportation (e.g., Airfare, Mileage)
- Cost sharing (if there is cost-share, the applicant needs to note exact amounts/sources of cost share)
- Presentation Details
- Conference details (Name and Location)
- Statement describing developmental activities and how participation supports the future goals of the student
- One-page student Bio (CV/Resume)
- Plagiarism statement
Note, for students only requesting travel funds, you do not need to submit a letter of endorsement or an IRB approval letter.
* To be eligible for travel grants, graduate students must be listed as a coauthor that is presenting (i.e., listed as the presenting author) on research or creative work at a regional, national, or international conference.
ADDITIONAL MATERIALS, IF APPLICABLE:
1.) Evidence of cooperation with off-campus entities
FOR RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN (e.g., survey, experimental, evaluation, biomedical research) OR ANIMAL SUBJECTS:
1.) Attach a copy of the Human Subjects IRB approval letter
2.) Attach a copy of the approval letter from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
3.) Attach a copy of the approval letter from the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)
- Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
- All application materials are to be sent to email@example.com. If materials are sent to an alternative email address, your application will not be reviewed by the committee.
• Fundable Expenses:
- Clerical, subject participation payments, coding, and other assistance where such is needed to carry out
- Special materials and equipment, if they are not of the type that the department would be expected to
have or to acquire
- Travel where such is vital to conducting the research or creative activity
- Cost of procurement of information, documents, and media not otherwise available (Evidence should
be presented ascertaining the availability of the materials in the off-campus library or other site)
- Necessary stationary, supplies, and postage, including that needed for questionnaires
- Funding for registration fees, accommodation, and travel to conferences
• Non-Fundable Expenses:
- Funding for expenditures already incurred
- Publication costs
- Equipment the academic department could be expected to purchase for normal operations or for
support of a thesis/specialist project/dissertation
- Books the library may be reasonably expected to acquire as part of its holdings
- Salary for the student
Editing, per se, will not qualify for a grant. This is based on the assumption that the researcher or others have already performed the necessary research
• The student project budget must meet the following criteria:
- The budget for the proposed research project must be itemized
- The budget must contain items directly related to and supported by the student's research proposal
· Items with the intent of departmental use will not be approved.
- Any cost-share needs to be noted (college departmental, grants awarded to either student or advisor)
- The student and faculty advisor are responsible for following the approved research budget
· Any deviations from this budget will not be approved
· If an item(s) need(s) to be added or substituted, and provided the total expenses do not
exceed the amount awarded, the student may submit a revised budget for consideration
· If a student incurs costs on his/her index that are not itemized on his/her budget he/she or the
department may be held liable.
Example Budget Forms:
2.) The student will receive an email notifying them of the decision regading their application.
3.) Once funds have been awarded, the Graduate School contacts the Accounting Office to set up an
account for each student. This process typically takes approximately 2-3 weeks. Students will not be
able to access funds until the account is set up by the Accounting Office.
4.) After the Graduate School receives the account information from the Accounting Office, the student
will be contacted immediately. Within this email, the students will be sent (a) Letter of Approval, (b)
Initial Contract, and (c) Final Contract.
a. Letter of Approval – includes instructions on accessing the funds, the amount awarded, and the
expiration date of the research account; copies will also be sent to the faculty advisor.
b. Initial Contract – MUST BE SUBMITTED PRIOR TO RECEIVING FUNDS This contract includes the
student’s account number. It is the student’s responsibility to know his/her account number. The
student and faculty advisor must sign and date this form. The contract should be returned to the
Graduate School (firstname.lastname@example.org).
i. Once the student returns the Initial Contract, funds will be transferred into the student’s account.
This transfer may take several days as several departments are involved in the process. When the
funds are in place, the student may begin purchasing items from the budget.
c. Final Contract – MUST BE SUBMITTED AFTER THE RESEARCH PROJECT IS COMPLETED
The student must fill in appropriate information and attach an itemized expenditure sheet. The
student and faculty advisor must sign and date this form. The contract and expenditure sheet should
be returned to the Graduate School.
5.) Once the student has completed his/her research project (or thesis) or expended all available funds
(whichever comes first within the one-year expiration period), s/he must submit a detailed expense
a. This sheet must include all purchased items and their costs and total amount of used research funds,
and may be included in the final project report.
6.) Student must submit all of the documents mentioned above to the Graduate School at
• Students and faculty advisors should work with the department office associate (or
other knowledgeable staff) to submit requests for purchases. All purchases must be
made with the department’s procurement card, except for the following: travel, services rendered expenditures, payment of human
subjects with either gift cards or cash and University-available services.
- Students, faculty advisors, and departments will not be reimbursed for expenses which do not adhere
to proper purchasing procedures.
- Under no circumstances will inter-account transfers or other vouchers (those not listed above) be
approved for reimbursement.
• Students may need to pay for travel expenses or services rendered as approved by
the Committee. In this case, the student should complete a Travel Expense Voucher
or a Payment Authorization Sheet (for services rendered) and submit to the Graduate
School for approval. The faculty advisor or department office associate should be
able to assist the student in completing these forms.
- Travel Expense Voucher – allows students to be reimbursed for travel expenditures
- Payment Authorization Sheet – allows the individual who renders services to receive a paycheck from
- Both forms can be found on the Office of the Controller’s website.
• GRANT APPLICATIONS ARE LIMITED TO $2000 FOR RESEARCH AND $500 FOR TRAVEL FOR A TOTAL AMOUNT OF $2,500.
• According to the SOF, all purchases made for/by Graduate Student Research Grant, must follow the WKU Purchasing Policy. Please contact Renee Purdy (email@example.com) in the WKU Graduate School Office to assist with any questions.
• ALL MATERIALS MUST BE SUBMITTED TO firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Incomplete applications will be returned. If applications are not submitted to the proper email address, the application will not be considered by the committee.
• Graduate students may apply for up to two research and two travel grants per degree. Students may not receive more than $2,500 in total for research and travel grants per degree.
• The Graduate Council Research Committee reviews research proposals typically once during the fall and spring semesters. Students conducting research in the summer months should submit the application materials early in the spring semester to allow adequate time for approvals.
• If a collaborative project is proposed, then the collaborators should either (1) stay within the announced funding limits and submit a single application or (2) submit separate applications that clearly describe the contribution made by each individual and the different unique attributes distinguishing one application from the other.
• Priority will be given to students who have not already received funding from this granting resource. Students should recognize that if they receive funding early in their graduate studies, they may be unlikely to receive additional funding later in their graduate studies.
• Proposals should clearly identify the research questions being answered by the proposed work.
• Expenses incurred prior to receiving the grant are ineligible for reimbursement.
• While publication is not the primary goal of the committee in granting financial assistance, proposals aimed toward publication or presentation at professional meetings are encouraged. Appropriate acknowledgment of support should appear in any resulting publications.
• Finally, please keep in mind that receiving a grant is a rather lengthy process. There are many offices and people involved in gaining access to the grant money once it is awarded through the proper channels. Be mindful that from the date you turn in your application for a grant, if approved, it will possibly be several months before you have access to the money, depending on when the review committee next meets. This includes the time needed to be approved by the Graduate Council Research Committee, be approved by Graduate Council, have a grant index established, have paperwork prepared for the grantee to sign and return, and for the money to be transferred to a usable index. Please be patient with the process and apply early!