Research and Travel Funding

Once students have enrolled in the M.A. or Ph.D. program, the Department of Communication and the University of Washington can award, on a competitive basis, grants for travel, dissertation research, and related expenses. Yearly application deadlines are listed in the sidebar to the right.
For all research and travel funding applications, please use the Funding Request Form: Your eSubmission along with any uploaded supporting documents will route to Heather Werckle, Assistant Director of Academic Services, Graduate Programs.

Available Research Funding

Janice and William Ames Endowment

The Janice and William Ames Endowment provides department support for graduate student research. It was established by alumni to honor a longtime School of Communications professor (William Ames) and the Department of Communication’s Visiting Committee chair (Janice Ames). According to terms of the endowment, priority will be given to research focusing on difference/diversity.

Peter Clarke and Susan Evans Graduate Research Fund

Establishment of this Fund acknowledges that a broad range of scholarship about human communication is both informative and of great value. The Peter Clarke and Susan Evans Graduate Research Fund focuses its support more narrowly, however, on graduate student research that promises to yield societal benefits. The Fund encourages graduate student projects and research that in some way contributes to a quality-of-life improvement for people burdened by disadvantages, such as low income, or a condition that is stereotyped negatively. The Peter Clarke and Susan Evans Graduate Research Fund lays the foundation for continued funding of such research opportunities. Read more about the fund >>

Barbara Warnick Dissertation Proposal Award

The Barbara Warnick Research Endowment provides financial support for insightful, creative scholarly research by M.A. and Ph.D. students in the Department of Communication.  This Endowment honors the research, teaching, mentoring, and service of former UW Professor Warnick, whose leadership in Communication Studies broadly, and in rhetorical scholarship especially, produced knowledge about public argument that has inspired many colleagues and students. As part of this endowment, the Department offers an annual Dissertation Proposal Award, open to all research themes, theory, and methods, in the amount of $3,000. The winner of this award will be put forward as the department’s nominee for the Graduate School’s Presidential Dissertation Fellowship.

General Funding Pool

There is also a general funding pool offered by the department, the Communication Graduate Student Research Fund, which supports graduate student research broadly, covering any topic and nearly every type of project, from exploratory endeavors to theses and dissertations. The Graduate Committee will consider funding research that leads to a publishable article, thesis, or dissertation, but will not consider funding research that terminates in a course assignment.

Other Resources

The Graduate School offers a limited number of fellowships to doctoral candidates, and the Jackson School of International Studies (JSIS) offers a limited number of Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships to graduate and professional students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and who meet designated requirements. In addition, the University of Washington’s Office of Student Financial Aid has a variety of need-based funding available to prospective and current students.

Another useful funding resource for current students seeking research support is the Grants and Funding Information Service at the University of Washington’s Suzzallo Library. You can use their online resources, visit their office at the library, or attend one of their workshops or events.

The University of Washington also offers limited work study opportunities for some graduate students.

The University of Washington’s Office of Student Financial Aid has a variety of need-based funding available.

Graduate Student Travel Policy

Selection Criteria

The Department of Communication has access to some funds to support graduate student travel to scholarly conferences for presenting papers. Graduate students interested in requesting financial assistance with their travel can submit a formal request to the Department for these funds. The Associate Chair and Graduate Studies Committee evaluate these requests to determine which may receive funding.  Requests are considered four times a year. Application deadlines are: Oct.1; Feb. 1; April 1; June 15 (summer submissions apply to upcoming academic year).

In all cases, the following criteria are employed:

To be eligible, applicants must meet the following criteria:

· Applicants must be students in the Department of Communication’s graduate program both at the time of application and at the date when they will be presenting their work. Presentation/application during summer quarter does not require summer registration.
· Applicants should have a full paper accepted. Serving as a panelist usually is not enough to qualify. If you are presenting a major, invited paper as part of a panel, please supply written information about the rigor of the selection process.

Following the guidelines established by the Graduate School, priority will be given to proposals that meet the following criteria:

· Ph.D. students or M.A. students in the second year.
· Students who are the sole authors of a paper, rather than a co-author. Among co-authored papers, priority is given to those where the student is the first author. (Note that if more than one student is requesting funds to present a jointly written paper, please submit your requests together; it’s possible that each will receive a smaller stipend. Alternatively, you might decide which one author should travel to the meeting to present the paper. It is quite common for one person to present a paper that has multiple co-authors.)
· Students presenting papers at major national and international meetings, rather than regional ones.
· Students whose papers were selected through a rigorous process (e.g., selection based on a full paper rather than an abstract; papers selected competitively).
· Students without prior travel support that academic year and, if funds are low, the previous year.

Request Procedure

To request travel support, please follow the procedures listed below.

  1. Gather the following materials to support your travel request: a copy of the full paper and the letter/email accepting your paper for presentation.
  2. Use the Funding Request Form to apply for travel funding
  3. The online formwill require you to upload the paper/abstract accepted and acceptance letter.  Your eSubmission along with any uploaded supporting documents will route to Heather Werckle, Assistant Director of Academic Services, Graduate Programs.  Students whose abstracts are accepted are expected to electronically submit a full paper to her before the conference. Hard copy submissions are not accepted.
  4. Once your request is sent, the Graduate Program Coordinator and/or the full Graduate Studies Committee will review the request and make a recommendation to the Associate Chair of the Department, who makes all final decisions on travel.
  5. Wait patiently for notification. A couple of weeks after submitting your travel request, you should hear from the Department Administrator as to whether your travel request has been approved and, if so, for how much.

If approved, you will need to work closely with the Department Administrator and other staff to plan the best way to use your travel award. The Department usually cannot support airfare AND lodging, food, registration, etc., as these expenses can be substantial.

How to Request Reimbursement (after Receiving Award)

All travel must be pre-approved.
You always need your receipts.
Please check with administrative office staff before purchasing airline tickets to learn of your reimbursement options.
Please submit your receipts to the ‘Financial Transactions’ inbox in the mailroom, or electronically to, referencing the budget number and category / project code.
Stay in close contact with the office staff throughout the process.