Grants, Fellowships, and Other Funding for Current Students

Once enrolled in the M.A. or Ph.D. program, the Department of Communication and the University of Washington awards, on a competitive basis, grants for travel, dissertation research, and related expenses. Application deadlines are listed at right.

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 Graduate Research Fund

The Peter Clarke Graduate Research Fund has been created by Peter Clarke, an alumnus of the School of Communication, 1958, and former faculty member, 1963-1972. This Research Fund focuses its support on graduate student research that promises to yield social benefits. The Fund intends to encourage graduate students preparing for careers in the improvement of conditions of life experienced by people burdened by a disadvantage, such as low income or a condition that is stereotyped negatively. Research plans should yield outcomes that will, plausibly, improve the lives of disadvantaged people, or the robustness of organizations that serve them.

Levy Loan Fund

A generous gift from University of Washington alumni Mr. and Mrs. Harold Levy (’29) has allowed the Department of Communication to establish a loan fund, for full-time students only, who are committed to careers in communication and related fields. The Levy Loan Fund is designed to help individuals offset the increasingly high costs of education; its monies are available only to undergraduate and graduate students admitted to and currently enrolled in the Department of Communication.

The Levy Loan Fund makes available short-term loans of up to $1,000. Loans are made on a competitive and funds-available basis. Application deadlines are: October 1, January 15, April 1, and July 1. Students can receive a maximum of one loan per calendar year.

General funding pool

There is also a general funding pool offered by the department, the Communication Graduate Student Research Fund, that supports graduate student research broadly, covering any topic and every type from exploratory projects to theses and dissertations.

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.

A 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 Department chair and Graduate Studies Committee evaluate these requests to determine which may receive funding. 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, print out and complete the Travel Request Form. Follow the procedures listed below.

  1. Gather the following materials to support your travel request: a copy of the full paper and the letter accepting your paper for presentation.
  2. Print out and complete the Travel Request Form. Fill out this form as completely as possible and place it in campus mail for the Graduate Program Advisor.
  3. 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 Chair of the Department, who makes all final decisions on travel.
  4. 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.


Stay in close contact with the office staff throughout the process.