ASP Research Travel

*** The standards listed below is for informational purposes only.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and strict travel restrictions we have temporarily paused this funding opportunity. The College is closely monitoring the situation and based on their recommendations we may reopen the opportunity for travel funding once sponsored research travel becomes possible. If you have general questions about this program please contact the URC.

The URC provides funds to support projects and/or travel involving independent research or study with a significant intercultural or international emphasis through the ASP Research Travel program.

ASP Research Travel awards will support Academic Student Projects that require travel, but are smaller in scope than traditional study abroad or off-campus learning opportunities (such as a semester abroad, the Kahane U.N. Program or the summer Richter Research Abroad awards). Funding is limited. Grants are typically in the $1000-$2000 range. In exceptional circumstances, grant requests totaling more than the range may be considered. These awards might provide funding for short-term travel to interview a particular population, observe natural or cultural events, or consult a specialized archive. ASP Research Travel funds cannot be used to support an internship or to pay tuition at another institution. Other restrictions may apply.

To learn about the experiences of one recent recipient of an ASP Research Travel award, read Ian Van Dusen's blog post [geology major, class of 2020].

International Academic Student Projects (ASP Research Travel Abroad) proposals will be considered for travel during the winter, spring or summer breaks.

Please note:

  • Students from any major are welcome to apply.
  • Related Interdisciplinary project proposals are encouraged, but each student must apply individually and each project must be able to be carried out independently in case the related project is not approved.
  • Funds are limited!
  • Students selected for these awards will need to comply with the college's clearance process (usually one month prior to departure) before they can travel.
  • Only continuing students are eligible. Sorry, graduating seniors may not apply for a summer opportunity following graduation.
  • Students may also apply for other college-supported funding (Young fund, etc), but that fact must be made clear up front to all departments involved. Budget pages should include information about any other college-funding that has been secured, promised, or applied for.

The College does not promise to approve travel requests to all countries. The College expressly prohibits travel to level 3 or 4 locations. Applications may be declined or prior approval rescinded if we determine the proposed travel will subject the student to significant risk.  Please see the IPO International Travel Policy for students.

Please be advised that no funds can be released by the college until travel clearance is obtained (through the IPO office), and that can take up to four weeks.

Students apply for project support by submitting an application to the Undergraduate Research Center.

  • The Cover Sheet must be completed, including an endorsement by a faculty member. The student and sponsor signatures indicate that the proposal was written by the student.
  • The application form must be accompanied by a project proposal, approximately three to four pages, written by the student, explaining the nature of the work, its significance and interest as an academic activity, and the intercultural or international aspects of the project. In general, proposals should contain a clear research question, and a methodology to answer that question. Literature citations should be included where appropriate (for tables and figures as well as quotes). If applicable, the application should also address how the student plans to contact the needed resources or subjects.  Pursuant to federal law and College policy, all research involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved by the College’s Human Subjects Research Review Committee (HSRRC) before any funding is released and before work begins on the project. We recommend that students begin this process early.
  • The Research Travel Abroad proposal should include a timeline for the work and travel. We need to know when you propose to travel and how many total weeks you envision the project lasting. What is your time frame for data collection, data analysis, translations (if needed), writing a final paper,  etc! All of that information should appear on the timeline.
  • Include a one-two page personal statement describing prior work which prepares the student for the proposed project and the importance of the proposed activity to the student's intellectual or professional development.
  • A recommendation form from a faculty member is required. Faculty mentors should discuss the academic merits of the proposal, the preparation of the student, and the involvement of the mentor in writing the proposal and supervising the analysis of the results.
  • A one-page budget for the project is also required. The budget should include an itemized list of all costs of the project and all the sources of funding which may be available, including departmental support, faculty grants and self-help as well as the amount requested from the ASP Research Travel Abroad fund. Include only those items which must be purchased expressly for this project. In general, the purchase of permanent equipment or books cannot be supported.  Any non-consumable equipment that is approved by the URC will become college property at the conclusion of the project. Because funds for this program are extremely limited, all proposals should include alternative funding options for a significant portion of the total cost. Travel costs (airfare, hotel, meals), supplies, and other expenses may be funded by these grants.
Proposal must be printed on 8.5" x 11" paper, single sided, 1.5 spaced, with 1" margins and a font type no smaller than 11 point. Please paperclip your complete proposal in the order listed above. Do not staple. Advisor’s recommendation form may be sent separately.

If work on this project has received college support in the past (e.g. Summer Research Program, faculty grant, or an earlier ASP award), please note the amount and source of past support. 

Clearance:  Students who are approved for travel must log on to the Terra Dotta System available on the IPO website to complete travel-related forms and waivers.  No ASP Research Travel checks will be released until the Waiver and Release process is complete! For questions about the required Waivers and Release forms, please contact the IPO office.  In addition, travel checks for projects requiring Human Subjects or approval by another Institutional Review Board will not be released until that approval has been granted.

After your research:

Students are encouraged to make some sort of public presentation about their research experience abroad upon their return to campus. This can be in the form of an article in the Occidental Weekly or they can opt to present at the annual Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research (SCCUR) in November.

A written report on the work at its conclusion is required. This report must consist of a one paragraph abstract, a four to five page summary of the project activities and results, a budget report accounting for all expenses up to the amount of the award. The boarding passes and receipts can be dropped off at the URC separately. A copy of the email or other announcement of the public presentation should be forwarded to the URC prior to the event. Particular attention should be paid to answering the research question posed in the proposal, or explaining why it could not be answered. These reports should be submitted by e-mail to and should be copied to the mentor within one month of the travel completion date.

Reports missing for prior year support from any URC program will disqualify applicants from consideration for additional grants!