GSIE Supports Graduate Student Success Through Travel Grants

Shannon Hart (right) during a poster presentation at a professional conference.
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Shannon Hart (right) during a poster presentation at a professional conference.

During her first year as a master's student in the Human Environmental Sciences Program, Shannon Hart had the opportunity to attend two conferences that changed the trajectory of her academic career.

"The conferences improved my curriculum vitae, my applications for Ph.D. programs, my confidence and my professional network," she said. "Because I was able to attend these conferences, I had the confidence and experience to submit my own paper. My paper was accepted, and I presented at another conference last semester."

Hart wouldn't have been able to travel to the conferences had it not been for travel grants offered through the Graduate School and International Education, which help fund travel for graduate students to conduct research or attend conferences where they present, network and develop professionally in their field.

GSIE offers two types of grants for students: presentation travel grants for students wishing to present at conferences or symposiums and research travel grants to support students' research activities necessary for the completion of their dissertation.

Approximately 500 presentation grants are distributed to doctoral and M.F.A. students each year, with a maximum award of $1,100, and 150 presentation grants are distributed to master's and educational specialist students, with a maximum award of $700. Additionally, Ph.D. and Ed.D. students can apply for an additional $2,000 travel supplement if they are presenting at an international conference taking place outside of the United States. Graduate students are limited to one presentation travel grant per fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30 of the following year.

Approximately 100 research travel grants are distributed to doctoral students per year, with half of those allotted to Distinguished Doctoral and Doctoral Academy Fellows, and the other half allotted for other doctoral students. The maximum award for the grant is $1,100. Doctoral students are only eligible for one research travel grant per fiscal year.

In the 2022-23 school year, GSIE awarded more than 550 grants totaling $650,000 to graduate students. Graduate student Kabiraj Khatiwada, a doctoral student in the Environmental Dynamics Program, worked with his mentor Benjamin Runkle to earn a grant to travel and present his work at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting. While there, he had the opportunity to meet colleagues that enhanced his own research endeavors.

"Attending the conference gave me ample opportunity to meet and interact with people working on similar topics across different parts of the world," he said. "Being at AGU helped me realize that interactions among colleagues from different universities are an essential part of exploring new horizons in research. We can share our experiences and learn from each other. This is a great way to meet new people and engage in the learning process together."

For more information on eligibility requirements and how to apply, visit the GSIE website. Students can also contact the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Program Support at gradfund@uark.edu or 479-575-5869.

Contacts

John Post, director of communications
Graduate School and International Education
479-575-4853, johnpost@uark.edu

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