Proposals and Deadlines

How to Prepare a Proposal

Your proposal should choose one major question, concern or issue as the main focus of your research, but may also include additional subsidiary questions. The proposal should give a general description of your research problem. It should address the following questions: Why is this subject interesting or important? What is the relationship of your primary question or approach to other work in this field?

Be certain to explain what you will do should you win the grant. Where will you conduct research and for how long? How do you go from an intellectual problem to doing actual fieldwork? Be specific in how you will spend your time: in interviews, library research, observation, etc.

A budget must be included with your proposal. You should show that you have done some logistical planning: airfare, cost of food, lodging, transportation within the country, etc. Jane's Travel Grants do not cover equipment and book purchases or research assistants.

Your proposal should state your qualifications to conduct this research by describing any relevant courses taken, papers written, previous travel or research experience, special preparation or training, language skills, etc. Be sure to include any contacts you have made and how they will help with your research project. Such details will emphasize to the committee the serious thought you have given to your proposal.

Proposals involving research with human subjects (interviews, participant observation, etc.) require proof of clearance from the Human Research Protection Program (HRPP). The committee provides oversight and assurance that human subjects are protected from possible harm during the research. Approval may require several months, and students are therefore urged to work with faculty advisers to begin the process well before the submission of the travel grant proposal. Proposals undergoing the review process may be approved for funding dependent upon the final approval; however, the release of funds to grantees will be dependent upon the committee's final approval. Information on human subjects research, along with the required forms, may be found at the Office of Research Administration website.

If you have questions concerning your project, and whether it requires the approval of the HRPP, please contact your adviser or the Office of Research Administration.

Application Deadlines and Notification of Awards

Application deadlines for the winter/spring grants have passed. Applications for the summer grants are due Friday, March 22, 2019, by 5 p.m. The recipients are usually announced within two weeks of the published deadline.

Winners must notify the LALS program of their acceptance within 10 days of receiving the award. Submissions should be sent to the academic administrator. Applicants for individual grants must submit all items listed below; applicants for group grants need submit only those listed under Number 1.

Applicants must submit:

  1. A proposal which includes:
    • a cover sheet with a short project title and the applicant's name, undergraduate class or expected date of graduate degree, mailbox, phone number and email address. A hard copy of the proposal is not required; emailed proposals will be accepted.
    • a concise description of the proposed travel project with a well-thought-out summary of the project's objectives and how it fits into undergraduate or graduate program
    • the dates and destination of the trip
    • a budget, including airfare
    • the applicant's qualifications to conduct this research, including foreign-language skills
    • agreement to complete a presentation/writeup following the research trip
  2. Two letters of recommendation from Brandeis professors who have taught you in a course. Both letters should comment on the feasibility of the proposed project as well as the applicant's ability to conduct the research. Letters may be emailed to the academic administrator.
  3. A Brandeis University transcript, official or unofficial. A hard copy is not required; emailed or fax proposals will be accepted.

Jane's Travel Grant recipients will be selected by a committee of faculty members from the LALS program. Applicants may be called for an interview at the committee's discretion. View the list of previous prize-winning projects. For further information, contact the academic administrator of the LALS Program.