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Research and Travel Funding

There are many opportunities for students in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (EARTH) to obtain funding for research and research-related travel from (i) EARTH, (ii) Rackham, and (iii) professional societies.

See also U-M’s Library Research Guides Funding for Students and Rackham Funding.

The Turner Award (EARTH)

The Scott Turner Awards are funded by income from an endowment established by a bequest from the estate of Dr. Scott Turner. In the Fall term, the Turner Committee solicits proposals from EARTH graduate students. The deadline is usually in November. Project proposals must support research costs (e.g., geochemical analyses, travel for field or collections research, computational costs) but cannot cover conference travel, publication, or salaries.

  • All EARTH graduate students are eligible to apply every proposal cycle except students who are defending their degree on a Fall calendar (i.e. within three months of submitting this proposal).
  • The proposed project must differ significantly from previously funded Turner projects and prior funding should be largely spent before new funds are requested. If justified, exceptions to this are allowed.
  • The Turner Award will provide constructive feedback on the proposal.
  • The award amount is about $2,000, depending on program funds and the number of proposals submitted. There is a small scaling based on how proposals are rated by the committee.

These are the current guidelines and the rubric used by the Turner Committee used to evaluate the proposals.

Rackham Research and Travel Funding

The Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant “ … supports graduate students who need assistance to carry out research that advances their progress toward their degree. The grant is intended to defray costs of conducting clearly defined research projects.

  • PhD pre-candidates are eligible for an award up to $1,500
  • PhD candidates are eligible for an award up to $3,000
  • MS students are eligible for an award up to $1,500

The Rackham International Research Grant (RIRA) “ … supports doctoral and master’s students conducting degree-related research outside the United States and Puerto Rico.

  • Maximum award is $10,000, the average award is $6,500.
  • Preference will be given to students who have not previously received an RIRA.
  • The deadline is in February.

The Rackham Conference Travel Grants “ … provide opportunities for Rackham graduate students to become familiar with, and participate in the life of, their academic professions.” 

  • $900 for travel in the continental US.
  • $1,150 for travel to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe.
  • $1,400 for travel to Africa, Asia, South America, and Australia.
  • Applications must be submitted before the first day of the conference. Applications will not be considered for retroactive funding.
  • The Rackham Conference Travel Grant cannot be combined with other Rackham grants.