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Linguistics Block Grant

Department graduate students are eligible to apply for block grant funds to support various research expenses, including travel and registration expenses to give talks or posters at refereed conferences and workshops, participant fees for experiments and interviews, some expenses for research off campus, and so on.(see more details below)

Submit your application well in advance, preferably more than 30 days before the activity starts, to ensure that airfare and lodging costs will be kept low (airfare costs increase steeply if purchased less than 30 days before the trip starts, the closer the trip is). If your travel costs substantially exceed average travel costs to your destination, it is less likely that your request will be fully funded.

To apply, students need to complete either the Conference/Workshop Travel Funding Form or the Research Funding form. The form requires a brief explanation or justification for the request, information about all other funding sources related to the request, and the budget details from all funding sources combined (specifying the amounts that are  expected to come from other sources).

Discuss your application with your A advisor before submitting it. Once you submit your application, the completed form will first be reviewed by the Graduate Chair and the Graduate Coordinator, and will then be routed to your "A" Advisor for confirmation of support. Once your advisor submits support for the request, it will then go to the Graduate Committee for the funding decision.

Conference/Workshop Travel Funding

Research Funding

 

Types of expenses that can be funded through the Linguistics Block Grant

Most activities related to graduate student research can be funded through the Block Grant. Typical examples are given below. However, it may be possible to fund other activities too. Consult with your Advisor, the Graduate Coordinator or the Graduate Chair about other possibilities.

  • Conference attendance: If you will present a poster or a talk at a refereed conference, you can receive funding to cover at least some of your travel and lodging costs (either hotel or subletting like Airbnb, if costs are lower), as well as conference registration fees, poster printing, etc. Since funds are limited, funding for conference lodging is normally restricted to the official number of days of the conference +1 (ex: if a conference goes from September 20 to 22 -- 3 days --  funding for lodging will normally be for up to 4 nights).

    Since funds are limited, funding applications that are fully or partially covered by Block grant funds cannot include so-called per diems, nor meals or other food expenses.  An exception is the conference fee to attend a conference official lunch or dinner. Block grant funds also cannot support attendance at a conference where you will not present a talk or poster. An exception is made for first-year students to attend a conference in the US without presenting (usually the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America), so that the student can have the experience of attending a conference during their first year in the PhD program. 

  • Data collection trips: Our students often have to do data collection in locations off campus. You can apply for support from the Block Grant to cover at least some of your expenses related to such data collection trips. The typical costs that can be covered include travel, lodging, visa application fees required for your research trip, etc. Note that due to funding limitations, funding applications that are fully or partially covered by block grant funds cannot include so-called per diems, nor meals or other food expenses.

 

  • Payment for participants in your fieldwork and/or experiments.

  • Research assistance: If your data analysis is labor intensive, you can apply for funds to pay a (typically undergraduate) research assistant to assist in data coding analysis and/or data transcription.

  • Equipment: If your research requires special equipment that is not available in the Department, you can apply for funds to cover the cost of the equipment. Note that any equipment purchased with funds from the Block Grant remains the property of the Department, and needs to be returned to the Department once your research has been completed.

Funding sources students should consider before applying to the block grant

  • It is expected that you will apply to other relevant funding sources on campus first or in parallel, in order to (help) support the costs of your request(s):

  • Students who are traveling to conferences and presenting a paper/poster need to first apply for a Rackham Conference Travel Grant, or specify in their Block Grant request how they will use the Rackham Conference grant during the corresponding year (The year here is the Fiscal year, which goes from July 1st to June 30 of the following calendar year, and considers the dates of the conferences, and not of the applications). 

  • Students who receive a Rackham Travel Grant may also apply for Linguistics Block Grant funds for additional support.

  • Students who are traveling to workshops or conferences at which they are not presenting should consider a Rackham Professional Development Grant, which is a $400 grant students may receive once during their graduate studies (the participation in the conference in this case needs to involve a clear training component, such as attending a hands-on workshop or tutorial). Students who receive a Rackham Professional Development Grant may also apply for Linguistics Block Grant funds for additional support.

  • Students who are pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Cognitive Science may apply once per year for funding from the Weinberg Institute for Cognitive Science. Students who receive funding from the Weinberg Institute for Cognitive Science may also apply for Linguistics Block Grant funds for additional support.

  • Students requesting funds for research support should first apply for Rackham Graduate Student Research Grants, or need to specify how they plan to use this Rackham grant at their level (pre-candidate or candidate). Students may apply to Rackham once as pre-candidates (for up to $1,500) and once as candidates (for up to $3,000). Students who receive a Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant may also apply for Linguistics Block Grant funds for additional support.

  • Students with requests for funding for personal reasons or other expenses that cannot be covered by the Block Grant should apply for a grant from the Rackham Graduate Student Emergency Funds rather than from the Linguistics Department Block Grant.

How does a student receive the approved Linguistics Block Grant funding?

If the expense involves paying people for services (e.g., subjects who participate in your experiments, transcribers, proofreaders, etc.), you must work with the Chief Administrator Talisha Winston (trwin) to plan the payment before making the payment. DO NOT submit expenses for reimbursement using the processes below (students will use HSIP or other process, depending on the service provided).

How you can be reimbursed differs, based on whether or not you are a current university employee (and thus, have access to Concur). Most first-year students are not yet considered employees, and after a certain period on fellowship, students who once had been considered employees no longer are (thus losing Concur access). 

If you aren’t sure which group you’re in, you can go to Wolverine Access/Faculty and Staff, and under the header for “University Business,” click the link labeled “Travel & Expense (Concur).” If you do not have access, you will receive a message telling you that.

For Non-employees (no access to Concur)

  • Send a message to the Graduate Coordinator to find out the appropriate shortcode.

  • Send an email message to MLBBO-lsa@umich.edu, cc-ing the Graduate Coordinator, with the following information:

    • First and last name

    • UMID

    • Local home address

    • Shortcode 

    • Business Purpose (i.e., what the expense is for; please see below under “Business Purposes” header for what information is required here)

    • Payment preference (i.e., do you want a paper check mailed to your home address? Electronic deposit?)

  • Attach all of your receipts (electronic versions, including scanned copies or legible, high quality pictures of receipts that include all receipt information)

For Employees (e.g., GSIs, GSRAs) with access to Concur

Students should submit expenses to the Shared Services Office, which prepares your expense report for you.

  • Send a message to the graduate coordinator to find out the appropriate shortcode.

  • Send an email message to expensereports@umich.edu with the following information:

    • First and last name

    • UMID

    • Shortcode 

    • Business Purpose (i.e., what the expense is for; please see below under “Business Purposes header for what information is required here)

  • Attach all of your receipts (electronic versions, including scanned copies or legible, high quality pictures of receipts that include all receipt information).

Business Purpose Details

Business purposes vary in the type of information required for processing. Please see the following business purpose options and the details you should include with each:

  • Conference travel: List the name of the conference and whether or not you were presenting at it

  • Hosting: List the names of all of the people for whom you paid and are asking for reimbursement, as well as their affiliation (e.g., U-M student, recruit, guest). Department funds cannot be used to pay for non-department attendees (e.g., partners of students or faculty), and graduate funding cannot be used to purchase alcohol.

  • Recruitment: If you are submitting non-hosting expenses related to graduate recruitment (e.g., parking), you must provide the name of the recruit benefitting from the expense.

If you have approved expenses, when should you submit your reimbursement paperwork?

The deadline for submitting reimbursements is 45 days after you’ve incurred the expense, with one major exception: if you’ve bought a ticket for airfare, you may either submit that right after purchase (i.e., if you would like to receive the reimbursement as soon as possible) or wait until after the date of travel if you would like to submit all related expenses together.