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PROMISE Award Description


(Promoting Research Opportunities to Maximize Innovation and Scholarly Excellence)
College of Liberal Arts Graduate Student Research Support Program


The PROMISE grant program enhances institutional excellence and promotes all areas of intellectual inquiry in the College of Liberal Arts. PROMISE promotes research opportunities to maximize innovation and scholarly excellence in graduate education. Building upon the model established with the ASPIRE Research Enhancement grants for faculty, PROMISE supports CLA graduate student research, scholarly activity, and conference travel.

The PROMISE grant program will provide CLA graduate students more and better opportunities for research and collaborative partnerships to help advance their scholarship, nurture their careers and foster more national and international recognition for Purdue University.

PROMISE Funding is structured in two tiers, and nearly all CLA graduate students are eligible to apply.
  • Tier 1 may provide up to $1,000.00 in approved funding for expenses related to scholarship and/or creative activity, including domestic travel and/or research for graduate students to present original scholarship and/or creative works.
  • Tier 2 may provide up to $2,000.00 in approved funding for expenses related to scholarship and/or creative activity with an international focus - including international travel and/or research for graduate students to present original scholarship and/or creative works.

The Dean’s objective for PROMISE grants is to enhance graduate student research opportunities by supporting a climate that enhances and empowers research and creative activity in the liberal arts. The goal of the PROMISE program is to supplement existing departmental travel funds and other research funds in order to increase those opportunities for our graduate students, in a streamlined and efficient manner. All eligible graduate students in the College of Liberal Arts may apply for (and potentially receive) PROMISE funding a maximum of once each fiscal year.

  • Graduate students who have been with the university 5 calendar years or more (5 Fall semesters and 5 Spring semesters - Summer semesters not applicable) should seek external funding.
  • Graduate students in the sixth year (beginning their 11th semester, or more) of their graduate program are not eligible for PROMISE funds, and should not apply.
  • PROMISE funds will not be made available for conference presentations by first-year Masters level students.
  • Priority will be given to students who are advanced in their programs, and especially to those presenting original research or creative works or conducting primary data collection.
  • The review process requires approval from the student’s major advisor, the department/school head, and the Associate Dean of Research.
  • Budget requests should include details of funds needed to support one scholarly conference or research project/activity.
  • Funds should be spent within the fiscal year of the award (July 1 of the current year through June 30 of the following year).
  • The program will run through the academic year (fall to spring).


Application Process

To receive the available funds for a project, graduate students will be required to fill out a brief application online that will include the following:

  • General applicant information such as name, title, home department, etc.
  • Research project/presentation title.
  • Brief statement of the value of the request to the student research progress from the student’s major advisor.
  • Electronic approval in support of the request from the graduate advisor and department head.
  • Research or conference travel information (location and dates) and/or description and budget for equipment or other expenses.
  • Other support received previously or pending for this project/activity.
  • Brief description of the request (no more than one-half page) detailing research significance and overall benefits of the project/activity for student degree progress.
  • Amount of funding requested. NOTE: Funding may be used to support travel, per-diem or other research or dissertation writing expenses incurred by graduate student(s), but may not be used as a source of financial support for the student(s).
Once completed, the application will be electronically routed to the CLA Dean’s Office for review and approval. Notice of approval or denial will be emailed to the requestor and any approved funds will be made available to the graduate student as needed for the required expense(s).
PROMISE grant recipients must submit to CLA (via InfoReady) a brief half-page report on the scholarly outcomes and benefits of the award by the end of the fiscal year (June 30) in which the award was used. Equipment and/or materials purchased with PROMISE funds become the property of Purdue University unless or until purchased from the university by the graduate student or department following the proper procedures and policies.
If you have questions or concerns about the process, please contact the CLA Office of Research and Graduate Education at


Click HERE to Apply for PROMISE (After Noon on Monday 8/28/2023)