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

Recipients of PROMISE awards must submit a brief ½ page report on their conference/research activities to in order to be eligible for consideration for new PROMISE awards.


To enhance institutional excellence and to promote all areas of intellectual inquiry, the College of Liberal Arts is continuing the PROMISE Award program. PROMISE will promote 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, exhibition, scholarly activity and conference travel. The Provost and the Dean will provide support for this program. Applications will be managed by the CLA Dean’s Office. 

PROMISE Funding is structured in two tiers:

  • Tier 1 will provide up to $750 in approved funding for expenses related to scholarship/creative activity including research or domestic travel for graduate students to present original scholarship/creative works.
  • Tier 2 will provide funding up to $1,500 for expenses related to scholarship/creative activity with an international focus including research or international travel to present original scholarship/creative works.

The Dean’s objective for the PROMISE Awards is to enhance graduate student research opportunities by supporting a climate that enhances and empowers research and creative activity in the liberal arts. The PROMISE program supplements existing departmental travel funds and other research funds in order to increase those opportunities for graduate students, all in a streamlined and efficient manner.

All graduate students in the College of Liberal Arts may apply once each year for this program.  Priority will be given to students who are advanced in their programs, and especially to those presenting original research or creative works at major domestic or international conferences or exhibitions or conducting primary data collection.  PROMISE funds will not be available for conference presentations by first year master’s level students. The review process requires approval from the student’s major advisor, department/school head and the Dean’s office. Budget requests should include dates of any travel and details of funds needed to support one scholarly conference, exhibition or research activity.

Funds should be spent within the fiscal year of the award. The program will be assessed yearly to determine its impact and future sustainability.

Application Process

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

  1. General applicant information such as name, title, department, etc.
  2. Research project/presentation title.
  3. Brief statement of the value of the request to the student research progress from the student’s major advisor, including as appropriate, the name and relative importance of specific conference event.
  4. Electronic signature in support of the request from the department head.
  5. Research, exhibition or conference travel information (location and dates) and/or description and budget for equipment or other expenses.
  6. Other support received previously or pending for this project/activity.
  7. Brief description of the request (no more than ½ a page) detailing research, exhibition or conference significance and overall benefits of the project/activity for student degree progress.
  8. Amount of funding request. 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 signed application will be electronically routed to the CLA Dean’s Office for review and approval. Please allow at least three weeks for the review process.  Notice will be emailed to requestor of the approval or denial, and funds will be made available as needed for the required expense. Recipients will submit a brief ½ page report on the scholarly outcomes and benefits of the award to the CLA Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education’s office ( by the end of the fiscal year.

Promise award recipients must report their Purdue Travel in Concur (click here for instructions).

The PROMISE Award program provides CLA graduate students better and more opportunities for research, creative activity and collaborative partnerships to help advance their scholarship, nurture their careers and foster more national and international recognition for Purdue.

Apply Here

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