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


To enhance institutional excellence and to promote all areas of intellectual inquiry, the College of Liberal Arts launched the PROMISE Award program in 2015. 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. Applications are funded and managed by the CLA Dean’s Office. Dean David Reingold has allocated $150,000 for this program for FY2017 and will assess it at the end of the year to determine if additional funds will be made available in future years.

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 domestic research or 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 international research or 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 or conducting primary data collection.  The review process requires approval from the student’s major advisor, department/school head, and the Dean’s office. Budget requests should include details of funds needed to support one scholarly conference or research activity. Multiple requests for the same project will not be permitted.

Funds should be spent within the fiscal year of the award. The program will run for AY2016-17 and will be assessed 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 will include:
  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.
  4. Electronic signature in support of the request from the department head.
  5. Research 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 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 submitted, the signed application will be electronically routed for Department Head approval and on to the CLA Dean’s Office for review.  Notice will be emailed to the requestor of the approval, denial or request for more information.  Funds for approved expenses will be made available to department business offices as needed for the required expense.   Recipients will submit a brief ½ page report on the scholarly outcomes and benefits of the award to CLA by the end of the fiscal year.

Promise award recepients (Graduate and Under Graduates) must report your Purdue Travel in Concur (click here for instructions).

The PROMISE Award program provides CLA graduate students better and more opportunities for research 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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