GSAS International Travel Awards

Due to the global outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Provost has suspended Columbia-funded travel. GSAS is therefore unable to accept applications for or award GSAS International Travel Fellowships at this time. Once the University has lifted the suspension, we will accept applications for these awards.

Please note that the dates and deadlines that follow are based on a normal application cycle with no travel restrictions; all deadlines that follow will only remain if restrictions are lifted and GSAS is permitted to open the application. If travel restrictions remain in place, these deadlines will be revised to reflect the next application cycle.


GSAS International Travel Fellowships provide advanced PhD students funding for international travel that is necessary for the completion of the dissertation. The Fellowships, which include the Lurcy, Mellon, Thompson, and Wollemborg, are to be used for an entire semester or academic year abroad. They may not be used for research in residence at Columbia, research within the United States, or for trips to the US during the award period. 


To be eligible to receive an International Travel Fellowship, students must:

•    Be a PhD student in an Arts and Sciences program
•    Have completed all requirements for the MPhil degree and passed the prospectus defense before September 1, 2021
•    Be within their seventh year of study in 2021-22

Terms of the Award

All awards are for the 2021-22 academic year. Students may apply for a one-semester or an academic year award. Awards may not be deferred and must be used within the 2021-22 academic year.

The terms of the GSAS Travel Fellowship prohibit grantees from holding teaching assignments, any other position, or another fellowship concurrently.

How to Apply

Deadline: We are not currently accepting applications for 2021-22 fellowships

Only completed applications submitted by the deadline will be considered. Please read the directions and information carefully for the online application. The applicant must upload all items electronically with the exception of the letters of recommendation, which are uploaded by the recommenders or emailed to gsas-fellowships [at]

If you are applying to more than one fellowship through this application portal, you will need to upload all materials for each fellowship application, and recommenders will have to submit a separate letter for each fellowship application.

Applications must include the following items:

  • Completed GSAS online application form
  • An up-to-date GSAS transcript (official PDF transcript from the Registrar’s office).
    Note: The GSAS Fellowship application does not accept encrypted files for upload. Official Columbia transcript PDFs are encrypted; you may order a paper copy through SSOL or print the official transcript PDF you receive from Parchment, then scan and upload it.
  • A curriculum vitae (three pages maximum)
  • A statement of your language preparation for research abroad, specifying the language(s) needed to carry out your research and your proficiency in each (one page maximum)
  • A project proposal of no more than 1,500 words, which should include a justification of your need to travel and a specific discussion of your research plans during the fellowship period. Please do not submit a copy of the departmental dissertation prospectus. Proposals will be read by an inter-departmental faculty committee and should emphasize the potential of your research to make a contribution to the particular field and to scholarship in general.
  • A timetable for completion of research and writing (two pages maximum). Please be as specific as possible. Applicants can apply for only one of the following terms:
    • 2021-22 academic year (fall and spring)
    • Fall 2021 semester
    • Spring 2022 semester
  • A budget proposal (two pages maximum). The budget proposal should include anticipated living costs, travel expenses, and a project allowance. The project allowance is for items such as books, photocopying, archive access fees, videotapes, film, etc. The project allowance is not intended for permanent items such as computers or cameras. Please list a budget that does not exceed the award amount for the full year or half of that for one semester. For 2020-21, the award amount is TBA. For 2019-2020, the maximum award amount was $30,050 for an academic-year award, and $15,025 for a one-semester award. The award also includes full-time tuition and health fees.
  • Two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from your dissertation sponsor. Each recommender should describe the ways in which s/he considers your proposal to be exceptional and should endorse, with a fair degree of specificity, the timetable for completion and your travel plans. GSAS prefers that recommenders submit their letters of recommendation electronically to expedite processing. When the applicant enters the name and email of recommenders, the recommenders will automatically receive an email containing upload information and instructions. Applicants can resend a request by clicking on the "Send Reminder" button. It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that recommenders are given ample time to submit recommendations by the deadline, and to notify recommenders if applying for more than one fellowship. 

Note: Columbia students traveling abroad to conduct research, enroll in foreign language or other courses, or attend conferences must register with International SOS, an emergency services program that helps with unexpected medical or security issues, prior to departure.

Previous Recipients

For a list of previous recipients of the GSAS International Travel Fellowship, see Award and Prize Recipients.