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

This grant program has been suspended temporarily. It will not be available for the Fiscal Year 2020-21 due to the current budget environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. It is our hope to have the program return in Fiscal Year 2021-22 (if the budget allows). The announcement will be made via email if and when we have been informed the program will be restarted. Please submit questions and concerns to Thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult and unprecedented times. Take care, and be well!
- CLA Office of Research and Graduate Education

Recipients of previous PROMISE awards must submit a brief ½ page report on their scholarly and creative conference/research activities to in order to be eligible for consideration for new PROMISE awards. These reports should include brief information on the scholarly/creative outcomes of the research or presentation including specific products such as expected completion of degree or publications (in-progress or published).
To enhance institutional excellence and to promote all areas of intellectual inquiry, the College of Liberal Arts is launching 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 will support CLA graduate student research, scholarly activity and conference travel. Applications will be funded and managed by the CLA Dean’s Office. Dean David Reingold has allocated $225,000 for this program ($175,000 comes from CLA, and $50,000 from the Provost). It will be assessed 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 funding up to $750 for expenses related to scholarship/creative activity with a domestic focus, including domestic research or conference travel for graduate students to present original scholarship and/or 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 conference travel for graduate students to present original scholarship and/or 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 fiscal year for PROMISE funding. 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 (or more) of their program are not eligible for PROMISE funds, and should not apply.

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. PROMISE funds will not be made available for conference presentations by first-year Masters-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 details of funds needed to support one scholarly conference or research activity.
Funds should be spent within the fiscal year of the award (July 1 of current year through June 30 of the following year). The program will run through the Academic Year (fall to spring), and will be assessed to determine its impact and future sustainability. Please submit only one application at a time!
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 completed the signed application will be electronically routed to the CLA Dean’s Office for review and approval. Notice will be emailed to requestor of the approval or denial, and approved funds will be made available as soon as needed for the required expense. Recipients are required to submit a brief report (no longer than one-half page) on the scholarly outcomes and benefits of the award to CLA by the end of the fiscal year. 

Equipment and/or materials purchased with PROMISE funds become the property of Purdue University unless or until purchased from the university following the proper procedures and policies.
The PROMISE Award 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.
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