Special "Opps" Travel and Research Award

Note: Due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions, we have made some temporary changes to the Special Opps Awards program for the Spring 2020 application cycle. See changes below in bold.  


Wednesday of Week 8 of each term at 1 p.m.


The purpose of the Special "Opps" Travel and Research Award is to help graduate students take advantage of special opportunities to advance or present their research. Competitive applications will be accepted for opportunities that are out of the ordinary—beyond the usual annual conference presentation.

The awards can be used for registration fees, travel (*see note below about travel restrictions), lodging, or very specific research expenses.

When completing the application, the student should identify one of the following categories and indicate why this opportunity is special.

  1. Attend (in person or virtually) a specialized conference or meeting on a topic closely related to the student’s research to which the student has been invited or otherwise encouraged to attend.

  2. Travel to (or participate virtually in) in a significant professional development activity.

  3. Travel to (or participate virtually in) in a time- or context-limited research opportunity with the potential for high impact on the graduate student’s field and personal career trajectory.

  4. Wild Card. Tell us about a great travel, research, or professional development opportunity you have been presented with and we will consider it.

*Students should be aware of UO travel restrictions outlined at https://www.uoregon.edu/coronavirus. For any applications involving travel, the committee will review them in light of travel restrictions in effect at the time and may not be able to approve the application until and unless travel restrictions are lifted. 

Award Details

  • Up to $500
  • Number awarded will be limited by available funds
  • If selected for this award, the funds will be transferred to your home department, who will be responsible for administering the travel and disbursing the funds

Eligibility and Criteria

  • Students must have completed at least one full term and be in good academic standing

  • The proposal must be supported by the director of graduate studies (or department head) and the graduate student’s advisor. Department head and graduate advisor are requested not to sponsor students who could be supported by other sources such as sponsored research grants and contracts.

  • Submissions will be judged using the Special Opps Travel and Research Grant rubric.


Applicants must apply online using the link at the bottom of this page. The online application includes:

  • A proposal no longer than 1 page describing the activity you are requesting funds for, identifying one of the categories above and providing justification on why this is a “special opportunity” and how the funds will advance your graduate research and caree

  • A budget for your travel that describes:

    • All expenses
    • Other sources of funding received or applied for (departmental, discipline-specific, conference support, etc.)
    • Requested funding amount

    Please note: All expenses covered by this award must be allowable and comply with accepted University of Oregon travel policies

  • Short curriculum vitae (please limit to 2 pages or less

  • Letter of support from your advisor, which should include:

    • Why the funds you have requested will provide a special opportunity in your field
    • Your advisor’s assessment of your strengths and potential
  • Letter from the director of graduate studies or department head supporting the application

Selection Process

Recipients will be selected with input from the Graduate Student Advisory Board and Graduate School staff.

All applicants will be notified of the Graduate School’s decision by email.

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