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Student Travel and Research (STAR) Fund

Arts & Sciences values student participation in research and conference presentations—bridging the gap between undergraduate courses and graduate studies or future professional opportunities.

The STAR Fund provides grants to allow you to travel to an academic conference, present your first academic paper, or travel to perform scholarly research.

"Attending this conference not only provided a valuable opportunity to present, discuss, and receive feedback on my research, but also provided the opportunity to meet and network with undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals in the field of AMO physics. Considering that I am currently submitting graduate school applications for PhD-track fellowships in AMO physics, having this opportunity was extremely beneficial."
—Alexander Kramer, 2014 recipient

STAR Fund Guidelines

Procedures for Awarding Arts & Sciences NAB Student Travel and Research Funds 

Approved 12/23/13

Students who are interested in applying for STAR funds should follow this procedure. These funds are reserved for special and significant opportunities that are not part of the regular on-going academic programming at Drake. Awards are given up to $350.

Briefly indicate who will travel and the nature of the proposed travel for research, conference presentation, competition, or significant learning opportunity.

  1. Briefly describe the activity and indicate how it fits one of these categories:
    • Travel to present research at an academic conference.
    • Travel to a significant performance or performing arts competition.
    • Travel to take advantage of a significant research opportunity.
    • Travel to participate in a significant learning opportunity that is not covered by the above categories.
    • Note: STAR money is not intended to support study abroad.
  2. Indicate how the activity is related to learning goals in an individual class or in your major program or in a co-curricular program at Drake University.
  3. Secure a recommendation from the faculty member who is supervising the research, performance, or program as well as a memo of approval from the chair of the department or director of the program in which the course, program, or co-curricular activity is being conducted (these recommendations can be sent electronically).
  4. Submit the above materials with a brief budget indicating the expenses to be covered to the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Make sure to indicate all the possible sources of funding that you have available for the project or travel. Note that individual award amounts may be limited in order to serve a larger number of students; thus students should look for additional funding resources to complete their proposed activity. Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis until funds are no longer available.

    The Dean and Associate Dean will meet to discuss and approve awards. Decisions will be based on the
    • Availability of Funds.
    • Quality of the proposed project.
    • Significant nature of the opportunity.
    • Amount of support available to the student(s) from other sources.
    • Preference will be given to students who are actively engaged throughout the project; for example students who will present a paper or poster session, carry out research, or perform in the competition as opposed to attending a conference or competition only as an audience member.
    • Preference may be given to eligible students who are majoring in an Arts and Sciences program.
  5. Following a successful award students will be required to submit a brief report on their experience indicating 1) the use of funds with receipts attached for expenses, and 2) the quality of the learning/research/performance activity and what they derived from it. This report is due in the Office of the Dean, College of Arts and Sciences no later than one month after the completion of the funded activity.
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