COVID-19 Update

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, grant proposals are welcome for remote or virtual international experiences, or international travel to countries ranked as Level 1 or below by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

COVID-19 Travel Resources

Information and resources for Davidson students, faculty, and staff travelling internationally.

Travel Resources

The Dean Rusk International Studies Program awards grants to Davidson students and faculty members for research, study, service, internships, and experiential learning abroad.

Grants are awarded twice each year–once in the fall, for projects during winter break, and once in the spring, for summer projects. Applications are reviewed by the Dean Rusk International Studies Program staff and by the faculty International Education Committee.

The goals of the student-grant program are to facilitate student interaction with diverse cultures, languages, environments, standards of living, and political climates and to encourage independent student research. To achieve this, the International Education Committee has shown a strong preference for long-term independent projects that have a high degree of cultural interaction.

Information sessions on Dean Rusk and Pulitzer Center Project travel grants are held at the beginning of each semester in the Duke International Studies Lounge. Due to current in-person meeting restrictions, information sessions for winter and summer travel were held via Zoom. Review our most recent sessions. Stay tuned to our Wildcat Sync and Dean Rusk International Studies Program Instagram Page, @davidsondeanrusk for updates. 

Spring 2021 virtual appointments regarding Travel Grants can be made by scheduling a meeting with the Director of the Dean Rusk International Studies Program, Jane Zimmerman, through Calendly.

Student Grants

General Grants

The Dean Rusk International Studies Program provides grant-funded opportunities for student study, research, service, and experiential learning abroad in geographic locations of the student's choosing. Due to the pandemic, grant-funded opportunities are available for remote/virtual experiences, and for travel to CDC Level 1 countries only.

Grants ranging from $500 to over $5,000 are awarded two times each year.

  1. Fall cycle awards for winter break prioritize:
    • Seniors who have never been abroad during their Davidson careers;
    • Seniors who need to travel abroad to conduct research for a thesis or capstone project;
    • Students who are able to devote four or more weeks to their experience or project.
  2. Spring cycle awards are made for summer study, research, service, and experiential learning abroad. Proposals are considered from all students except graduating seniors. The International Education Committee prioritizes individual projects that involve extended periods of time abroad and that reflect a clear connection to the student's academic development.

Dean Rusk supports these and other proposals through specific funds including several which are focused on the following regions or issues: East Asia, Central or South America, Arabic and Middle Eastern studies, economic research in developing countries, independent arts projects, and religious diversity abroad. However, students may propose any type of project as long as it has an international focus.

All Dean Rusk Travel Grant Applications will be available via Submittable.

Applications for the Dean Rusk Travel and Pulitzer Center Grants will require each student to identify a faculty reviewer who will indicate their support for your project.  In the application, you will enter their email address and he/she/they will receive a link to submit a reviewer's statement of support online. A faculty reviewer's statement of support is not required for Davidson Summer Program applications.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall grant application deadline is Friday, October 16, 2020.

  • Spring grant application deadline is February 1, 2021. The Submittable Grant Application website will accept applications for the spring grant cycle once the fall grant cycle closes.

Pulitzer Center Grant

Each spring, one Davidson student is selected to receive a grant in order to complete an independent multimedia international reporting project. The project should focus on a systemic issue of global importance that is under-reported or unreported in U.S. mainstream media. The grant recipient will receive exclusive training, support and mentorship from staff at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

While working on your project in the field, a member of the Pulitzer Center staff will serve as your editor - establishing deadlines and assisting you in crafting publishable pieces. As a grant recipient, you will also choose a past Pulitzer Center journalist to serve as a professional mentor (subject to availability) who will offer practical advice and non-editorial support. Working closely with Pulitzer Center staff and a Pulitzer Center journalist mentor, the recipient will build on his/her/their project proposal and decide on a plan of deliverables that will include some combination of maintaining a blog, taking photographs, recording audio, shooting video, writing articles for the Pulitzer Center website, and potentially seeking other outlets for their work.  Previous experience in photography or filming is not a prerequisite for applying for this grant. Dean Rusk encourages students to rent free equipment (such as cameras and editing software) from T&I, if necessary. Recipients are required to adhere to the Pulitzer Center's Ethics and Standards Policy throughout the reporting project, meet with the Pulitzer Center journalist visiting Davidson's campus during the semester that they receive the grant, and upon completing their trip, will be expected to turn in all of their deliverables prior to receiving the final installment of their grant.

A strong proposal includes:

  • What issue the applicant wants to address.
  • Whose stories he/she/they want to tell.
  • Where the applicant will travel to cover the issue.
  • Which media the applicant thinks will tell the story best.
  • Who or what kinds of people the applicant plans to talk to, how he/she/they will make the material accessible to lay audiences.
  • How the project matches the Pulitzer Center's goal of focusing on under reported systemic issues of global importance.
  • What the applicant hopes to get from the project and why the project interests the applicant.

2021 Pulitzer Center Grants will be available when the spring grant cycle opens at the close of the fall grant cycle, with an application deadline of February 1, 2021.

Faculty Grants

Faculty grants are available to conduct research or attend conferences abroad. Most faculty awards are made from general funds, but faculty are also eligible to apply for Hirose Grants. Applications are due in the fall for winter break projects with an application deadline of October 16, 2020. Applications are due in the spring for summer break projects, with an application deadline of February 1, 2021. Complete the Faculty Grant Application (DOC) and email it to the Director of the Dean Rusk International Studies Program, Jane Zimmerman at

COVID-19 has complicated or precluded international travel in many instances. As a result, for summer 2021, guidelines to support faculty research and professional development during these unprecedented times have been provisionally modified. For this grant cycle, proposals  including expenses for work which needs to be done in-country yet cannot be performed by the faculty member due to COVID-19 restrictions will be considered. Such work may include, inter alia:

  • Engaging an assistant or translator for virtual work, such as transcribing interviews, taking photographs, or accessing archives, materials, objects, or people related to faculty research projects;
  • Taking remote language training or virtual refresher courses;
  • Covering registration fees to attend virtual conferences or workshops on international topics;
  • Having someone in-country do in-person networking for a project;

With limited funds available and a goal to support as many faculty as possible, awards will typically range between $500-$1,500, depending on the size of the applicant pool.