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 spring semester, and once in the spring, for summer, fall and year-long projects. Applications are reviewed by the Dean Rusk International Studies Program's staff and by the faculty's 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. Watch the Crier for dates and time. Appointments to meet regarding Travel Grants can be made by emailing the Director of the Dean Rusk International Studies Program, Jane Zimmerman at

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.

Grants ranging from $100 to over $5,000 are awarded two times each year.

  1. Fall-cycle awards are normally limited to:
    • 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 participating in select Davidson summer study abroad programs (talk with your program director to find out if you should apply in the fall or the spring).

    In exceptional cases the Committee will consider fall-cycle applications from others.

  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 committee prefers 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 are now available via Submittable (we have discontinued use of the Common Grant Application).

Applications for the Dean Rusk Travel and Pulitzer Center Grants will require a completed Faculty Reviewer/Language Proficiency Approval Form (DOC). This form must be uploaded during your submission process. This form is not required for Davidson Summer Program applications.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall grant application deadline is Monday, October 14, 2019.

  • Spring grant application deadline is February 1, 2020. 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 or two Davidson students are selected to receive grants 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 recipients 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 publishing-worthy 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, recipients will build on 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 wants 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 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.

2020 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, 2020.

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 and spring semester projects; and in the spring for summer break and fall semester projects, with an application deadline of February 1, 2020.  Complete the Faculty Grant Application (DOC) and email it to the Director of the Dean Rusk International Studies Program, Jane Zimmerman at