FSI Student Programs Large Research Grant Guidelines

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FSI Large Research Grants

FSI offers grants of up to $9,000 to fund research-related travel for CDDRL and CISAC undergraduate honors students and graduate students doing research related to international policy. Applicants must work with an FSI faculty advisor to develop a coherent research plan, conduct fieldwork abroad, and synthesize their data upon their return to campus. Graduate students may apply for a travel stipend of up to $9,000. CDDRL and CISAC undergraduate honors students may apply for a stipend of up to $6,400. These funds must primarily cover travel costs, but can secondarily be used to cover research expenses, fees for services rendered, and other field expenses incurred by the student.


  • Research must have an international policy focus, but students from all departments are encouraged to apply.
  • Students must be working under the mentorship of a FSI senior fellow or center fellow. The faculty mentor is required to submit a recommendation letter attesting that they have reviewed the student’s proposal and have met with and are mentoring the student.
  • For graduate student applicants, strong preference is given to dissertation research of Ph.D. candidates.
  • Undergraduate applicants must be in the either the Center on Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law (CDDRL), or the Center for International Security And Cooperation (CISAC) honors programs. 


  • FSI provides up to $9,000 for research-related travel funding for graduate students to conduct research in international policy.
  • FSI provides up to $6,400 for research-related travel funding to eligible undergraduate students to conduct research in international policy.
  • The travel must be international; it cannot be within the United States. Travel must also be feasible within the applicant’s budget and timeline.
  • For undergraduate students, Stanford-sponsored research or Stanford-organized trips are prohibited to countries where a State Department Travel Warning has been issued or where there is other reliable information of significant health or safety risks.
  • For graduate students, Stanford University strongly recommends against but does not prohibit, travel to countries where the U.S. Department of State has issued an official Travel Warning (a Travel Warning is distinct from a State Department issued Public Announcement), or where there is other reliable information of significant health or safety risks. Proposed travel to a country on the U.S. State Department Travel Warning list will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by FSI. FSI may determine to deny funding for travel to these countries. See Stanford's international travel policy here.
  • Large grants must be spent by the end of the quarter following 2 quarters from the date that the award is received. (ex. an award granted in fall quarter would need to be spent by the end of spring quarter).
  • If human participants are to be involved in research, funding is contingent upon Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. The IRB approval e-mail must be sent to Patrick Laboon (plaboon@stanford.edu) before funds are disbursed. More can be found about IRB protocol at Stanford here or visit Stanford’s Research Compliance Office.


Awardees are required to submit at least one blog post and three photos to the FSI Medium research grant page. The post should be substantive in nature and reflect on the progress of the research, challenges confronted, or research findings made. Students can also choose to submit a 1-2 minute video in a "vlog" or "mash-up" style, instead or in addition to the required blog post. Videos must be uploaded to Youtube. The video's embed link, along with a 1-paragraph written summary of the video must be sent to Patrick Laboon (plaboon@stanford.edu)Blog posts or videos must be received within one week of use of the award.

Awardees will also be required to submit a report. More details will be given to grant recipients.


To apply, you must complete an application form, and provide the following supplemental information: 

  • Project Proposal (max. 5 pages) to include:
  1. Problem
  2. Objective
  3. Approach
  4. Expected results
  5. Policy implications (if applicable)
  • Budget
  • Resume
  • Unofficial Transcript (current)
  • Approved Human Subjects Protocol (if applicable)
  • Letter of Recommendation. Your FSI faculty mentor must submit a letter of recommendation indicating that they have reviewed the research project proposal and that they have consulted with you (the student) regarding the proposal. This letter should be submitted by the faculty member directly to Patrick Laboon (plaboon@stanford.edu). It must be received by the application deadline.