FSI Student Programs Small Research/Conference Grant Guidelines


FSI Small Research and Conference Grant Guidelines

During the fall quarter, FSI offers small research grants of up to $1,500 to partially or completely fund research projects for both undergraduate and graduate students who are using advanced analytical methods in their work.  FSI also offers conference travel grants of up to $500, for students who are presenting at a conference related to international studies. Applications will also be accepted on a rolling basis.


  • FSI provides up to $1,500 to conduct research in international studies.  The committee may consider exceptions for research closely related to an international topic.
  • FSI provides up to $500 for conference funding.  The conference must have an international focus, but does not need to be outside of the United States. (e.g. a conference of the International Education Association held in Philadelphia would be eligible). Applicants must be presenting their research at the conference.
  • Both research and conference costs must be feasible within the budget provided or the student should demonstrate the availability of matching funds. 
  • Small grants and conference funds 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.


  • Research must have an international focus but students from all departments are encouraged to apply.
  • Students must be working under the mentorship of an FSI senior fellow or center fellow. The FSI mentor is required to submit an e-mail to Patrick Laboon (plaboon@stanford.edu) attesting that they have reviewed the student’s proposal, have met with and are mentoring the student by the application deadline.
  • For graduate student applicants, strong preference is given to dissertation research of Ph.D. candidates.
  • Conference grant applicants must be presenting their research at the conference.
  • Undergraduate students 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. 
  • When additional funds are needed, students must demonstrate the availability of matching funding from other sources, such as departmental funding, faculty research accounts, personal funding, etc.


Awardees are required to submit at least one blog post and three photos to Patrick Laboon (plaboon@stanford.edu), to post to the FSI Medium Student 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.


Applicants must submit a complete application with the following information:

  • For research grants, a project proposal (max. 5 pages) must include:
  1. Problem
  2. Objective
  3. Approach
  4. Expected results
  5. Policy implications (if applicable)
  • For conference grants, a detailed description of the paper/topic that has been accepted by the conference and conference acceptance letter
  • Budget
  • Resume/CV
  • Unofficial Transcript (current)
  • Approved Human Subjects Protocol (if applicable)
  • Email from your FSI faculty mentor attesting that they have reviewed the research or conference grant proposal and consulted with you (the applicant) regarding the proposal. The email must be sent by the FSI faculty mentor directly to Patrick Laboon (plaboon@stanford.edu). The email does not need to include a letter of recommendation. It must be received by the application deadline.


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