Graduate School

Research Mobility Fellowship

The Research Mobility Fellowship program supports doctoral students who seek to conduct pre-dissertation or dissertation research during one academic year semester.

The program funds current research projects of exceptional value that require sustained research activity in a given international or domestic location. Award recipients will contribute to the institution’s mission of discovering, communicating, and preserving knowledge. The fellowship award is in lieu of a student’s regular stipend and also includes travel funds.

Please note: This award, formerly called Global Mobility Research Fellowships, supported international research only, the award now has been expanded to include all possible research locations. The award is only offered in the fall and spring semesters.

Application Deadlines

  • For Travel in Spring 2024: October 2, 2023
  • For Travel in Fall 2024: March 22, 2024


  • Applicants must be Brown University doctoral students who will be in years two through six at the time of travel. (Please note that students beyond the sixth year at the time of the award are not eligible. This ineligibility begins at the start of the summer after the sixth year.)
  • Applicants must be active in a preliminary or dissertation research project, including but not limited to fieldwork, archival research, scientific experiments with international facilities or individual laboratories of collaborators.
  • Awardees will be required to meet policies for University-sponsored research travel. International travel requires additional policies. All students, regardless of travel destination, are required to register their travel plans in TravelSafe.


Priority will be given to students for whom other funding opportunities, including external funding opportunities, may not be available and for whom research activity may not be possible without the award. Priority will also be given to students outside the Division of Biology and Medicine.

Award Specifications and Conditions

Awards support doctoral-level research for one academic semester. The award relieves students of their duties related to a Teaching Assistantship, Research Assistantship, or Proctorship, and it enables a student to be in residence in a research location. The Graduate School covers the base pay of a student’s fellowship stipend and provide an additional $650 to assist with travel costs. Students may spend the additional travel funds on any reasonable and necessary costs of conducting research abroad, including round-trip air travel, visas, accommodations, and subsistence costs. Recipients maintain their eligibility for additional support of travel costs through other travel-related funds offered by the Graduate School.

Travel costs will be used to reimburse students for travel, including flights, trains, buses, and local transportation. These funds cannot be used for electronics, material costs, events, or any activities that do not comply with Brown Expense Reimbursement policy.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be considered and evaluated by a committee of faculty and administrators who will make award recommendations to the Dean of the Graduate School. Reviewers will consider the following criteria to evaluate proposals:

  1. the scholarly merit and intellectual significance of the proposed research, including impact on the applicant’s broader academic field of study; 
  2. the clarity of the proposed research questions and the feasibility of the work plan; and,
  3. the justification for research at the proposed site for an extended period of time and the evidence demonstrating prior or desired research activities at the proposed place

Students may be awarded only one Research Mobility Fellowship during their graduate studies at Brown. Applicants should make the case as to why the opportunity to spend extended time in a research location is essential to the successful completion of their research.

Application Requirements

Applicants are expected to submit the following information through UFunds (see Graduate School Distinctive Opportunities, Research Mobility Fellowships):

  1. Applicant and Proposal General Information: title of the proposal; 250-word abstract describing the proposed research project.
  2. Proposal narrative that summarizes and articulates the project’s significant contribution in the graduate student’s field of study. The proposal should include the goals of the research project and why research for an extended period at the location is necessary. The proposal should indicate why research must take place in a specific geographic location for a sustained period of time, and applicants should include a work plan for completing the research activities. The applicant should describe the project in terms that do not require reviewers to be experts in the area of proposed research. The proposal should also address the plan’s financial feasibility (which may encompass other sources of support). The proposal narrative should not exceed 4 pages.
  3. Curriculum Vitae (upload directly to UFunds application)
  4. Letter or email of invitation or local affiliation (if not in English, please provide translation) . Letters can be submitted to up to one week after the deadline and added to the application. If more time is needed, then please let us know. The local host does not provide financial support. The host confirms that they can be a resource to a student–assisting with connections to local academic communities, networks, or resources–and can attest to the value and feasibility of proposed research in the area. A host can be an institution, an organization, or a local expert with knowledge of the research area.
  5. Support. Applicants are asked to add the following recommenders in their application: 1. Faculty Advisor, who will receive a UFunds notification requesting a Message of Endorsement. 2. Director of Graduate Study, who will be asked to affirm program support.
  6. Travel Approval and Safety Plan. All applicants are required to register their travel plans in TravelSafe. Depending on the destination, graduate students may need to complete a Safety Plan via TravelSafe and obtain permission from the Global Travel Risk Assessment Committee (GTRAC) prior to making travel arrangements. If the plan is not approved, the Fellowship cannot be awarded. Transactions with comprehensively embargoed countries, including certain academic collaborations and the exchange of research materials, may require authorization from the government. If a student is considering collaborating with or traveling to an embargoed country, the student must contact Brown's Export Control Team well in advance. Check Brown’s current travel guidelines and requirements on the International Travel Risk Management webpage. 

Reporting Requirements

The grantee must submit a final report to the Graduate School within one month of returning from the research trip, summarizing the work accomplished during the fellowship period (1-2 pages in PDF form) and a brief abstract (maximum 200 words). Students should disclose any use of text-generating software in their submission. All materials should be in a single PDF.


    Please contact Byrd McDaniel, Assistant Director of Student Development or

    Additional Information

    Global Mobility Research Fellowships provide doctoral students with the stipend support and the flexibility to pursue dissertation or pre-dissertation research out of residence.