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Travel, Research & Vacation Grants

Wolfson College’s Travel & Research and Vacation Project Grants support students who travel to complete a research or subject-related activity away from their studies in the University of Cambridge.

Travel in airport by Anete Lusina/Unsplash

Travel and Research Grants

Wolfson College offers Travel and Research Grants to assist students with the costs incurred in conducting research and/or presenting it at conferences.  These grants are intended to support necessary, subject-specific research.  Projects that are not directly related to a student’s research may be funded from the Wolfson College Vacation Project Grants below.


  • Both undergraduate and postgraduate students may apply for Travel and Research grants.
  • No grants will be awarded to students for activities to be undertaken after graduation or, in the case of postgraduate students, after the submission of their thesis.

Guidelines for Travel and Research Grants

  • An Undergraduate student may receive up to £400 in each year of full-time study for their B.A.
  • Students on one or two-year postgraduate courses (e.g. MPhil, LLM, MMus, MEd) may receive up to £400 in total during their course.
  • PhD students may receive up to £1200 in total.  They may request this amount to fund a single trip or in smaller amounts over the course of their first 3 years of full-time study or the first 6-years of part-time study.  Applications are not ordinarily accepted from PhD students who are no longer paying the University composition fee, but exceptions may occasionally be made in the 4th or 7th year, provided the student has not already received the full £1200 for which they are eligible.

What the Travel and Research Grants will support:

  • Travel, accommodation and registration fees to present a paper or a poster at an academic conference or to chair a session. 
  • Awards of up to £150 to cover the costs of attending a conference that is directly relevant to the student’s research interests, but at which the student is neither making a presentation nor chairing a session.
  • Travel and accommodation necessary for archival work, data collection, fieldwork or periods of necessary research in another University.
  • Costs to learn or improve language skills in order to sit mandatory exams, read essential literature or conduct interviews that are directly related to the student’s research.

What the Travel and Research Grants will not support:

  • Computer hardware, software licenses, purchase of books, reagents
  • General interest language courses or courses in academic English
  • Meals and other incidental costs while traveling for research
  • Expenses that could be covered by other sources, e.g. departmental or Faculty fieldwork budgets, doctoral training funds linked with particular studentship awards, etc.

Applications for Travel and Research grants are accepted on a rolling basis. All applications for activities in the 2018-2019 academic year must be received no later than 30 June 2019. The process for applying to these grants is described in the final section on this page.

Vacation Project Grants

Wolfson College offers Vacation Project Grants to support activities that are broadly educational, but that do not qualify for a Travel and Research Grant.


  • Both undergraduate and postgraduate students may apply for Vacation Project grants to fund activities during the termly vacations. PhD students may apply for a Vacation Project Grant during any period of annual leave agreed with their supervisor.
  • No grants will be awarded to students for activities to be undertaken after graduation or, in the case of postgraduate students, after the submission of their thesis. Students on one-year courses (e.g. MPhil or LLM) are only eligible to apply for Vacation Project Grants to cover activities during the Christmas or Easter vacations.

Guidelines for the Vacation Project Grant

  • A student may receive up to a total of £400 for vacation projects during the course of their studies at Wolfson. They may request this amount to fund a single project or apply for smaller amounts to fund several projects during their course of study.
  • Vacation Project Grants will only cover up to 50% of the costs of any project;  the student is responsible for raising the remainder from other sources.

A Vacation Project Grant might support:

  • Volunteer work for charities or non-profit community organisations
  • Unpaid or low-paid internships or laboratory research
  • Unpaid or low-paid projects in the arts (e.g. summer theatre)
  • Any project with a meaningful charitable, cultural or broadly educational purpose (e.g. participating in an archaeological dig, presenting a play at the Edinburgh Fringe)

A Vacation Project Grant will not support:

  • Holidays
  • General-interest travel


Application for the first round of Vacation Project Grants should be submitted by

  • 29 January for projects to be undertaken before the start of the Easter term
  • 14 May for projects to be undertaken over before the start of the Michaelmas term

General guidelines for applying for both Grants

Use the Travel/Research form (pdf, doc) for both the Travel & Research and the Vacation Project Grant applications. In the form you will be asked to provide:

  • A full realistic budget and include evidence of expenses (tickets, reservations, quotes, etc.) Remember that it is assumed the cheapest available transport and accommodation is chosen, and these grants will not cover expenses such as food and drink.
  • How much you have applied for and/or already secured from your department/faculty or other sources
  • How you plan to cover the remaining cost (if any)

In addition, you should also:

  • Explain why it is important and necessary to attend this conference or go on this trip, and how it fits into your studies.
  • Talk to your Tutor so that they may add a comment in support of your application (this may be done on the form or by email). 
  • Provide a reference from your Supervisor (for PhD students) or Director of Studies (for undergraduates) to support of your application. Write their name on the form and request they email their reference to the student finance officer, Liz Bland.


The University provides travel insurance for registered graduate and undergraduates of the University of Cambridge travelling on supervised departmental field trips outside the UK. Currently no charge is made for this cover. Registered postgraduate students and departments (in the case of field trips) are required to apply for cover using the appropriate application process