Program Funding


The resources listed below are program-specific resources and are available to students and accepted applicants within the Cultural Studies and Policy Studies programs. For more general funding information, please visit our IAS Graduate Funding Resources page.

Tuition Assistance

IAS Graduate Programs may be in a position to provide limited funding to Cultural Studies and Policy Studies graduate students on the basis of academic merit. This funding is disbursed in the form of a tuition reduction or waiver. Recipients are typically first-year students and must be Washington State residents. Award amounts vary and cannot exceed the total amount due on a tuition account in any given quarter. Applicants will be asked if they wish to be considered for funding on application, and the Admissions Committee will review the applications to determine award recipients. Recipients will be notified of their awards by the IAS Graduate Office on admission.

Students whose continuation in the program is threatened by unanticipated circumstances may also be eligible for retention funding. Please submit an Application for Reserve Funding (.doc) to the IAS Graduate Office. These funds are available only to Washington State residents who are currently enrolled and in good standing.

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Graduate Staff Assistants

The IAS Graduate Office staff includes two Graduate Staff Assistants (GSAs) who are responsible for a variety of activities that contribute to the successful operation of the graduate programs. These activities involve spoken and written communication, web and print media, event planning, and travel to local recruiting fairs. The GSAs work closely with the IAS Graduate Office staff. The position lasts for one academic year at 20 hours per week and requires occasional evening and weekend work, a Washington State driver's license, and full-time enrollment. Benefits include a full tuition waiver for one academic year, a monthly stipend, and medical/dental insurance. Cultural Studies and Policy Studies students are eligible to apply. Preference is given to second-year Cultural Studies and Policy Studies students, and students are invited to apply during Spring Quarter to serve the following academic year.

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Community-Engagement Funds

The IAS Graduate Programs make these funds available to support graduate students in undertaking public-facing research, education, and engagement activities in partnership with a community organization or site and to develop partnerships that advance the principles and practices of diversity in concert with the IAS Mission, Values, and Goals, and the IAS Diversity Plan.

Examples include the design and facilitation of a community-based workshop, course, reading group, or performance.  The project should be undertaken under academic supervision, as part of a capstone, practicum, thesis, or directed research project, and should include a plan for assessing the outcomes, impact, and process of the collaboration/engagement.

Please submit your application for review at least one month before the start of the proposed project. Successful applications will:

  • Demonstrate the feasibility of the project and activities;
  • Demonstrate good fit between the project and the community partner/site, and/or mutual benefits to both the student and the communities/partners engaged;
  • Engage stakeholders in assessment and reflection; and
  • Advance the principles and practices of diversity in concert with the IAS Mission, Values, and Goals, and the IAS Diversity Plan

These funds are available to currently enrolled IAS graduate students who have completed their first academic year of coursework.  Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis and students will be notified within four weeks of submission. 

Current students can electronically submit an Application for Community-Engagement Funds: Cultural Studies; Policy Studies.

Read about Cultural Studies 2015 alum Nafasi Ferrell’s experience with community-engaged work for her capstone.

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Conference/Research Funding

IAS Conference/Research Funding

The School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (IAS) prides itself on developing the next generation of researchers. If you are interested in attending a conference or have travel or participation costs related to your capstone and/or portfolio work, read below for programmatic support as you explore lines of inquiry within the academic community.

The IAS Graduate Office has limited funding to support Cultural Studies and Policy Studies and students participating in relevant conferences and research associated with their capstone or portfolio. This funding is disbursed in the form of a reimbursement check 4 – 8 weeks after receipts are submitted.

Students are eligible to receive up to $400 in conference funding per academic year. Applicants must be matriculated current students and enrolled at least half-time (five credits) in the Cultural Studies or Policy Studies programs at the time of the respective conference or research. Funding may only be used for conference registration, lodging, food & drink (not including alcohol), presentation supplies, and transportation. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Students may also be eligible for additional funding from the UW Graduate School Fund for Excellence and Innovation (see below). Students are only eligible for GSFEI funding if they are presenting at the respective conference, and it may only be used for transportation costs.

Current students can electronically submit an Application for Conference/Research Funding: Cultural Studies*; Policy Studies.

* Please note, Cultural Studies students must discuss potential conference attendance with their Portfolio Advisor before applying.

Graduate School Fund for Excellence and Innovation

The Graduate School Fund for Excellence and Innovation (GSFEI) provides funding assistance in support of graduate students, graduate faculty, academic and research programs, scholarly activities, and special initiatives that support and enhance graduate and undergraduate studies at the University of Washington. As a graduate student you may consider GSFEI to fund transportation costs (up to $300 for domestic travel and up to $500 for international travel) associated with presenting your scholarly work at a conference. Students from all IAS Graduate Programs are eligible to apply for travel funding from GSFEI. Be sure to check the link above for deadlines to apply for GSFEI funding. Individual awards are limited to one every other year.

IAS Graduate Programs department will make the travel funding request on your behalf. Once you have been accepted as a presenter or co-presenter at an academic conference, download and submit the Application for Conference/Research Funding (see above).

Please note, only one Application for Conference/Research Funding is necessary when applying for both IAS Conference Funding and the GSFEI.

Student Academic Enhancement Fund (SAEF) Award

UW Bothell students have the opportunity to apply for travel funds from the Student Academic Enhancement Fund (SAEF), established by the Services and Activities Fee Committee and administered by ASUWB. Awards of up to $1,500 are available to help fund students’ educational travel.

First priority is given to students who have been offered the opportunity to present a research paper or project at a professional conference and are endorsed by a UWB faculty member in his or her discipline. Second priority goes to students who wish to enhance their current leadership role on campus by attending a skills-building conference or workshop and are endorsed by the student organization advisor. Third priority is for students who wish to attend a conference or workshop in order to create or enhance a project or service that will directly benefit UWB students and are endorsed by a UWB faculty or staff member familiar with the project.

Additional Information: A complete application, including a letter of recommendation, must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the first day of the event. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. You may be contacted for clarification and may be asked to present your proposal to ASUWB.

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Reimbursement Policy

Be sure to review the University of Washington Travel Office's Policies and Procedures for information on arranging travel, paying for travel, transportation, per diem, conference registration, and more.

In order to receive reimbursement for conference or research travel, you must pay individually for your own expenses, including flights, lodging, meals, etc. Receipts submitted for reimbursement may only include expenses you incurred as an individual. If you wish to share lodging with another student, you are still required to submit a separate receipt verifying your individual payment. Many hotels will split the bill onto separate cards. If you wish to travel with another student, you must book and pay for flights or other transportation separately to ensure you have an acceptable receipt. Reimbursement will not exceed the approved funding amount and will only be made to the person whose credit card was charged and whose name is on the receipt. We provide per diem only for meals not provided by lodging or conference. You will be reimbursed for meals allowable once you have entered travel status (review here) and only with the submission of itemized receipts. Alcohol purchases will not be reimbursed. Please note that meals and lodging within 50 miles of Seattle are not eligible for reimbursement.

Upon return, please bring all original receipts to the IAS Graduate Office along with the IAS Travel Reimbursement Claim Form (.doc) to review with the Assistant Director of Graduate Programs. Once reviewed and approved by the IAS Grad Office it will proceed for approval and processing with the UWB Travel Office. Please allow 4-8 weeks for reimbursement.

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Click above for more general funding information.