Research Travel Grants

Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, a division of Purdue University Libraries, offers competitive Research Travel Grants for visiting scholars. The purpose of these grants is to support the research of scholars (faculty, students, and independent researchers) whose research cannot progress satisfactorily without consulting materials onsite. One or more grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded to individual scholars studying one or more subjects represented in Archives and Special Collections' collections.

Eligibility and Criteria

Anyone (faculty, students, and/or independent researchers) who wishes to use Purdue University Archives and Special Collections for onsite research may apply, regardless of his or her academic status. Intended to support research using the collections as a historical resource, the grants require the onsite use of at least one of the Archives and Special Collections' rare or unique collections. Subject areas strongly represented in archival and manuscript collections include the history of flight and space (Barron Hilton Flight and Space Exploration Archives); the history of women affiliated with Purdue University or the state of Indiana (Susan Bulkeley Butler Women’s Archives); the history of psychedelics for medicinal and healing purposes (Betsy Gordon Psychoactive Substances Research Collection); and the history of Purdue University, including papers of Purdue alumni (such as famed typographer and book designer Bruce Rogers, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Eugene Cernan, Jerry Ross, and Janice Voss, and noteworthy cartoonist John T. McCutcheon), Purdue faculty and staff (including motion studies expert Lillian Gilbreth, aviator Amelia Earhart, flying instructor and experimental test pilot Emilio Salazar, educator and diversity advocate Cornell Bell, and founding director of the Women’s Reserve of the Coast Guard (SPARS), Dorothy Stratton); as well as records of the University departments, reflecting the founding, growth and evolution of the land-grant university for the State of Indiana and its mission to provide education in the agricultural and mechanical arts (University Archives).

Rare book collections include the history of engineering, science, and transportation (Goss Library of the History of Engineering), the history of economics and political thought (Krannert Special Collection), the history of typography and book design (Bruce Rogers Collection), and books about Indiana history or written by Indiana authors. Preference will be given to applicants needing funds to travel from out of state or out of the country and who plan to publish or publicly disseminate the scholarly results of their research.

Funds may be used for business related expenses incurred by the researcher in association with his or her research, travel, and use of Archives and Special Collections facilities and collections as well as costs in making the research broadly available to the scholarly community. Grants are awarded to individual applicants, not to institutions, as awarded funds are meant to help offset the costs associated with visiting and utilizing the collection materials and not for institutional overhead. Only in exceptional cases would an individual be awarded more than one research travel grant per year. Criteria used to judge the applications will include how well the case is made that the proposed project will support the candidate’s research and that conducting this research requires travel to use the unique collections; the appropriateness of the budget; the plan for making the results of the research available to the public; and the feasibility of the project within time constraints. Proposals will be evaluated by a panel chaired by the Director of Purdue University Archives and Special Collections and composed of two or more additional archivists. Applications should specify at least one collection that the applicant plans to use in his or her research (to search for what collections are available, go to:

Application Process

Applicants are asked to provide:
  • Cover sheet containing the following information: name, rank/title, mailing address, email address, phone number, the title of the project, projected dates of travel, and the total amount of funding requested. Please note, when planning travel dates, that the hours for Purdue University Archives and Special Collections are weekdays, 10:00am-4:30pm. Archives and Special Collections is not open on weekends or evenings. Grants will be made for any amount up to the maximum amount allowed per grant ($2,000) (1 page)
  • Narrative description of the research project, including the research topic and an explanation of how onsite use of collections are essential to successful completion of the project. Specify which collections will be used (to search for what collections are available, go to:; the projected timeline, including approximate dates of travel; expected outcome(s) of the research, and how it will be made available (for example: publication of a book or journal article, thesis/dissertation, conference presentation, development of a course, etc.) (1-2 pages)
  • Budget itemizing activities and their estimated costs, with total amount requested (1 page). The following website should be used to estimate meals and incidentals: Average lodging costs for hotels within five miles of campus range from $120-$180 per night, depending on time of year and rooms fill up quickly during home football games (September-November).
  • CV or resume, including a list of relevant publications and presentations (3 pages maximum)
  • For student applicants, please include a letter of recommendation from an advisor, thesis director, professor, or mentor who is a good judge of the student's work (1-2 pages)
Please send all materials as email attachments to:, with “Research Travel Grants” in the subject line. Questions about the grants may be sent to the same address.

Reporting Requirements

A brief report or presentation on the research-related activities supported by the grant, and the significance to the research of the recipient, is required and must be submitted to the Director of Purdue University Archives and Special Collections within 1 year following receipt of grant funds. Each individual awarded a grant will be invited to give a presentation about his or her research either during the research visit or at a convenient date following the visit.


Awards will be in given in any amount of up to the maximum amount allowed per grant ($2,000). Grant funds will be provided to the award recipients upon completion of the site visit and use of the facility. The amount of awards and the continuation of the program is dependent upon available funding.


All applications must be submitted by email. Applications received following the deadline cannot be considered, but can be resubmitted for consideration during the following funding cycle.
Visit Date Ranges Application Deadline
Onsite visits between April 1 and October 31 January 17
Onsite visits between November 1 and March 31 July 7
Questions may be submitted to Stephanie Schmitz, Betsy Gordon Archivist for Psychoactive Substances Research at