Through the generous support of Linda Assante Carrasco ’90 and Marc A. Carrasco, Lafayette is piloting a program that supports independent travel for honors thesis research. This initiative grew out of Linda and Marc's vision to encourage and support rigorous and impactful global engagement by students.

In line with Linda and Marc’s vision, priority will be placed on those proposed projects for which the research will clearly benefit from the student traveling and the research addresses current developmental, economic, educational, environmental, political, social, or other related issues at the destination. Preference will be given to those projects that involve international travel and direct engagement with the local population or agencies, institutions, or other stakeholders. Proposals for domestic travel funding should contain a global focus. Faculty travel to accompany the student may also be supported depending on the destination, the nature of the project, and the availability of funds. The time and length of the travel are open and determined by the research goals.

Proposal Process

Proposals will be considered on a rolling basis as long as funding is available. In order to allow for summer travel, full consideration will be given to proposals submitted by May 1 prior to the academic year in which the student will work on the honors thesis. The second round deadline is September 1. Proposals submitted later (for instance, in the fall for January travel) will be considered depending on funding availability but should be submitted no later than November 1. 

Proposals should be submitted through the IOCE Portal at least three months before the intended start date of travel, if possible. All proposals will be reviewed by the Associate Dean of the Curriculum in collaboration with the Off-Campus Studies Committee. The following information should be included in the proposal:

  • Name of the student and title of the honors thesis project
  • A description of the honors thesis project and of the anticipated benefits that conducting research abroad would bring to the project (approx. 300-500 words). The description should bring out clearly how the research addresses current developmental, educational, environmental, political, social, or other related issues as well as how the student plans to engage with the local population or agencies, institutions, or other stakeholders.
  • A research plan outlining the goals and a timeline for the research travel component
  • A brief statement of the student’s familiarity with the destination, culture, and language (if applicable); this may be addressed separately or incorporated into the project description
  • A statement of approval by the designated main advisor for the honors thesis, as well as the names and signatures of the additional faculty members anticipated to be on the thesis committee. If obtaining a physical signature is not possible, an email from the faculty members sent directly to the Director of International and Off-Campus Education will suffice.
  • If funding is also sought for faculty travel, a separate detailed rationale, including an anticipated budget, from the faculty member explaining why the student should be accompanied
  • A proposed budget using the IOCE budget template.
  • Depending on the destination where the research will be conducted, the proposal may be subject to further review and approval by the International Risk Committee; applicants will be notified by IOCE if this is the case.

If a proposal for travel and research support is granted, further instructions about travel registration, stipend disbursement, and academic reporting requirements after travel will be sent to the student and associated faculty members. 

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility:

  • Applicants must be in good academic and disciplinary standing
  • Applicants must be working on an honors thesis

Recipient Expectations and Requirements

  • Awardees will be required to complete a pre-departure process through IOCE at least two weeks prior to departure for the program.
  • While traveling, recipients will be required to check in periodically with the Director of International and Off-Campus Education.
  • Within 30 days of return, recipients are expected to submit a statement summarizing their research activities to the Director of International and Off-Campus Education
  • When the final thesis is submitted, recipients should share a copy with the Director of International and Off-Campus Education who may share it with other relevant campus offices.

Whom should I contact with questions?

Questions about the application process, creating a budget, and travel advice can be sent to Rochelle Keesler at keeslerr@lafeytte.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

When would an honors thesis student typically conduct research through travel?

This fund supports independent travel to support honors thesis research. Students should plan their travel so that it doesn’t interfere with courses. Past participants have conducted research through travel during the summer before their senior year and during the winter interim of their senior year. Students could also potentially travel over the Lafayette fall break, Thanksgiving break, or even spring break if that aligns with their thesis writing timeline.

How long should research travel be?

There is no requirement for duration of travel. Supported projects have been between 5-10 days. However, travel duration could be shorter or longer based on the student researcher’s needs.

How many stipends are awarded and how much are the stipends?

There is no set number of stipends nor set amounts for stipends. Awards will depend on projects selected for support and their requested funding needs.

Does this fund provide support for semester or interim study abroad programs?

No, this fund supports independent travel that is not connected to a credit-bearing study abroad program. However, a student may develop a research project that relates to their abroad experience.

What if I’m not ready to apply by the May 1 priority deadline?

Students who are seeking summer funding must meet the May 1 deadline. Students who plan to travel over fall break, Thanksgiving, winter break, or spring break may apply by May 1 for priority consideration OR they may submit their applications for the second deadline of September 1. If funding remains after both application deadlines, we will continue to consider applications for funding on a rolling basis.

Is this funding open to all majors?

We invite applications from all thesis projects that align with the goals for the Assante Carrasco Fund (see above for details) regardless of major.

Can students apply to travel together?

While the structure of the fund supports independent travel related to honors thesis research, if two or more students happen to be working on theses that would benefit from travel to the same location, they could potentially coordinate their travel. However, they should submit individual applications for funding.

Whom should I contact with other questions?

If you have further questions, you can contact Rochelle Keesler at keeslerr@lafeytte.edu.