these people eating fancy cheese and talking about nerdy stuff could be you!

How to apply for conference funding (also, hello again!)

How do I get funding to go to a conference?

So you found a cool conference you want to go to! Conferences are great for you present research & meet people doing work that you want to be part of. But how do you actually get money from Brown to go to one? I get this question a lot in advising hours, so thought I’d list out resources here.

First, what kind of conference is it? If it’s a community, identity, and activity related conference, think about applying through a Category II club to get funding through SAO.


If it’s an academic conference and you are presenting research, then here’s where to apply:

  1. Research @ Brownapply through UFUNDS for up to $400 in conference travel funding! Talk to Dean Adetunji before you submit your app, and make sure to get a faculty to write something in support of you going. RAB is rolling, so you should try to get it in as soon as possible
  2. Edward Giuliano Fellowship in the Swearer Center: also through UFUNDS, has three committee meetings throughout the year and is rolling, so keep track of the deadlines!
  3. The Pembroke Center has funds related to people writing theses or doing community work related to women and gender. If that applies to you, get those funds! Due October 4th.
  4. If you are part of a fellowship program like the Royce Fellowship, Cogut Undergraduate Fellowship, or the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, then you can request extra funding to attend a conference.
  5. Talk to your faculty advisor about if they could use their supplemental research funds to support your conference travel
  6. Talk to your department to see if they have supplemental funding to support you.
  7. Low-income students should talk to Dean Elie about  co-curricular funding set aside for y’all within the Dean of the College.
  8. See if the conference association itself has travel grants to support undergraduates, graduate students, and community members.


Here’s the application materials that you’ll need, and strategies to approach them:

  1. An abstract of your research AND/OR a written statement expressing the stakes of your research and the importance of this conference to your academic trajectory at Brown. This is a vital skill in research: knowing to translate your work to different audiences and explaining why they should care and support you. Ask a friend who’s not in your concentration to read over your abstract and see if it makes sense to them.
  2. A proposed budget, including travel, housing, food, and conference registration fees. Don’t underestimate the costs, especially because travel prices can change! Better to propose a budget that’s slightly over the actual cost than under.
  3. A letter of support from your faculty advisor. This is not mandatory, but is strongly encouraged.

Another overall strategy is to use a patchwork approach: apply widely, and if one pocket of funding (i.e. Research @Brown) doesn’t give you quite enough, reach out to another one (your academic department, your advisor) to fill in the gaps.


Other questions:

Do I have to be a researcher/presenter in order to get Brown funding?

It’s strongly encouraged, and I’m pretty sure Research @ Brown and other funding pockets won’t consider you if you aren’t presenting research. However, “presenting” is a flexible term! I missed a deadline to apply to be an official panelist at a conference in Spring 2017, but talked to the conference organizers and was able to present about a semester UTRA experience within a broader community forum. That counts as a research presentation, and I got funding for it.

For more specific questions, come to CRC FIRE open hours: Mondays 7-9pm in the FLi Center, Thursdays 1-4pm in the CRC & Fridays 10-1pm in the CRC. 


FIRE Guide For Undocumented Students

The Undocumented Student Resource Guide is a guide of fellowships, internships, funding, and research opportunities open to undocumented students and students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.  These opportunities are both Brown-specific and unrelated to Brown and include opportunities for graduate school preparation and funding, special projects, public service, law, government, health, medicine, and general resources.

The list is not extensive (i.e. if there is an opportunity at Brown that is not listed on this sheet, it does not mean that it is not open to undocumented/DACA students). Although this guide was created to make resources more accessible to undocumented and DACA students, it can also be used for people with other legal statuses and work permits. This guide will be continually updated.

For a paper copy, please visit the Curricular Resource Center, the First-Generation Low-Income Student Center, or the CareerLAB.




Student Spotlight – Maryori Conde


Name: Maryori Conde

Class Year: 2018

Concentration: Ethnic Studies

Maryori  has interned at American Public Media, Breakthrough Providence, and with the AFSCME Union Scholars Program. Read on to learn more about how her desire for social change led her to pursue a career in teaching.

What kind of research experiences, internships, or fellowships have you been involved with during college?

During the summer, I have had internships that fall into different categories. My first internship was at American Public Media where I interned as a Financial Analyst and Office Clerk. I took this internship because it was way out of my comfort zone and I thought I should do it in order to learn communication and finance skills and I am happy I did. I learned how to use Excel and how much care and attention to detail the finance department has to have on a daily basis.

My second internship was at Breakthrough Providence where I was a Teaching Fellow. Breakthrough Providence is a non-profit organization that primarily serves academically motivated, first-generation, low-income students of color from the Providence area. As a summer teaching fellow, I co-taught a 15-student, heterogenous 7th grade English class. We created lesson plans that blended a social justice curriculum with an academic one. Our social justice curriculum taught issues related to the school-to-prison pipeline using the book Monster by Walter Dean Meyers as the primary class reading. I also taught an elective on Gender and Sexuality to the 8th graders, which was very impactful.

My last and most recent internship was being a Union Scholar for AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees). The program was sponsored through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, as well as the Harvard Labor and Worklife Program.  Through the program, I was able to learn how to be a labor organizer in Jacksonville, Florida, and rebuild a local of residential nurses that encompassed three hospitals. I had the opportunity to attend meetings with AFSCME international and state-wide organizers to report on the local and discuss different organizing methods for the future. This definitely helped change the way I saw organizing outside of a college setting.

How have these experiences shaped your goals and plans for the future?

My internship with Breakthrough furthered my passion and love for teaching and really cemented my desire to be a teacher in secondary elementary. My last internship with AFSCME showed me the importance of organizing around labor and how much diversity is needed within that field. I hope to be a teacher that is able to not only help my students succeed inside, but also outside the classroom. I hope to help their families and be an active member of their community.

What was your favorite part of or an interesting story about a research experience, internship, or fellowship you participated in?

My favorite part of each of the internships was that I was able to meet many different people of different backgrounds and hear their stories. It was great to be surrounded by people who were passionate about social justice and helping others. They were aware of their positionality through it all and how they were interacting with other folks and taught me how to do the same. I love them and feel like the people I worked for are mentors I learned so much from. They taught me how to care for myself and still be involved in activism.

Do you have any advice for students looking to potentially pursue opportunities similar to what you’ve pursued?

I did not pursue any research experiences, but I wish that I had. I didn’t believe in myself nor my ideas and felt that I would not be able to contribute as a professor to the academy in a meaningful way. Because of this, I steered away from those opportunities. My advice for students is to work everyday at believing yourself and your ideas. Talk to a professor about your ideas, meet with professors who are probably thinking about the same things, and they will definitely help you find the opportunities you need. If you are first-generation, low-income, these opportunities are still for you! Trust me, there are mad grants and scholarships out there that professors will push you to apply for if you want to do research.

If you don’t want to pursue research and want to do internships as I did, just look. Be comfortable with the uncomfortable. There are so many opportunities for student activists like the Dream Summer Fellowship at UCLA, the Union Scholars Program with AFSCME, and the Summer Activist Training. Don’t limit yourself if you are into activism and want to learn more. Also, if you want to be a teacher with a social justice focus, Breakthrough Providence was such an amazing resource. Would 100% recommend.

B.A. Rudolph Foundation Scholarships for Unpaid Internships

The B.A. Rudolph Foundation offers scholarships for women seeking unpaid internships in public service and the sciences, as well as a mentorship program and networking opportunities. These internships must take place in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

They are currently accepting applications for their Undergraduate Public Service Scholarship, which funds unpaid internships that are centered on public service, including government, nonprofit endeavors, and/or women’s rights. Applications are due April 11th, 2018.

The Graduate Public Service Scholarship supports female graduate students and those who have recently completed their graduate degree who are applying to or have secured an unpaid internship that focuses on public service.  Applications are due March 28th, 2018.

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Scholarship is intended for female undergraduate students preparing to enter a profession in the sciences who are applying to or have secured an unpaid or underpaid summer position (internship, fellowship, research assistantship) in a related field. Applications are due April 4, 2018.