Student Travel Fellowship Program

***Due to travel warnings and restrictions put in place by the U.S., other countries, and at CalArts, due to COVID-19, the Office of Student Experience and the Patty Disney Center for Life & Work have decided to pause on awarding funds for any student travel through November 1st, 2021. Please check back after that date for updates. ***

Students may apply for a grant, individually ($1000-$2000) or as a collaborative group ($2000-$4000), to fund opportunities abroad that enhance scholarly and creative pursuits. This includes travel to research collections, conferences, performances, or residency programs abroad, or to experience specialized training, workshops, and spaces to enhance skills and perspective. Travel funds can include airfare, transportation, lodging, and any entrance or registration fees. 

Funds must be used during CalArts Winter Break / Winter Session*, Spring Break, or during Summer Break.

*It may be necessary to have permission to travel during Winter Session through the student’s Dean or Program Director.


To be eligible to apply, applicants for both individual and/or collaborative grant funds must be current graduate or undergraduate students enrolled in a program at CalArts. Students may participate in the Fellowship the summer after they graduate.

The Student Travel Fellowship Program offers two categories of grants: individual grants and collaborative grants for applications from 2 or more students.

The maximum amount awarded for an individual grant is $2,000.
The maximum amount awarded for a collaborative grant is $4,000 per group.

Application for a grant does not automatically result in an award, and the amount of an award may be less than the amount requested.

Eligible individuals may apply for ONE travel grant in any given year.

Students are not eligible to receive the The Center for Life and Work Student Travel Fellowship
Program if any of the following conditions are true:

  • They are on a leave of absence at the time of applying or at the time of travel.
  • They are not in good academic standing.
  • They are not in good conduct standing with the Institute.
  • They are in their BFA1 year.


Projects may be disciplinary or interdisciplinary in their focus and must have as their main focus the production of original research-based artistic, cultural or scholarly products or programs that contribute to students’ academic/professional development outside of activities for which academic credit is awarded.

The development or acquisition of academic/professional skills (e.g., through participation in workshops or training outside of activities for which academic credit is awarded) that contribute to the project is highly recommended. A Center for Life and Work Student Travel Fellowship Program may be used for a wide variety of purposes, including, but not limited to, studio projects, travel related to research or creative work, collaborations, access to materials or labs outside the Institute, and meetings, events and materials related to the dissemination of project work.

Proposals focusing on community-based engagement abroad are strongly encouraged. Thesis students may apply for grants related to unique and particular dimensions of their research.

Grants will be allocated based on total available funding. The Center for Life and Work Student Travel Fellowship Program releases grant monies depending on the structure and circumstances surrounding each project.

Application Process

The Center for Life and Work Student Travel Fellowship Program application should be completed clearly and concisely. All materials relevant to the proposals, in conjunction with the relevant forms, should be submitted electronically to the Patty Disney Center for Life and Work at

The Center for Life and Work Student Travel Fellowship Program application entails the following actions:

  • Complete the General Information Form.
  • Submit a narrative of the project—up to 1,500 words—that provides sufficient detail about the scope of the project to enable the Student Travel Program Awards Committee to understand and evaluate it. Be sure to include:
    • a brief overview of the project that may be used on the The Center for Life and Work website or any other communications vehicles in the future;
    • a statement of goals;
    • details about the means by which your goals will be achieved;
    • an overview of how this project contributes to your academic/professional development;
    • the criteria you will use to judge the success of your project;
    • the mechanisms you will use to share your work with the CalArts community (note that existing structures at CalArts, such as thesis exhibitions, are not sufficient).
  • Submit a proposed project work plan and timetable.
  • Complete a Budget Overview Form.
  • Submit a detailed budget breakdown providing specific details for each relevant category of the Budget Overview Form including quotes, if applicable.
  •  Submit a resume or CV (not to exceed two pages for each applicant; a resume or CV is needed for all applicants on a collaborative team). 

Please note: you can submit up to five (5) pages or equivalent of supplementary material. Also, please note that the committee reserves the right to decline/reject a proposal that is incomplete in any way, or that is replete with grammatical errors.

Student Travel Fellowship Program Awards Committee

The Student Travel Fellowship Program Awards Committee is appointed by the Patty Disney Center for Life and Work. The Center for Life and Work serves as primary administrator for the application process and awarding of the funds. The Student Travel Fellowship Program Awards Committee is a committee composed of administrative staff representing the Office of Student Experience, the Patty Disney Center for Life and Work, and a student or alum. If necessary the committee may seek subject matter experts to evaluate components of proposed projects, such as faculty or industry partners.

The Patty Disney Center for Life and Work will approve the final awards and will notify all applicants of funding decisions through an official award letter. This letter must be signed by both parties (applicant and the Center for Life and Work) before travel, without which no projects will be funded.

The committee will evaluate proposals based on:

  1. The project’s potential to enhance academic / professional development of the applicant, as well as the aesthetic, cultural or scholarly contribution of the project to the applicant’s field, the Institute and the community at large.
  2. The articulation of achievable goals, along with a realistic budget, timeline and work plan.

The committee can: 

  1. Approve both the project and the budget. Project will be ‘Approved.’
  2. Approve the project, but reduce the budget. Project will be ‘Approved with partial funding.’ 
  3. Approve the overall concept but share stipulations or corrections that must be addressed by the applicant(s) in order for the proposal to be approved. Project will be ‘Approved with stipulations.’ Please note: when a proposal is approved with stipulations, applicant(s) have 14 days and ONE opportunity to address the stipulations or corrections and send their final application to the committee. The committee will then determine if the proposal is approved (fully or with partial funding) or not approved. 
  4. Not approve the project. Project will be ‘Not approved.’

The committee will respond to applicants within two weeks of the application deadline.

Funding Process

Once a counter-signed Student Travel Fellowship Program Award Letter has been received by the Patty Disney Center for Life and Work, a representative from Student Experience can begin the process of reimbursing students for expenses approved by the Committee through reimbursement.


Pre-Travel Requirements

Students awarded Student Travel Fellowship Program funding are required to attend the Fellowship Pre-Travel Workshop, hosted by the Patty Disney Center for Life and Work staff. This will be scheduled in the month ahead of travel.

Reporting Process

The funds awarded must be used in support of the project that was approved. Projects must be completed, and a final report or presentation must be submitted to the Center for Life and Work staff within three weeks of returning from travel.

Final Report or presentation includes:

  • Project description
  • Project Goals
  • Key Takeaways
  • Connections to thesis, art form, industry or coursework
Students awarded a Patty Disney Center for Life and Work Student Travel Fellowship Program grant will present their final reports or presentations to the cohort of grantees, the Student Travel Fellowship Program Awards Committee, and other members of the CalArts community in an on-campus event in the spring for Winter travelers and Fall 2020 for Spring and Summer travelers.

Stuent Travel Fellowship Brochure Final637167240036656817