The College

Research at Brown Grants

Research at Brown (RAB) grants support student-initiated research projects and travel to present their research at conferences. Students may submit proposals for up to $500 of funding at any time. Applications are considered on a rolling basis.

Funding Cycle

The Research at Brown (RAB) program encourages students to continue working on research in an on-going way. Therefore, proposals that build on work previously supported through the RAB grant or an UTRA award will be considered for additional funding provided the "new" proposal meets the RAB selection and post-award criteria.

The RAB budget is divided into spring and fall allocations. When each semester’s allocations are spent, new applications cannot be considered until the next funding cycle. Students are therefore encouraged to submit proposals as early as possible. RAB applications are considered ready for review when both the student’s application and the faculty mentor’s letter of recommendation have been submitted.

We recommend that students submit their applications at least 4-6 weeks prior to when the funding is needed. This will allow adequate time for the payment to be processed and disbursed through the pay periods set by the Controller’s Office if the application is recommended for funding. Dean Oludurotimi Adetunji oversees the RAB Grant. Queries about the application can be directed to

RAB Selection and Post-award Criteria

The quality and clarity of the project description and faculty endorsement letter are vital to a successful RAB application. Proposals requesting travel funds must clearly describe the anticipated value that presenting a student paper at a conference contributes to the advancement of a research project. The potential impact of a project to the applicant’s academic development, as well as the feasibility of the project, is also considered during the review process.

Incomplete RAB applications will not be considered. We also ask that the student write a brief post-award reflective summary that addresses how the support from the RAB grant has shaped their academic progress at Brown.

Please note: only letters of recommendation from Brown faculty members can be accepted.

  1. Materials needed for a research project that are not available to the student through laboratories or facilities at Brown. For example, students have needed supplies to conduct a specific experiment, but the laboratory in which they were working did not have the supplies and did not have a budget to purchase them.
  2. Travel to a laboratory, observatory, or other research centers when materials or data are not available at Brown or through interlibrary loan.
  3. Funding for materials related to a thesis, when the department does not have the materials or cannot pay for them.
  4. Travel to conferences to present papers and/or posters. Travel expenses, registration fees, and limited per diem expenses may be reimbursed.

RAB funding is not available for the following:

  1. Salary support for a student. (See UTRA for salary support for research.) Note: Students at Brown (as at most schools) cannot earn both course credit and wages or stipends for the same research hours.
  2. Reimbursement for expenses already incurred. Support is only for research planned or in progress.
  3. Purchase of computers, hard-drives, or servers.
  4. Expensive travel and accommodations when less expensive options are available.
  5. Purchase of expensive equipment items such as DV cameras, editors, and video projectors. If demand for such items exists, we will purchase one of each for students to share.