IRIS Graduate Student Summer Fieldwork Award


The purpose of these awards is to support graduate students at the UW-Madison planning to conduct a minimum of 6 weeks of summer fieldwork outside of the United States.


Any continuing graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison may apply for these awards.

Award Details:

These are one-time awards of $3,000 to be used in support of 6 or more weeks of summer fieldwork conducted outside the United States. Time abroad outside the summer months will be considered though applicants should address these circumstances in their statement and should have his/her advisor address them in their letter of recommendation as well.

Notes on awarding:

  • Due to a change in UW-Madison policy, awardees who have non-resident alien status will have taxes deducted from their award prior to payout.
  • Changing your proposed travel dates after receiving an offer is allowable. If, however, changing those travel dates reduces your time abroad, the award amount will be reduced proportionally.

Application Deadline:

Application deadline for the 2019 awards is Monday, February 18, 2019 by 4pm.

Letters of recommendation are due by the application deadline.

Application Procedure:

  • Submit an application packet as a single pdf to Your application packet should include the following:
  1. cover sheet clearly listing the following: your name; email address; department of study & current degree program; proposed destination; proposed departure and return dates; other sources of support received or applied for (for the proposed fieldwork); a brief statement of language competency (as appropriate); and the names, departmental affiliation, and email addresses of your two recommenders (see below);
  2. a project statement (750-word maximum), including how the proposed fieldwork fits your overall research plan and prior experience in the country/region;
  3. a copy of your UW-Madison student record or transcript and, if appropriate, graduate transcript/s for courses taken at other institutions.
  • Arrange for two (2) letters of recommendation, one of which must come from the applicant’s advisor. We recommend applicants contact their references before listing them in their applications. Letters of recommendation should be pdfs, on letterhead and signed, and sent directly to IRIS at


All awardees are required to submit a brief report at the conclusion of their time abroad. You can read the reports from previous award recipients below:

Please Note:

The application period for 2019 awards is now open. Deadline to submit an application is Monday, February 18, 2019 by 4pm.

Letters of recommendation must be received by this deadline as well.

Please address any questions to Mark Lilleleht at or 608.265.6070.

Important travel guidance: UW-Madison precludes student travel to locations under a US Department of State (DoS) Level 3 or 4 travel advisory. To read this policy and potentially request a waiver, see information under the “Travel Policies” and “Resources/FAQs” tabs on the website of the University International Travel Committee (UITC). To see if your desired destination is under a DoS Level 3 or 4 travel advisory, go to Questions regarding the UW-Madison travel policy should be directed to Ron Machoian, the UW-Madison ISSD, who can be contacted at, or at 608.890.2446. Students hoping to travel to a location currently under a DoS Level 3 or 4 travel advisory are allowed to apply for an IRIS Fieldwork Award but it is the responsibility of awardees to secure any necessary waivers via the UW-Madison’s international travel policy. Notice that the above information applies to your planned travel if any part of your itinerary takes you through an area that is under a DoS Level 3 or 4 travel advisory.