Global Programs Faculty Travel Grants

Global Programs maintains a fund to support faculty travel related to developing global awareness, global literacy and global competency among our undergraduate population. The Faculty Travel Grant (up to a maximum of $3,000 per project) supports faculty members traveling abroad for a short-term stay (1-4 weeks).

Please note that the last award cycle under the current Faculty Travel Grant criteria will be September 30, 2020 by 5 pm (EDT) for travel to commence the following year on or after January 1, 2021 or begin no later than August 23, 2021.

Please note that only one application per project will be considered, regardless of the number of participants/applicants.

COMING SOON FOR THE FACULTY TRAVEL GRANT 2021 DEADLINE:  New Criteria, New Awards, New Process.  More details coming in late summer 2020.  Please check back with us then.

Travel for the following purposes may be funded:

  • To develop collaborative relationships that will be used in future residential or distance courses that will have significant interaction with international faculty and students at the partner institution. For example, parallel courses jointly taught by faculty at both institutions; project-based courses with student teams of combined Penn State and international students.
  • To plan and set up a faculty-led international experience (i.e. exploratory trips).
  • To lead students on a faculty-led international experience.

Applications for participation in conferences, seminars, symposia, organized training, workshops, research, sabbatical-related activities, etc. will not be considered.

Grants may be awarded for either a new course or an established course that adds a new international component. The travel must relate to a course that will be offered within the next two years.


The proposal must include:

  1. A project overview.
  2. Learning objectives tied specifically to the intended international activity.
  3. An explanation of how the learning objectives will be achieved and how they will be assessed.
  4. A clear and compelling argument for why the international activity is critical for accomplishing the learning objectives.
  5. For courses that involve student travel, explain the choice of location. What makes this the best location for accomplishing the learning objectives?
  6. For exploratory trip funding, applicants are asked to propose a tentative budget for the actual future program; this will allow the review committee to evaluate whether or not the eventual program (if launched) would be marketable at a compelling price point.
  7. For courses that involve service learning or community engagement, explain the process used to engage the community in advance to determine what student activities and projects are appropriate and how they have been prioritized. Explain how the activities will benefit the community. For projects involving any research, explain how the research results will be communicated back to the community.
  8. For travel support to lead students on an international experience, explain why the travel support is necessary and how the course will run in future without this additional support.
  9. A detailed budget and itinerary.
  10. A letter of support from an academic unit head (Department, College, or Campus). It is expected that proposals should be strongly tied to the unit’s strategic priorities, and that at least partial matching funds will be available. If no matching funds are available, the letter of support should explain why this is the case. Faculty or academic unit heads may submit letters of support in PDF format through the Faculty Travel Grant Letter of Support portal.

Evaluation Criteria:

The strongest weight will be placed on:

  • How well the proposal describes the learning objectives and how they will be accomplished and assessed.
  • The strength of the case made for why this particular international experience is critical for accomplishing those objectives.
  • Courses with an appropriate balance of academic and cultural content.
  • Courses with academic or programmatic strengths that are synergistic with education abroad, such as a program meeting a General Education requirement as an inter-domain or “linked” course.
  • For service learning projects, the description of the ethical considerations employed in planning community engagement- see The Forum on Education Abroad, Code of Ethics

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Involve partners or student travel outside of Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand (unless the project directly involves Penn State’s strategic partners in the region: University of Freiburg, University of Split, Monash University).
  • More explicitly tie the program proposal to a university, campus, or departmental strategic objective.
  • Are focused on disciplines or student populations under-represented in education abroad activities.
  • Are tied directly to the thematic priorities identified in the current University Strategic Plan.


Faculty Travel Grants are awarded twice annually, with applications due by 5 pm (prevailing Eastern Time) on the following dates:

  • September 30 by 5 pm (EDT) for travel to commence the following year on or after January 1, or begin no later than August 23 of that year.
  • February 20 by 5 pm (EST) for travel to commence on or after August 24, or begin no later than December 31 of that year.
  • If the deadline falls on a weekend, applications will be accepted until the following Monday at 5 pm.

Early submission of applications is encouraged. Faculty who are applying for funding to travel with students should apply sufficiently in advance to ensure that an accurate program budget can be provided to potential students during recruitment activities.

Applications for travel to occur over spring break must be submitted in September to ensure funds distribution prior to travel. Travel Grants will not be awarded retroactively (i.e. for travel that has already occurred at the time of the award), regardless of when the application was submitted.

COMING SOON FOR THE FACULTY TRAVEL GRANT 2021 DEADLINE:  New Criteria, New Awards, New Process.  More details coming in late summer 2020.  Please check back with us then.

Information for Recipients:

  • Funds will be transferred to the University Finance Officer for your college/campus within two (2) weeks after award notification. Recipients should contact their University FO to access the funds.
  • Faculty must notify Global Programs if the trip must be postponed or cancelled.
  • All international travel funded by a Global Programs travel grant must comply with all applicable Penn State travel policies. The award of a travel grant does not constitute approval of the proposed trip or eliminate the requirement that the proposed international travel comply with all University travel policies. - see Penn State Corporate Controller, Countries Considered "Dangerous"
  • Global Programs would like to remind all faculty members that they must register their travel with the Penn State Travel Safety Network.
  • Travel to countries/areas identified by Penn State as high-risk areas must be reviewed and approved in advance.

Application Form:

Faculty Travel Grant Application

To review sample Faculty Travel Grant application questions: Word or PDF

Reporting Requirements:

Faculty Travel Grant recipients are required to submit a trip report within two (2) months of the trip, assessing how successful the trip was in achieving your objectives for planning/exploratory grants or the student learning outcomes for a faculty-led program. Please follow the link below to submit your report. Failure to submit the trip report may affect future grant applications.

Post-trip Report:

Faculty Post-trip Report


Questions can be directed to