International Studies Fund

International Studies Fund (ISF)

Deadline is March 15.

(In the event a deadline falls on a weekend or a university holiday, the deadline will be the next work day.)

The International Studies Fund (ISF) is intended to help students at the University of Pittsburgh conduct research on international issues or in international settings. “International” is defined as relating to another country or culture, comparative analysis covering more than one country or culture, studies of international relations or of transnational activities, or studies which examine topics related to global issues.

Important: ISF grants may not be used for tuition, language study, internships and other non-research related expenses. Conference, workshop or symposium travel is not eligible for funding under the ISF program.

See below for application form and procedure.


Full-time graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Pittsburgh from all Schools and Campuses are eligible to submit a proposal, including international degree-seeking students. Visiting, non-degree, and post-doctoral students are not eligible to apply.

Awardees must be enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh when applying and when using the award.

Only one International Studies Fund award per student and fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) is allowed.

Evaluation Criteria

The ISF selection committee uses the following criteria in evaluating proposals:

  • Is this an original and important project?
  • Does the proposal include sufficient information about the project?
  • Is the information clearly presented and understandable to non-specialists?
  • Are the activities proposed appropriate to the overall project?
  • Will the project lead to or conclude a larger overall agenda?
  • Is the proposed budget reasonable for the activities proposed?

Amount of Grant

The maximum grant amount is $1,000. Because of the limited availability of funds, smaller requests may be more likely to be funded. Grants awarded must be used by June 30 of the next calendar year.

Allowable Expenses

  • Ground and air transportation to and from research site.
  • Lodging and meal expenses while conducting research.
  • Copy and other duplication costs.
  • Books and subscriptions, if justifiably necessary for the research project.
  • Foreign language tutoring or translation if justifiably necessary for research.
  • Visa and immunization expenses.

Non-allowable Expenses

  • Travel expenses for individuals other than the applicant.
  • Equipment.
  • Membership fees.
  • Tuition or course fees.
  • Travel and living expenses for non-research related activities

Grantee Obligations

  • All research involving interventions or interactions with individuals or the collection of identifiable private information concerning living individuals requires prospective Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. Grantees are responsible for obtaining IRB approval when required, and must provide documentation of IRB approval before a grant can be awarded. For further information, check the IRB web site at If IRB approval cannot be obtained prior to the ISF deadline due to circumstances outside the applicant’s control, a written explanation with expected approval date must be attached to the application.
  • Grantees are required to submit a final report explaining the use of the funds and the outcomes of the supported activity no later than one month after the activity is completed. Failure to submit a final report will disqualify the ISF recipient from future ISF competitions.

Application Procedure

UCIS is adopting an online application process for the International Studies Fund. If you downloaded the one of the old PDF application forms, you may still complete that application and send it, with supporting materials (as instructed on the form) to  As of 2/9/2015, any new applications should use the new online system. The first time that you access one of the following application forms, you will be directed to a welcome screen at our partner, and invited to create a new user account.  After completing this simple process, you will be shown the application form.

Please note: This application requires that you upload multiple pieces of supporting documentation, notably the ISF Budget Spreadsheet,
evidence of Institutional Review Board clearance, and an 1100-word (maximum) proposal narrative.  Preparing those documents in advance will likely simplify the application process for you.  You will be able to save your application mid-stream and then return to it before final submission.

ISF Application Form

Applications will be reviewed by committee. Awardees will be notified approximately three weeks after the deadline.


March 15, annually.


For questions, e-mail Belkys Torres at