Barlow Grant Opportunities

The Barlow Endowment for Study Abroad

David Barlow established the Barlow Endowment for Study Abroad to enhance study abroad for Bates students and faculty. Mr. Barlow ’79 studied in the United Kingdom and found his year abroad to be a powerful learning experience, both inside and outside the classroom. His generous gift to the college provides opportunities for Bates students to enrich their study abroad programs, to link them more closely with their academic program at Bates, and to share their experiences with the rest of the campus and community.

The endowment has four grant programs for students. Students can apply for these grants using the

or, if abroad, by sending an email with the same information along with their proposal.

1. Barlow Fellowships

These grants are designed for students with well defined academic plans, exceptional academic records, and study abroad plans directly related to their overall academic program at Bates. The goal is to recognize these accomplishments, to enhance the linkage between study on and off-campus, and to support extra activities abroad that complement the student’s overall plan of study. The activities abroad may be at the study abroad location or involve extra travel, either during or at the conclusion of their studies. The activities may include thesis research, other “extra” academic activities, or more informal activities, such as attending events, volunteering, or travel. To apply, students should work with their faculty advisor to develop their overall academic plan at Bates, determine which study abroad program best complements their on-campus plan, identify activities to undertake while abroad, and discuss potential classes after returning to Bates. If appropriate, applicants may identify potential thesis topics that build on the study abroad experience.

An example of a Barlow Fellow might be a classical and medieval studies major with an excellent academic record at Bates, studying on a program in Italy with Latin and other courses in classical studies, who seeks extra funds for travel to classical sites in Sicily and Greece at the conclusion of her program.

Typically, the Off-Campus Study Committee selects five “Barlow Fellows” each spring among students planning to study abroad on the Junior Year or Junior Semester Abroad program the following year. Each Fellow receives a $1,200 grant. Fellows are not eligible for the enrichment grants or the junior year thesis grants described below. Complete the Barlow Application Form and attach a letter of support from a faculty member.  A detailed list of anticipated expenditures is not required. The application deadline is Friday, March 18, 2016.

2. Enrichment Grants

As their name suggests, these grants are designed to enrich the experience of students on semester or year-long study abroad programs.  Enrichment Grants can be used for extra travel or for an enriching activity at the study abroad site.  While most of these grants fund extra travel, grants have also been used, for example, to purchase a trumpet to allow participation in an orchestra in Russia and supplies for a student to use for her volunteer work in an orphanage in Ecuador.  Up to $500 is available for one enrichment trip or activity that takes place prior to final exams.  Allowable expenses include food, low-cost lodging, budget travel, entry fees, conference expenses, and up to $100 for supplies or equipment.  Funds may not be used to pay the regular costs of study abroad, to purchase gifts, buy or rent automobiles, or for travel to countries included in a U.S. State Department Travel Warning.  Primarily recreational activities are not funded.

Students apply for enrichment grants after they have begun studying abroad when the scope of opportunities and costs of carrying them out are better known.  If the grant involves travel, it needs to be for one trip and submitted prior to the travel.  The grant application needs to describe the proposed activity, including the time period, location, and actual or estimated costs.  If flying, include your online reservation.  A maximum of four enrichment grants is awarded per country per semester with only one grant per student.

Grant applications are generally submitted as emails to Dean Sawyer (  Applications are reviewed periodically when the college is in session as long as funds remain.  The Off-Campus Study Committee may alter these procedures and deadlines if necessary in specific cases.  All decisions are final.

3. Thesis Research Grants

Grants of up to $1,200 are available to support senior thesis research in the student’s study abroad country.  The research can be undertaken during junior year while studying abroad, during the following summer, or during senior year.  Most students apply for the grants during their senior year and undertake their research then.

For junior year thesis grants, students apply after they have begun studying abroad and identified a potential thesis topic and have a better sense of its feasibility and research costs.  Students who study abroad in the fall may apply for junior year research funds upon their return to campus for use later in the year.  October 1 is the opening date for senior year grants with applications welcome up to February break.  Whatever the timing, applications require consultation with, and the support of, the thesis advisor documented in a letter from the faculty member.  This consultation ensures that the thesis topic and methodology are adequately developed and approved by the faculty advisor.  The goal is to ensure that that the proposed fieldwork will be productive and is important for the thesis.  Applications must be submitted prior to undertaking the research.

Grant applications need to describe the proposed research, including the time period, location.  Allowable expenses include food, low-cost lodging, budget travel, entry fees, conference expenses, and up to $100 for academic supplies or equipment.  Funds may not be used to pay salaries.  Applications are submitted to the Off-Campus Study Office using the Barlow Application Form or with the same information in an email to Dean Sawyer (  Grant applications are reviewed periodically when the college is in session as long as funds remain.  The Off-Campus Study Committee may alter these procedures and deadlines if necessary.  All decisions are final.

In addition to the Barlow Thesis Grants, students can apply to the Bates Student Research Fund if their expenses will exceed $1,200.  More information on this fund is at:

4. Campus and Community Activity Grants

Upon return to campus, students may request up to $500 to support an activity, either on-campus or in the Lewiston-Auburn community, that is directly related to their study abroad program. The goal is to share the abroad experience with our community. Examples include a student who studied batik cloth design in Ghana sponsoring a batik exhibit on campus, or a student who studied in Argentina sponsoring an Argentine film night. Group projects are also supported. An example includes support for students who participated on the Short Term in Vietnam who want to exhibit their photographs on campus. Typically, these activities are co-sponsored with other student organizations and/or academic departments. Applications are submitted to the Off-Campus Study Office in Roger Williams Hall for review by the Off-Campus Study Committee. Applications may be submitted using the Barlow Application Form or via email to Dean Sawyer. Grant applications are reviewed approximately once a month when college is in session as long as funds remain.


The Grant Award and Completion Report

Grant awards are distributed within the United States to the student, her or his TD Bank account, or to the student’s family.  According to IRS regulations, neither of these grants is subject to Federal income taxes.  Enrichment grants are exempt because they are less than $600; thesis grants are exempt because they support an activity for which academic credit is awarded.  Grant recipients must write a one or two page “Completion Report” on the use of the funds.  The completion reports for enrichment grants should be submitted during the first semester back on campus.  For thesis grants, the report is due one month after return. The grant amount is charged to the student’s bill if the report is not received by the appropriate date.  Students are expected to return unused funds to Bates for use by future students.

Students are encouraged to apply for these grants. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Das or Dean Sawyer.

Summary Table: Four Grant Opportunities

Barlow Fellowship
Thesis Research
Campus/Community Activity
Sophomore year Apply by March 18 Not applicable, wait for junior year Not applicable, wait for junior or senior year Not applicable, wait for junior or senior year
Junior year Use Fellowship Apply while abroad Apply from abroad or upon return to Bates. Thesis topic needs to be well defined with faculty support. Apply upon return to Bates
Senior year Not applicable Not applicable Apply in fall with faculty support Apply upon return to Bates
Funds Available $1,200 per Fellowship Up to $500 during program Up to $1,200 each student Up to $500 for individual or group project