Barlow Grant Opportunities

The Barlow Endowment for Study Abroad

David Barlow ’79 established the Barlow Endowment for Study Abroad to enhance study abroad for Bates students and faculty. Mr. Barlow  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 three grant programs for students.

1. Host Country Cultural Enrichment Grants

As the 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 an activity within the host country to help students learn more about their host country’s culture. While these grants can fund travel, grants have also been used, for example, to purchase a trumpet to allow participation in an orchestra in Sweden, cycling in the U.K., and supplies for a student to participate in independent community engagement (not as part of a class). Allowable expenses include food, low-cost lodging, budget travel, entry fees, conference expenses, and up to $100 for supplies. 

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. There is a limit of one grant per student. Please review the grant requirements below:

Enrichment Grant application must follow the guidelines below:

  1. Enrichment Grants must be used for an activity in the host country. 
  2. The grant application needs to be submitted prior to the activity. 
  3. Activity must take place before final exams.
  4. The grant application should describe the proposed activity, including the time period, location, and actual or estimated costs.
  5. Due to the nature of the fund, grants are only available for activities outside of the USA.
  6. Allowable expenses include food, low-cost lodging, budget travel, entry fees, conference expenses, and up to $100 for supplies.

Enrichment Grant application should not include the following:

  1. Students cannot apply for a grant to travel outside of their host country.
  2. Funds may not be used to pay the regular costs of study abroad, to purchase gifts, or to buy or rent automobiles.
  3. Extreme activities involving a high degree of risk (such as bungee jumping or shark tank diving) are not eligible.
  4. Costs cannot be used for education costs for program excursions (i.e. ISP through SIT, or a travel component of a DIS core course)

Barlow Host Country Cultural Enrichment Grant Application

  1. Applications are reviewed on a biweekly basis. 
  2. This is a limited fund and students should not expect this to be available as part of their financial planning. 
  3. When the amount budgeted for a given semester is fully utilized, no more grants will be awarded. The Off-Campus Study Committee may alter these procedures and deadlines, if necessary. All decisions are final.

2. Thesis Research Grants

Grants of up to $2,000 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 initial deadline for senior year grants, but applications are welcome into second semester.  Applications must be submitted prior to undertaking the research.

Grant applications are submitted via an online form.  Please include the following:

  • Abstract of 250 words.
  • A one-two page proposal describing the thesis topic in detail, your proposed research and the explicit links to both your thesis and your off-campus study site, research methodology(ies), and the anticipated contribution of the field research opportunity to your thesis.
  • IRB approval (if applicable).
  • A projected budget in USD, showing the breakdown of all associated expenses with supporting documentation (flight itinerary, lodging costs, meals, local transportation, and visa, if needed).
  • Proposed dates of travel.
  • Letter of support from your thesis advisor confirming that you have worked together to refine your thesis topic, that the proposed research methodologies support your topic, that you have obtained necessary IRB approval (if applicable), and that the return to the study abroad site is meaningfully connected to your work.

In addition to the Barlow Thesis Grants, students can apply to the Bates Student Research Fund if their expenses will exceed $2,000.  More information on this fund may be found at:

The Grant Award and Completion Report

Grant awards are distributed within the United States to the student, their 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 Darren Gallant and Jennifer Hyde.

Summary Table: Three Grant Opportunities

Thesis Research
Sophomore year Not applicable, wait for junior year Not applicable, wait for junior or senior year
Junior year Apply while abroad Apply from abroad or upon return to Bates. Thesis topic needs to be well defined with faculty support.
Senior year Not applicable Apply in fall with faculty support
Funds Available Up to $500 during program Up to $2,000 each student