Conference and Travel Funding

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Here is information regarding funds available to Cornell University Romance Studies graduate students from the department’s Berkowitz Endowment. If you have additional questions, please contact Katy Kempf or the Administrative Manager.

1. Berkowitz Graduate Student Conference/Professional/Flex Funds

Romance Studies graduate students are eligible to receive up to $3,550 total during their time in the department as travel reimbursements for participation at a conference (A), to attend interviews at the MLA (B), to assist with research-related travel (C), to participate in professional growth classes or workshops (D), or to supplement the second-language funds allocated in #2 below (E).

A. Conference Funds: You may elect to use these funds for one or more different trips.

Please note that the department requires that you first apply to the Graduate School for their funding support to participate in a conference. You may apply for one Graduate School Conference Grant each fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). For more information and the application form on the Graduate School website, click here.

If you have been turned down or have not received sufficient funds from the Graduate School to cover your conference travel–and you have not used up your department allotment–-please submit a budget request, using this form, to Katy Kempf in advance of your travel.   She will review the request and submit it to our department chairperson for approval.

Please attach the following items to your request form:

  •       a copy of your invitation to present at the conference
  •       a copy of the page of the conference program showing the session at which you will present
  •       a copy of the conference travel application you submitted to the Graduate School
  •       a copy of the Graduate School’s reply to your request

In order to receive the requested funds, you should submit a Cornell University Travel Reimbursement Request to the ROMS staff Accounts Rep upon your return. Copies of this form are available in the copier room. Your request must be accompanied by original receipts for all authorized expenses.

B. MLA Interview Travel: While on the job market a Romance Studies graduate student can receive funds to attend interviews at the MLA. This will be handled as a travel reimbursement for expenses requested (airfare, ground transportation, hotel room, conference registration, etc.). Please make your requests before the conference to Katy Kempf.  The department does not pay for meals.

C. Research Travel: Romance Studies graduate students are eligible to use these funds towards research-related travel. Research travel is defined by the use of location-specific resources (such as archives, museum collections, etc.).

To apply for research funding, please attach the following items to your research travel reimbursement request form, signed by your committee chair, and give to Katy Kempf before you depart:

  •       a statement describing how this trip supports your dissertation research;
  •       an itinerary and proposed budget; and
  •       the receipts of expenses already purchased for your trip.    

Receipts for any additional items to be reimbursed should be given to Marcus May upon your return.

Please note that the Graduate School also offers competitive travel research grants. For more information, see

D. Professional Classes and Workshops: Romance Studies graduate students, with the support of their advisors, are eligible to use these funds towards taking professional classes and workshops that will enhance their portfolio for the job market or teach them skills not available in the department. To apply for funds for this purpose, please write a statement describing your request, including a proposed budget and a letter of support signed by your committee chair.

E. Flex Funds: These funds can also be used to supplement the departmental funding for language-related research (#2 below).

2.  Language-Related Research

Once during your time as a Romance Studies graduate student you are eligible to receive up to $1,500 for language-related research.  The request must be made in advance and must include a statement in support of the requested expense signed by your committee chair.  Please bring the completed request to Katy Kempf in K173 Klarman Hall.   She will verify your eligibility and submit the request to the department chairperson for approval.  The items being purchased must be allowable according to university policy.   Katy Kempf can answer your questions concerning “allowability.”





last updated November 25, 2019.