Finance | Wagoner Scholarship

Wagoner Foreign Study Scholarship

James T. Wagoner '29 loved to travel, and he loved Rice, so he made provisions that after his death a study-abroad scholarship for students and alumni would be established in memory of his late wife and parents. The Wagoner Foreign Study Scholarship provides students and alumni the opportunity to conduct future research abroad for a minimum of four weeks to one year. A research project may be combined simultaneously with the advanced study of a language (400 level or above); or an introductory level of languages not offered at Rice. Funding is available up to $5,000 per award (students receiving multiple Wagoner awards may not exceed $15,000 in awards while a graduate student at Rice).

Travel is expected to follow the University’s travel policy at the time of travel. Students should review the Traveling Abroad website from Risk Management as well as any departmental resources.

The online application for the 2023-24 Wagoner has closed. Application information and elements can be found below. If you have further questions after reviewing the instructions, you may email

The application deadline for the 2023-24 award was November 2, 2023.

Decisions are expected the week of December 11th. Travel is expected to occur between December 2023 and July 2025.


All Rice graduate students and graduate alumni participating in research are encouraged to apply. Awardees must be in good standing with the University as well as their department.

Undergraduate students and undergraduate alumni, please contact the Center for Civic Leadership regarding the undergraduate application for Wagoner funds.

Application information

  • Wagoner funding will be available in the following award amounts ($2K, $3K, $5K). Awards will be made in full or will not be funded. There will be no partial awards.
  • Each application for an award for future research can only be one roundtrip, though the trip can have multiple stops along the way.
  • Graduate students and graduate alumni may submit multiple applications if they have multiple trips planned within the award period, but students should note within the application if one trip is more essential to their research than another.
  • There is a 4-week minimum for time abroad.
  • If the cash advance of the award can't be justified with receipts by allowable expenses, the student will return the funds to the Cashier’s office with a Deposit Voucher and it will be returned to the Wagoner Fund for future graduate student use.

Application elements

1) Wagoner Agreement Form

Read and review the agreement form

2) Project Narrative

No more than 4 (four) single-spaced pages, 12-point font, 1" margins. Additional pages may be included for bibliography/appendices. The proposal narrative should address the following and be written for a broad audience of faculty members outside of your field:

  • Concisely describe the purpose of the travel/research that you will be undertaking while abroad.
  • Justify the need for foreign travel/study in order to carry out this work.
  • Explain, specifically, how this project will impact your graduate studies at Rice, the quality of your thesis/dissertation, and your time to degree. (Or, in the case of a graduate alum, justify this in terms of your career trajectory.)

3) Budget (signed by both you and your adviser)

Include a budget proposal (1-2 pages), prepared in consultation with, and signed by, your department chair or department director of grad studies, and adviser.

Format the budget expenditures as a table.

  • Identify the total amount requested of the Wagoner funding. Wagoner funding will be available in the following award amounts ($2K, $3K, $5K).
  • In the budget table include all allowable travel expenses such as international airfare, transportation costs, and baggage fees, regardless of whether or not the trip has been partially funded already
  • Below the budget table, include a justification/explanation for each line item. For instance:
    • If you are including living expenses, clearly explain how these are different from what you would normally incur while in residence in Houston.
    • If you are including other accommodations (such as hotel stays, temporary rentals, guest housing, university accommodations, etc.) explain why this particular choice of accommodations is the most efficient/economical/safe given your project and the circumstances of your research and travel.
    • Consult the Wagoner Agreement Form for allowable expenditures and note that you will not be eligible to submit receipts against your cash advance for unallowable expenses.
    • Please feel free to consult with the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies if you need clarification regarding allowable expenses prior to your application.
  • Below the budget justification, include a table showing the source and amount of any Rice-internal funding you will be receiving during the period of the proposed project (including graduate stipends), any extramural funding you will be receiving for this project, and any sources of extramural funding for which you are applying for but have not yet received funding, as well as any potential funding sources for which you have already been declined.
  • Meet with your adviser to review and discuss your budget, and obtain the signature of your department chair or department director of grad studies, and adviser.

4) Letter of Affiliation/Invitation

A letter of affiliation/invitation from your host institution. Or, a brief statement from you explaining if such a letter is unnecessary. We do recommend consulting with your host institution regarding the timing of your trip.

5) A copy of your current c.v.

6) One letter of recommendation (submitted separately by faculty member)

Your application must include a letter of recommendation from your adviser (or from a Rice faculty member with whom you are working). The letter should be sent to both and to by the application deadline. Recommendation letters should discuss the following:

  • The intellectual merits of the proposed project.
  • The student's preparation for foreign study/research.
  • The student's ability to carry out the proposed project within the given time period.
  • The potential impact of this project on the student's thesis/dissertation and career trajectory.
  • The reasonableness of the proposed budget and award request.

Wagoner Awardees, upload your mid-year and final reports here. Find a template to track your expenses (for reconciliation with Payments after your return) here.