Finance | Expanding Horizons Fellowship

Expanding Horizons Fellowship

Generously funded by Rice alumnus Dr. Walter Loewenstern, the Expanding Horizons Fellowship provides students the opportunity to conduct research-related future travel that will benefit the local communities connected to their research while expanding the student's knowledge and experience. This fund is solely for that purpose: any proposals for conference travel or other requests peripheral to the call will not be reviewed.

This travel award is intended to support graduate research and so should be spent prior to your defense. Each individual who requests funds must apply separately. The application is open to all Rice doctoral students, and applicants who have not previously won an Expanding Horizons Fellowship will be prioritized.

A condition of the gift is that awardees will make their experiences and the impact of their work publicly visible. By accepting this funding, you commit to detail your travel experience in a short blog series or video.

Travel is expected to occur by February 2025 (or before the defense date--whichever comes first) and 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 Expanding Horizons Fellowship is open, and can be found here. It will close February 19, 2024. Application information and elements can be found below. If you have further questions after reviewing the instructions, you may email


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

Undergraduate students, please contact the Center for Civic Leadership regarding the undergraduate process for the Loewenstern award.

Application information

  • Each application can only be one roundtrip, as the research funded by the award is meant to impact a local community. If a research trip needs to have multiple stops along the way, a petition can be submitted with the application as additional documentation.
  • Graduate students 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.
  • Please note that after an award notice has been issued, you will need to request your cash advance from your department at least one month before your travel, but these funds will not be dispersed until approximately three weeks before you depart.
  • 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 fund for future graduate student use.

Application elements

1) Project Narrative

The proposal narrative should address the following and be written for a broad audience of faculty members outside of your field:

  • Describe the purpose of the travel/research that you will undertake while abroad.
  • Explain, specifically, how this project will impact the local community you will work with.
  • Explain, specifically, how this project will impact your graduate studies at Rice, the quality of your thesis/dissertation, and your time to degree.
  • Explain, specifically, how you will apply what you will learn to future research.

2) Budget

Include a budget proposal (1-2 pages), prepared in consultation with your department chair or department director of grad studies, and advisor. In the budget, students should outline what they would do with the funding for each of these levels (if relevant):


Funding decisions will be made to maximize the return on investment of the available funding. Proposals that only focus on the higher dollar categories will have a lower likelihood of being funded and will not be eligible for the lower-level amounts that were not outlined in the application.

Format the budget expenditures as a table.

  • 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.
    • 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 advisor to review and discuss your budget.

3) A copy of your current C.V. or Resume


All students who are awarded Expanding Horizons funding are required to produce a video or blog about their experience. Other media may be accepted; please email with other ideas. This should be sent to within two months of the travel.