Bornblum Travel Award

Overview

This award was made possible by the generous donation of David Bornblum in honor of his father Bert Bornblum, a long-time friend of the Philosophy Department. It provides, on a competitive basis, funds to curb the expense of professional travel for PhD students.

Selection Criteria

Generally, grants should be awarded according to the following priorities:

Category I

(1) Conference presentations at a major venue (national conferences, including those within a significant disciplinary concentration, are more significant than regional conferences) of a primary paper.

(2) Research travel for advanced PhD students with promise of significant contribution to their dissertation project.

Category II

(3) Other conference presentations. Commenting.

(4) Other educational or research opportunities such as language programs or work that, while not immediately relevant to the identified dissertation area of the student, contributes to the student's AOS/AOC.

These categories and subcategories may be thought of as providing four default ordered priorities. However, they cannot be thought of as providing a strict lexical ordering. Various considerations may be relevant.

Obviously, the expected benefits of presenting a paper (or commenting) at a conference varies with the geographical and disciplinary scope of the conference, but also with the expected quality of participants generally, the focus of the conference on an issue, the connections and visibility that is likely to result, and like matters.

So, commenting on a paper by a prominent philosopher at a conference analogous to our own Spindel Conference, and one focused centrally in the student's AOS would presumably have a strong case for being funded.

Similarly, participation in certain programs at which our faculty and students have been conspicuous and at which our students have made contacts of significance can be given some weight,  even when a student is not presenting. Here, clearly, more advanced students may do more for themselves and for our program than less advanced students, and clearly those presenting are likewise better placed to benefit themselves and the program.

Application Process

In view of the range and nuance of relevant considerations, students should produce and submit a proposal. The proposal should include:

  1. A discussion of the range of benefits to themselves and the graduate program of their participation in the conference, program, or course of study they propose.
  2. Other academic funding applications already under review, planned, or in preparation. 
  3. A concise budget for travel.

Proposals should also be accompanied by a letter (or email) of support by the student's faculty mentor and/or dissertation supervisor. This letter should explain (a) the significance of the conference/program, (b) the contribution it makes to the student's professional profile and development, and (c) the impact on the student's degree completion.

Proposals should be submitted electronically to the Department Chair, Director of Graduate Studies, Chair of the Bornblum Travel Award Committee, and the student's Faculty Mentor/Dissertation Director.

Rolling Admissions and Decisions

Proposals should be submitted at least ten weeks prior to conference travel.

A small committee will, in consultation with the Chair, make decisions regarding the success of funding proposals. Proposals may be rejected on the basis of the availability of funds.