Travel Fellowship

Opportunity to create your own journey, a purposeful exploration of a new horizon or academic pursuit.

Take Your Education on an Adventure

“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.”

– G. K. Chesterton

Marco Polo. Ibn Battuta. Zheng He. Pico Iyer. Our own Tan Chorh Chuan. Amelia Earhart. Valentina Tereshkova. The Afghan Women’s Cycling Team. And our very own Yale-NUS Travel Fellows. Great travellers have always been inspired by a sense of adventure, curiosity, humility and appreciation of the inner journeys and insights made possible through travel. In the words of Pico Iyer, “The most valuable Pacifics we explore will always be the vast expanses within us.”

CIPE is offering a summer travel fellowship in celebration of this spirit of exploration and curiosity about the world and in recognition of travel’s ability to expand our internal horizons,  to challenge our assumptions, to facilitate understanding, to engender “narrative imagination”[1] and to enhance our capacity for engaging with an increasingly complex and diverse world.

CIPE’s travel fellowship offers the opportunity to create your own journey, a purposeful exploration of a new horizon or academic pursuit. The Fellowship should be centred around answering an academic question, and this learning should be shared with the Yale-NUS Community in a meaningful way. End products have ranged from documentaries to art exhibitions to academic articles and anthologies of poetry. The Travel Fellowship truly is yours to craft.

“I feel far more confident navigating the world’s streets, asserting myself strongly when I feel wronged. But alongside that ‘hardening’ to the world is also a certain softening, a certain openness to unpredictable and unknown opportunities.” — Graham Link, 2014 Travel Fellow

Application Deadline: February 23, 2018 

Project Guidelines:

  • Participants: Travel journeys may be carried out in groups or individually. Funding may be adjusted depending on number of students participating.
  • Travel period: All journeys should be made during the summer vacation. Length of travel should be stated in the travel proposal.
  • Grant amount: Average grant amounts will be SGD$1500 – $2000.
  • Application and selection timeline:
    • January 1, 2018: Application opens
    • February 23, 2018: Application closes
    • Mid March, 2018: Applicants notified of decisions
    • April 2018: Pre-departure orientation for overseas projects


[1] Martha Nussbaum defines narrative imagination as “the ability to think what it might be like to be in the shoes of a person different from oneself, to be an intelligent reader of that person’s story, and to understand the emotions, wishes and desires that someone so placed might have.” Martha Nussbaum, Not for Profit, quoted in Yale NUS College: A New Community of Learning, pg36.

Have Questions?
Annette Wu
Executive, Experiential Learning

Contact with questions about travel fellowships and LABs.


Writing Your Proposal:

To apply for a travel fellowship, a student or group of students must submit a travel fellowship proposal to Annette Wu by the deadline stated below. Proposals should include a cover page (suggested format) and the following four sections:

  • Project Details (1000 Word Limit)
    • A detailed description of your project. Include the who, what, where, when, why as well as the desired outcomes, deliverables, and ripple effects.
  • Safety (No Word Limit)
    • Detail the risks involved in your travel fellowship and how you will mitigate them.
  • Itinerary (No Word Limit)
    • Explain the timeline for the project. What are the steps and when will each begin and be completed? A visual version of the timeline might be helpful.
  • Budget (No Word Limit)
    • Use a spreadsheet or table with budget details that explains the various expenses.


Selection Process:

Proposals are reviewed and graded by a panel with a rubric examining the following criteria:

  • Fellowship Description
    • The student(s) has clearly outlined the entirety of their proposed fellowship. They have answered the questions of “Who?”, “What?”, “When?”, and “Where?”, demonstrating deep understanding of the project topic background and showing the purpose and significance of the project. They have provided a detailed itinerary and, if applicable, addressed issues of group dynamics and personal growth.
  • Academic Rigour
    • The student(s) has defined strong academic rationale for their fellowship. The rationale is supported with specific (and appropriate) evidence, examples, and details.
  • Location Rationale
    • There is a clearly defined and strong rationale for why the proposed fellowship location is the best possible location for the project.
  • Deliverables and Ripple Effect
    • The proposed end result of the fellowship is clearly defined. Feasible deadlines for the product are set and the student(s) has outlined necessary steps to complete the deliverable(s) on time. The student(s) has detailed how they will share their experience and insights with the Yale-NUS community.
  •  Safety/Risks
    • The student(s) has submitted a comprehensive safety section that demonstrates they are aware of all of the risks inherent in their proposal and has clearly outlined how they will mitigate said risks.
  •  Budget
    • The student(s) has included a clear and comprehensive budget. They have outlined how they intend to earn the money to cover expenses past the fellowship award.
  • Updates to CIPE
    • The safety section clearly details that the student(s) will deliver updates to CIPE. They define how frequently updates will come (at least weekly) and steps to be taken to ensure updates are not forgotten.
  • Style and Grammar
    • The proposal is clearly and concisely written. There are no spelling or grammar mistakes.


Important Notes to Highlight:

  • Because we aim to approve travel proposals with substantial rigour and depth in their academic question(s) and approach, we recommend that you allocate at least three weeks for the Travel Fellowship. Budget and other considerations might encourage you to pursue a shorter fellowship and that is acceptable. If you do so however, be sure that you give a strong rationale for your trip length and how you will investigate your proposed question in such a short amount of time.
  • To ensure as many students have access to as many CIPE opportunities as possible, you may not participate in a Travel Fellowship and another CIPE opportunity in the same summer (with the exception of Summer LABs). This applies to all members of a Travel Fellowship group.