Summer is the perfect time to research and apply for a teacher travel grant. The key is to look in the right places and write a compelling application.
Then, once you win an award, you might find yourself kayaking the length of the Mississippi River, while developing a river ecology unit. (At least, that’s what one teacher did with a Fund for Teachers grant.)
To help you get started, here are some tips to writing winning proposals, inspiring articles, and a list of interesting travel grants.
The Best Places to Look
Edutopia has covered travel grants in the past. Also check out "Teacher-Tested Travel Grants," "Five-Minute Film Festival: Travel for Teachers," and "No-Cost Teacher Travel" for more grant-writing tips and funding sources.
Plus, the Institute for International Education is an organization that anyone interested in educational travel should get to know. In addition to administering tons of interesting travel grant programs, the IIE is also a source for research, policy updates, and relevant resources for teachers.
- Grosvenor Teacher Fellowships from National Geographic: Each year, National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions take K-12 geographic teachers on expeditions around the world. Usually, 25 educators are selected for fellowship trips each year, and participants travel to exotic locations. In 2014, for instance, Grosvenor fellows traveled extensively in the North Atlantic to Greenland, Iceland, and Arctic Svalbard.
- Fund for Teachers Fellowships: Fund for Teachers fellowships enable teachers to design their own professional development opportunities. International and domestic travel are often included in grant proposals, and FFT has been supporting these grants since 2001. Additionally, FFT has links to some other great travel fellowships.
- Global Classrooms Program from IREX: This Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program is a year-long cultural exchange for middle school and high school teachers. The program includes intensive training, an international field experience, and a global education symposium in Washington, D.C.
- Toyota International Teacher Program: This program from Toyota and administered IIE combines international travel and environmental education. Through the program, secondary educators from U.S. schools go on 2- or 3-week trips to learn about environmental issues and the innovative solutions for environmental challenges.
- Einstein Distinguished Fellows Program in STEM: The Einstein program enables teachers to advocate for STEM on Capitol Hill and/or Congressional offices for up to a year. The application process for the 2015-2016 school year is set up open in fall 2014.
Writing an Awesome Application
- Grant Space Classroom from Foundation Center: Foundation Center's training center features tons of useful online grant-writing courses. Many of the courses are free and self-paced, and they're designed to help anyone write more effective proposals. Great, free courses for beginners include Proposal Writing Basics and Proposal Budgeting Basics.
- Guide for Writing a Funding Proposal: Although the design of this site is a little dated, the information is super-useful. There are tips and samples for every step in the proposal writing process.
- 6 Tips for Grant-Writing Success: Author Bridget McCrea highlights some different strategies that anyone applying for a grant can use to write an effective proposal. They're short-and-sweet and full of insight.
- Three Big Hurdles to Writing a Winning Grant Proposal: This Education World blog covers three things to keep in mind when applying for education grant-funding. One of the biggest hurdles according to author Don Peek is just getting started.