Grants for Education And Research (GEAR)

Thanks to some generous donors, we have funds for a limited number of Grants for Education And Research (GEAR), available for Symbolic Systems undergraduate majors and Master's students, to cover expenses such as research costs and conference travel that cannot be met through other funding sources.

Before Applying

You must first inquire about the availability of funding from other sources, such as Undergraduate Research and Independent Project Grants. For undergraduates, UAR Student Grants provide funding for student research expenses, summer replacement earnings, independent projects, and travel for presenting your own work at a professional or scholarly conference. Master's students can sometimes obtain funding through their project advisors or through other sources.

About GEAR Funds

  • GEAR grants are awarded on a rolling basis to qualifying students until funds are exhausted for the academic year (September to June).
  • Because our total funds are limited, you should apply for no more than you need. That will increase the chances that we can cover your budget, and also allow as many other students as possible to receive grants when they apply.
  • GEAR funding is limited to no more than $1,500 per student over the course of a degree program.
  • Once GEAR funds are awarded, you will need to save and present your expense receipts to the Finance Officer for the Symbolic Systems Program, and fill out a Student Funding Certification form.

Application Process

Once you have established that funds are not available elsewhere for your needs, you can apply for a Symbolic Systems GEAR by sending an email message to symsys-directors [at] (symsys-directors[at]lists[dot]stanford[dot]edu) with the following:

  1. A one sentence description of your education or research expense need (e.g. "I want to attend this year's  Grace Hopper Conference.")
  2.  A list of other funding sources you have inquired about, explaining why you have been unable to find all the funding you need elsewhere.
  3. An itemized budget that adds to the total amount you are requesting (up to $1500), listing your projected expenses and any other funding sources you expect to cover part of your needs.
  4. [optionally] A one-paragraph explanation of the project or activity and how it relates to your symbolic systems education. If you are requesting funding for research with human subjects, you will need Stanford IRB approval and an active protocl number, as well as a CITI certificate of completion of required nonmedical research ethics training, before we can give you funding. Fore more info, see
  5. A letter of support from a faculty mentor who endorses your proposal may also be needed if you are seeking funding to help you do a project (as opposed to presenting a paper). If you are presenting a paper at an academic conference, you should include in your proposal a pointer to the online schedule showing your name and session.