The Graduate School is pleased to offer Diverse Student Travel Recruitment (DSTRs) funding to assist with the cost of bringing potential students to the UNC-Chapel Hill campus for recruiting purposes. These awards are aimed to assist with increasing student diversity in master’s and doctoral degree programs and may be used to help defray travel and lodging expenses; food expenses are not covered by these funds. The current funding level for each DSTR award is $500/student applying for the upcoming academic year.

NOMINATION MADE BY DEPARTMENT / PROGRAM VIA A NEW ONLINE APPLICATION PROCESS: Please review the application process below before making student nomination(s).

Pre-Authorization and Eligibility:

  • Submit one online pre-authorization for each student request.
  • DSTR funds are reserved for groups that are considered under-represented within the various graduate programs. In order to be eligible to receive funding, individuals must qualify as being in at least one of the three underrepresented categories:
    1. Self-identified Underrepresented Ethnic Groups. The following groups are considered underrepresented in graduate education: African American/Black, Asian/Pacific Islander/Desi American, Hispanic/Latinx, and American Indian/Native American.
    2. Women in Science (WIS). This group includes women studying in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and the Social, Behavioral, and Economic (SBE) sciences.
    3. Other (Explanation required). This category is reserved for any discipline specific underrepresentation that can be justified regardless of ethnicity/race or WIS status. Programs will be expected to provide a justification statement explaining why an individual should be considered underrepresented in the respective field of study (e.g. men in health sciences) for which the DTR request is being made.
  • Once the online submission is made, you will receive notification from Graduate School staff regarding status: Approved / Declined (& reason) /  Additional information needed.


Before a request can be processed and funds released, the following items must be completed and submitted via the Online Application

  • Things to consider & plan for BEFORE the student leaves campus:
    1. All travel reimbursement paperwork must be submitted as soon as possible following the travel. As per University policy, submission of paperwork/receipts more than two (2) weeks after the completed travel will require a justification letter from the academic program for the delay.
    2. Signatures must be provided on all necessary forms where indicted. Omission of signatures will delay the processing of a request.
    3. W-9 Taxpayer Identification Number and Certificationpdf icon  The W-9 form is required for tax reporting purposes and must include the student name, current or permanent mailing address, social security number, and signature. The address provided on the W-9 form will be where the reimbursement check is sent.
  • Receipts:
    1. Upload electronic / scanned copies of the receipts to the online system.
    2. Submit only the receipts necessary for the payment request. We do not need all receipts associated with the student visit; only those being covered by the DSTR (i.e., do not submit food receipts).
    3. Acceptable expenses include transportation (air, bus, taxi, train, automobile, etc.) and lodging.
      • Automobile transportation must include mileage documentation from an official site such as MapQuest, Google Maps, etc. Mileage totals must be visible on the submitted documentation.
      • Justification letters are required for multiple legs of a trip involving personal or rented automobiles.
      • Lodging facilities must provide a receipt which includes dates along with the room rate and taxes paid by the traveler.

Final Payment:

  • Once paperwork/receipts are uploaded is submitted for reimbursement, The Graduate School will scan and submit it to the UNC-Chapel Hill accounting office for processing. A check to be issued and mailed directly to the traveler.