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Graduate Student Travel Award for International Study in Sustainable Livelihoods

Robert and Lorna Butler
Robert and Lorna Butler

The Graduate Student Travel Award for International Study in Sustainable Livelihoods is made possible by Dr. Lorna Michael Butler and Dr. Robert O. Butler. 

  • Dr. Lorna Michael Butler was the first holder of the Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. Dr. Lorna Michael Butler earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Manitoba in Human Ecology (’61), master’s degree from Colorado State University in Extension/Continuing Education (’67) and PhD from Washington State University in Anthropology (’76).
  • Dr. Robert O. Butler (1930-2017) earned his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University in Agriculture, Soils and Rural Sociology (’61), after which he worked for Iowa State University Extension (1961-65) in Mason City, Iowa. Later he completed his master’s degree in Extension/Continuing Education (‘66) and doctorate degree in Sociology (‘71) at Colorado State University.

The Butlers were professionally engaged throughout the world.

Robert Butler
Dr. Robert Butler


Lorna Butler
Dr. Lorna Michael Butler


Dr. Lorna Butler
Dr. Lorna Michael Butler


This scholarship is intended to provide resources for students who are majoring, co-majoring, or minoring in the social sciences to pursue graduate-level research with an international theme of importance to the improvement of individual, family or community livelihoods in a developing country.


Eligible candidates include graduate students currently enrolled at Iowa State University with a major or minor in the social sciences or pursuing multi-disciplinary research with an international theme. Preference will be given to students whose research is in Uganda in collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL). Preference will also be given for women and minority student applicants (including international students). Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.


Awards will typically range between $2,000 and $4,000 and are intended to support expenses associated with international travel, where the duration of travel for research exceeds one month.

Application Process

Applicants should submit a 1-2 page proposal to Shelley Taylor, Director, Global Programs, 0018 Curtiss Hall,  The proposal should include the following information:

  1. Name and contact information of the applicant
  2. Name and contact information of ISU and international collaborator(s) the applicant will work with
  3. Description and location of the research the applicant will pursue
  4. Clear indication of the multi-disciplinary nature of the research, and impact on individual, family or community livelihoods
  5. Budget request (with estimates of all expenses)
  6. Level and nature of cost sharing or in-kind contributions by any parties
  7. Signature of major/supervising professor indicating their endorsement


A final report will be required within one month of the completion of travel to be submitted to Global Programs with a copy sent to the major/supervising professor. The report should not exceed 2 – 3 pages, and should include a description of research activities , with an indication of the budget spent. Any funds from the scholarship not spent, should be returned to the scholarship fund.

All questions about this scholarship should be directed to Shelley Taylor, 515-294-5393.