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Undergraduate, master's, professional (J.D., M.D., D.D.S., etc.), and international Ph.D. students

Funding for students to complete a non-credit-bearing global experience in the U.S. or abroad

Iyman Ahmed

ID# 1411 | Last Updated: Tuesday, September 8, 2020

CGI Award deadline is postponed for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.


The Carolina Global Initiative Award provides funding for students to complete a non-credit-bearing global opportunity in the U.S. or abroad.

Supported by an endowment from the C.V. Starr Foundation, the Lori Lewis Schipper International Internship Fund, the Stephens International Internship Fund and private gifts to the Chancellor’s Global Education Fund, awards are typically made from $1,500 to $6,000 each, but higher amounts will be considered.

In order to accommodate global experiences at all times of the year, we set multiple deadlines set for the 2019-20 academic year. The final two deadlines of March 15 and May 10 were cancelled due to the cancellation of all university-affiliated travel for the summer of 2020.

PAST DEADLINES for 2019-2020:

  • September 2, 2019: Experiences during or after fall break
  • October 20, 2019: Experiences during or after winter break
  • January 20, 2020: Experiences during or after spring break

Applicant Profile

We seek applications from students with financial need and no or limited prior global travel and those with varied experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds. In alignment with our Opening Access effort, we encourage students of all backgrounds and perspectives to apply regardless of their academic discipline, age, disabilities, educational or family background, gender identity, racial or ethnic identity, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.

NOTE: If you have international travel experience, please email or schedule an appointment with the program manager to check your eligibility.

Applicants must:

  1. Be a current UNC degree-seeking student, excluding domestic students in a Ph.D. program (Domestic Ph.D. candidates may apply to our Pre-Dissertation Exploration Award)
  2. Be participating in a program that does NOT offer academic credit (students can use financial aid or use the Funding Finder to find funding for programs that award academic credit)
  3. Demonstrate financial need through one of the following:
    • recipient of need-based financial aid as determined by your current or prior-year FAFSA;
    • an international student financial aid worksheet (undergraduate or graduate) that demonstrates need; or
    • a narrative statement, if the other two do not apply, that discusses your financial need.

Types of Opportunities

The opportunity may take a wide variety of forms including: internships, research, service projects, educational group travel or self-designed travel. We are no longer providing funding for study abroad programs or programs that offer academic credit. The opportunity must be globally focused, but can take place anywhere in the world, including the U.S.

Some example opportunities:

The opportunity can be used for global opportunities occurring during breaks within the semester, between semesters or summer.

Potential applicants are encouraged to meet with the program manager to determine if their opportunity is eligible for funding.

Application Components

The entire application process is completed online, and you can preview the application before you begin. The application consists of the following:

  • Application form, including major, name and contact information
  • Project summary
  • Four short answer questions
  • A timeline and budget (For additional guidance on developing your project budget and timeline, please review our Travel Application Tips document.)
  • Supporting financial documentation (if needed)
  • List of past global travel experience
  • Personal or academic reference

Evaluation of Applicants

All eligible applications are evaluated by UNC faculty and staff review committees who will consider the following:

Personal Need

  • Does the applicant require resources (i.e. funds, network, social capital) in order to complete the opportunity? Do they appear to be able to access other resources?
  • Would participation in the global opportunity allow the applicant to gain new, relevant global experience they wouldn’t otherwise have?
  • Will the experience encourage the applicant to explore other global opportunities and with greater depth?

Diversity of Background, Discipline & Perspective

(Read more about our Opening Access work to learn more.)
  • Does the candidate bring an experience, perspective, and/or a background that has traditionally been underrepresented in global experiences?
  • Does the student face barriers to global experiences that are challenging to overcome through traditional global programs and opportunities?

Community Impact & Alignment with Academic & Career Goals

  • How will the proposed opportunity contribute deeply to the applicant’s stated career and academic goals?
  • How likely is the experience to impact a wide group of other UNC students once the applicant returns?

Feasibility & Planning

  • Are the plan, budget and timeline reasonable?
  • Does the applicant have (or explain plans to acquire) the required language, technical and cultural skills necessary to successfully complete of the project?

Timeline & Requirements

Application Timeline

To accommodate global opportunities that occur throughout the year, this award has multiple deadlines, meaning applications can be submitted throughout the year.

Applicant notification will occur 4-6 weeks after the deadline.

Funding distribution will be explained at an advising meeting scheduled after notification. The timing and method of distribution will be determined on a case-by-case basis (based on the timeline and requirements of the global opportunity).

NOTE: Apply as early as possible to ensure sufficient time for funding award review. Submitting an application 2-3 months before departure should be sufficient to receive your funds in time.

Award Requirements

If selected for funding, all awardees must:

Related Information Sessions & Events

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