Chancellor Henry T. Yang personally donated $50,000 to cover shortfalls in the campus’ Doctoral Student Travel Grants budget through the summer of 2013.

The scholarships are granted on a first-come, first-serve basis for doctoral and masters students of candidacy status to establish themselves in their field and develop important contacts while presenting their research abroad. Chancellor Yang’s donation will be split into two $25,000 portions divided between this grant season and the next.

Academic Senate Executive Director Deborah Karoff said an increase in financial requests and growing travel costs strained the program’s coffers.

“The main issue that prompted this additional allocation from the chancellor is that we have a greater number of students,” Karoff said. “Combined with the cost of travel, we were using up the available funds extremely quickly.”

Yang said the difficult budget climate should not force graduate students to sacrifice travel aspirations.

“I was pleased to be able to supplement the Academic Senate’s budget for the doctoral student travel grant program this year on a one-time basis, to be used for multiple years,” Yang said. “Looking ahead, I will be working with Senate Chair Henning Bohn and our colleagues to begin working towards addressing this funding need on a recurring basis.”

Chancellor Yang said studying abroad is an important aspect of graduate instruction.

“The opportunity to attend and make presentations at academic conferences is an essential part of the education and preparation of our graduate students,” Yang said. “Our students play an active and important role in the research enterprise of our campus. We appreciate their contributions, and we are proud to have our students represent UC Santa Barbara when attending these meetings and conferences.”

Although Chancellor Yang’s donation provided integral funding for the grant, Karoff said the Academic Senate is required to seek financing options for future years.

“I think that budgets are tight everywhere, and we’ll have to see next year what kinds of options we have before us,” Karoff said. “We wish we had more funds to support more students, but we also know we aren’t the only ones that have tight budgets.”

Applications for the 2012-2013 Doctoral Student Travel Grants season will be available later this spring and accepted until March 15 or until the funds are exhausted.