Traveling Fellows

Since 1899, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts has awarded Traveling Fellowships (formerly called Traveling Scholarships) to select alumni. As one of the largest endowed art school grant programs in the country—currently totaling $80,000 to $100,000 annually—the Traveling Fellowship program provides funds for artists to further develop and inform their practice.

Recipients also have the opportunity to compete for a solo exhibition of their work at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The program has provided critical early career support for many notable SMFA graduates, including Nan Goldin, Mike and Doug Starn, Ellen Gallagher, Omer Fast, and recent graduates such as Evelyn Rydz, Gustavo Fuenmayor, and Daniella Rivera.

History of the Travel Fund

In 1894, James William Paige left a bequest of $30,000 to the Museum School to establish a travel fund. (The bequest also stipulated that an additional $10,000 needed to be raised, proof that “philanthropic leverage” has been around for a while!) Income was to be used to send SMFA students to Europe, where they would study art for a period of two years. By 1899, the additional money had been raised and the first Traveling Scholar, Mary Brewster Hazelton, sailed to Europe. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, recipients typically traveled to Paris, Rome or Florence and received $800 per year for two years. Today, SMFA Travelling Fellows journey across the globe and receive grants of $10,000 each. 


  • Only SMFA graduates of the BFA, Post-Baccalaureate, MFA, Combined Degree, Diploma, and MAT programs may apply
  • Alumni may be working in any contemporary visual art discipline 
  • Anyone who previously applied, but has not won a Traveling Fellowship, is encouraged to apply again 

Previous winners of a Traveling Fellowship (or, previously, "Traveling Scholarship") are not eligible.


May 1, 2017
Application opens

July 1, 2017
Application closes

July, 2017
Jury process begins

August, 2017
Fellows are announced

September, 2017
Funds are distributed

Fall, 2018
Finalist is selected for Museum of Fine Arts exhibition

Spring, 2020
Traveling Fellow exhibition at MFA, Boston

How to Apply

Each September, SMFA at Tufts awards ten Traveling Fellowships to selected alumni. Fellows receive $10,000 to pursue travel and research related to their art. At the end of the travel year, one of the ten Fellows is selected for a solo exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

All Traveling Fellows applications will be processed online through Slideroom. Requirements are noted below and in the online application.

Questions regarding the application criteria and process should be directed to Kaitlyn Clark, Art Exhibitions Preparator, SMFA Exhibitions and Public Programs. 

For technical assistance with Slideroom, please contact

Forms and Attachments (all forms are available online as part of the application)  
  1. Traveling Fellows Pre-Screening Form

    You will need to indicate your SMFA degree program, your year of graduation, and your current email address. Please note: “” addresses are no longer active and will not be accepted.
  2. Travel Proposal

    You must describe your intended destination(s) and how the fellowship will contribute to your artistic development. (Limit: 2,500 characters).

    The jury uses a blind process; therefore, you should not include your name or degree on the Travel Proposal document.
  3. Media Files

    You should submit digital documentation of five (5) works completed within the last three (3) years. Select the format most appropriate to the artistic medium or discipline represented in your project. Work samples should demonstrate the artistic excellence and artistic merit of your work as it relates to the travel proposal.

    The jury uses a blind process. Applicants should remove their name from all visible content, including images, exhibition installation shots, and video introductions.

    File Restrictions:
    Slideroom can accept any media file type. However, the following formats are optimized for browser-based viewing. There are also limits placed on each file’s size, noted below.
    Images: 10 MB; .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff, .bmp, .tga
    Audio: 60 MB; .mp3, .wma, .ogg, .flac
    Video: 500 MB; .m4v, .mov, .mp4, .wmv, .flv, .asf, .mpeg, .mpg, .mkv
    Documents: 20 MB; .pdf
    3D Models: blend, .3ds, .dae, .obj, .fbx, .dwf, .osg, .osgt, .osgb, .ive, .lwo, .lws, .ply, .wrl, .iv, .shp, .stl, .bvh, .flt, .ac, .x, .dw, .3dc, .geo, .gta, .kmz, .vpk;
  4. Image Release Form

    We will only ask for image release permissions from applicants who are awarded Traveling Fellowships. All materials submitted by other applicants will be used for the sole purpose of jurying and will not be used in public promotion.