The J. Brien Key Fund

The J. Brien Key Fund provides PhD students in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences financial support to subsidize travel-related research expenses such as:

  • Registration and/or travel costs to attend a professional meeting, especially one at which you are presenting the results of your research
  • Travel costs to conduct research or interviews critical for your thesis or dissertation.

Applications are accepted year round. Successful applicants will receive awards up to $500.


All applications must be submitted as a single PDF file and labeled by last name, first name (ex. Smith, John).

Applications must include:

  • A proposal of no more than two pages explaining how the funds will be used. Included in the two pages should be a proposed budget, a brief budget justification, and a summary of other sources of funding that you have obtained or are available.
  • A letter of recommendation from your thesis/dissertation adviser (which must be included at the time of submission).

To be considered for the J. Brien Key Fund, email your completed application to Linda Nathan.

About Dr. Key

The J. Brien Key Fund was established in 1999 by Dr. J. Brien Key. Dr. Key received his PhD in history from Johns Hopkins University in 1964. He went on to teach at the U.S. Naval Academy, the University of Alabama, and then served as the chairman of the history department at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta for 25 years before retiring.

Dr. Key valued his experience as a graduate student in the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences and knew that students would benefit from intense exposure to real-time, groundbreaking research. Through the J. Brien Key Fund, Dr. Key, who passed away in 2015, left a legacy of support to graduate students, enabling them to contribute to the academic conversation in their fields of study in a meaningful way.