Funding Opportunities


Each year, 15–30 graduate students from engineering, urban studies & planning, and other fields are hired as graduate research assistants for PSU faculty. These students are often co-authors on project final reports and journal articles. TREC hires undergraduate student workers as well, who may work at processing data or similar tasks. Learn more about the assistantships at College of Urban and Public Affairs (CUPA): Graduate Student Financial Resources and at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The best way to learn about the new GRA and GA positions is to join the listserv for our student group ITE-STEP (Students in Transportation Engineering and Planning).



Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at PSU

Walter H. Kramer Fellowship ($2,000)

Dr. Walter H. Kramer founded the first transportation studies center in the Department of Marketing (now School of Business Administration). Focusing on transportation research and education, Dr. Kramer believed that "the actions of an individual, of a college, can determine the future of our cities, our society," and devoted himself toward bringing "the resources of the faculty to bear on the problems of the community." This fellowship is aimed at providing financial support to PSU graduate students enrolled in transportation-related graduate programs and working on multi-disciplinary, multi-modal research connected with making a difference in "our cities, our society, and the community."

IBPI Active Transportation Scholarship ($2,500)

Through a generous donation from Alta Planning + Design and our Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI) program, we are awarding a $2,500 scholarship to a PSU graduate student who is highly motivated to focus their studies on bicycling and walking as mainstream forms of transportation. The successful applicant will be seeking to better understand how communities integrate bicycling and walking through their planning and design processes. 

IBPI Excellence in Active Transportation ($4,000)

Through a generous donation from a local transportation professional and our IBPI program, we are awarding $2,000 scholarships to two PSU students who are highly motivated to focus their studies on bicycling and walking as mainstream forms of transportation. The successful applicants will be seeking to better understand how communities integrate bicycling and walking through their planning and design processes.

National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC)

TREC and the transportation faculty at PSU award scholarships through our U.S. DOT funded program National Institute for Transportation & Communities (NITC) to current and incoming PSU students in transportation as well as dissertation fellowships for Ph.D. candidates.

NITC Scholarships
If you are selected as a NITC Scholar, you will be expected to actively participate in TREC and NITC-sponsored activities on the PSU campus, such as the STEP student group and regularly attending the Friday Transportation Seminars.
  • Awards will be $1,000-$3,000 and will be made during Spring 2019. 
  • Students who received NITC Scholar funding in past years are eligible. 
  • Due to federal funding limitations, awards for students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents will be in the form of domestic travel funds to attend a transportation or professional development conference.

NITC Dissertation Fellowships
We offer Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowships of up to $15,000 to cover expenses for the recipient while working on a dissertation consistent with NITC's theme of improving the mobility of people and goods to build strong communities. Applications open three times annually, learn more about NITC Dissertation Fellowships here

More Scholarship Opportunities

Portland State University
Coral Sales scholarship ($1,000)

Oregon Institute of Transportation Engineers (Oregon ITE)
Bill Kloos Scholarship (varies)
Oregon ITE Scholarship ($2,500)

Women in Transportation - Portland Chapter (WTS Portland)
Shelley Holley Transportation YOU Scholarship for High School Girls ($2,000)
Junior College/Trade School Scholarship ($1,500)
Sharon D. Banks Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship ($4,500)
Helene M. Overly Memorial Graduate Scholarship ($4,500)
Leadership Legacy Scholarship Graduate Scholarship ($4,500)
Gail Achterman Leadership Scholarship Graduates & Undergraduates ($7,000)

American Public Transportation Foundation (APTA)
Funding for this annual scholarship program ranges from $5,000 - 10,000 and requires an endorsement from a current APTA member. Contact TREC at for support on acquiring the endorsement.



Through a competitive application process, the TURF program is a unique ten-week summer fellowship for undergraduates to get experience in transportation research. Hosted at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, a hub of transportation innovation and expertise, fellows will work on research projects under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

At the end of the program, the students will be expected to provide a final written reflection describing their research findings. The program is funded through an education grant by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC).


Students must be currently enrolled in a civil engineering, urban studies and planning, or transportation-related undergraduate degree program at any college or university. Preference will be given to applicants who have a strong interest in transportation and graduate education. International students are eligible to apply.


Selected students will receive a $7,500 stipend and are expected to work 40 hours per week for ten weeks between June and September. Students are responsible for finding and funding their own lodging during their stay in Portland.

Research Topics

Since the program's launch in 2018, TURF fellows have worked on various research initiatives at TREC, including e-scooters, bicycle and pedestrian count data, multimodal trip generation, pedestrian safety, and equitable transit. Research topics will depend on the student's interest, the faculty's needs, and the current ongoing projects being conducted at TREC. Read more about the 2019 TURF fellows, or see quotes from 2018 participants.

Group Activities

TURF fellows are given adjacent workspaces within TREC's offices so that they can get acquainted with each other, and with the rest of TREC's staff, even though they may be working on different projects. TREC also organizes events and activities to help introduce the group of students to Portland, the university, and the region's transportation community. Group activities have included bike tours of the city, ice cream socials, and workshops with faculty. We also provide information for students interested in getting to know the local transportation network, exploring Portland and beyond. 



As soon as you are accepted into your program at PSU, students can begin developing their academic and professional lives through forging relationships between transportation students and professionals. Participate in events, apply for scholarships, and engage in mentorship programs through local chapters of professional development organizations.