Martin Roche Travel Scholarship

© Francisco Lopez de Arenosa

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Established in 1926 by architect Martin Roche, FAIA, the Martin Roche Travel Scholarship gives a student the opportunity to independently study architecture abroad. 

Students have studied diverse subjects, such as the transformation of brownfield sites in Germany; the relationship between design and crime in Medellin, Colombia; and modernist religious architecture in Italy.  

A grant of $6,000 is available to students enrolled in a NAAB accredited architecture program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology, or the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

The proposal must describe an independent study of an architecture-related topic that takes place in a country other than the United States of America and that does not qualify for credit toward your degree program.

Successful applicants have demonstrated a clarity in travel plans and proposal goals and outcomes. Ensure travel plans are reasonable in the amount of the time proposed. For example, traveling to four countries or eight cities in one month may not be practical in accomplishing an effective and thorough research project.

About Martin Roche, FAIA

Martin Roche, FAIA (1853-1927) was among the Chicago architects who designed the city’s earliest tall buildings in the 1880s and 1890s and whose innovative designs came to be known as the Chicago school of architecture.  In 1881, he joined William Holabird, FAIA (1854-1923) in the firm Holabird and Simonds which became Holabird and Roche in 1883. In his will, Mr. Roche specified that after his death, his “pictures, paintings and etchings” were to be sold and the funds used by AIA Chicago to support architecture students who “wish to study architecture abroad.”  The AIA Chicago Foundation, established in 1969, awarded the first Roche travel scholarship in 1983.


Application must include:

  • A title of the study project
  • A short description of the study topic
  • A statement describing your travel study objectives and how will the proposed trip help your architecture career
  • A proposed itinerary or timeline for your travel study
  • A concise general budget, outlining anticipated expenses for your travel study
  • A one-page resume
  • A list of academic honors, scholarships, other awards, or recognitions received
  • Two letters of recommendation:
    • One from the faculty member at your college of architecture who has agree to be the advisor for your research
    • One from an individual of your choosing

Scholarship Information

Award: $6,000 Grant

Submissions Open: Monday, February 5, 2024
Submissions Close: Thursdsay, March 21, 2024

Past Martin Roche Travel Scholarship Recipients

2023 No scholarship given

2022 - Ethan O'Kane, UIC - Research on the Pearling Path - Muharraq, Bahrain

2021 - Erik Schiller, IIT - Study of The Emergence of A Landscape Discipline in The Context of International Development and Post-Soviet Land Use - Republic of Georgia

2019 - Andrea Hunt, SAIC - Water Infrastructures, Technologies, and Futurisms within Mexico City and its Periphery - Mexico

2018 - Melis Isil Simsek, SAIC - Architecture as Social Construction or Social Destruction: The Case of Sulukule - Turkey

2017 - Ruta Misiunas, UIC - Rebellious Construction: The Movement for Freedom of Expression in Soviet Construction - Lithuania

2016 - Devon Morris, UIC - Colonizing Heritage: The Adaptive Reuse of Myanmar's Architecture - Myanmar

2015 - Janina Sanchez, UIC - Political Urbanism: An urban catalogue of "Good Living" - Ecuador

2014 - Tim Walser, UIC - Entropolis: Lessons from Manila - Republic of Phillipines

2013 - Taylor Holloway, UIC - Design Better / Design Forward - Sub-Saharan Africa

2012 - Anne Dudek, IIT - China's Rapid Urbanization Population: Architectural Needs and Responses - China

2011 - Jennifer McKenzie, IIT - Room to Grow - Finland

2010 - Maria Paulina Carvallo, IIT - Study of technical textiles to examine projects with new fabrication techniques for creating openings in multi-layer facades - Germany

2009 - Ernest Bellamy III, IIT - Medellin: Public Spaces Perceptions + Reconnections - Medellin, Colombia

2008 - Cady Chintis, UIC - Study documenting architectural and landscape design strategies that have driven the region's incredible post-industrial comeback - Germany

2007 - Andrew Fawcett, IIT - Study of Giovanni Michelucci's Work - Italy

2006 - John Musial, UIC - Netherlands

2006 - Judith Rodriguez - Portieles, IIT -  Australia

2005 - Carlyn So, UIC - Central America

2004 - Chris-Annmarie Spencer, UIC - Johannesburg to Cape Town: Social Stratification & Apartheid - South Africa

2003 - Colin Franzen, UIC - Interspersing Natural Landscapes with Buildings -  Japan

2002 - William Corcoran, UIC - Five Public Spaces in Spain - Spain

2001 - Robin Ford, IIT -  Traditional Building Practices and their Transistion to Modern Use in Restorations as well as Comtemporary Buildings - Iceland

2000 No scholarship given

1999 No scholarship given

1998 - David Brach, UIC - Landscape and the Language of the City:  Studying Architecture as Part of a Larger Context of Relationships - Netherlands/France/Spain

1997 - Kindon Mills, IIT - Effect of the Desert on Citymaking and Dwelling - Tunsia

1996 No scholarship given

1995 - Timothy Murphy, UIC - Railway Stations in Paris & London - Paris, France/London, England

1994 - Helen Tsatsos, UIC - Le Corbusier's Four French Unites d'Habitation - France

1993 - Sarah Bader, UIC - Studying Handcrafted Woodworking Techniques in Beaminster, England - England

1992 - Ellen Dineen Grimes, UIC - Studying Urban Design in Rome & Milan and the New pavillion in Barcelona - Italy/Spain

1991 - Edmund D. Newman, UIC  - Rome, Italy

1990 - David Fleming, IIT - Studying New Technologies in Japan - Japan