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Travel Grants

The Graduate School provides funding to support graduate student travel for presentations at conferences, professional meetings and exhibitions. Administration of the program has recently been revamped: each program receives a block grant based on enrollment, and the Graduate Program Director (GPD) is in charge of distributing the funds.

Graduate Student Travel Grant Program Requirements

Enrolled, matriculated graduate students (including Program Fee/Continuous Enrollment) are eligible for funding under the program. Applicants must be accepted or invited to present their work at a conference, professional meeting or exhibition and must provide verification of that to their GPD. The review and approval process will be managed in the departments and directed and/or overseen by the GPD.

It is up to the GPD to determine how they wish to handle requests from their graduate students, though they are welcome to mirror the documents we have used in the centralized process. GPDs/departments will determine amounts of individual awards and how many of their students they fund. Each department will be required to report annually on their use of Graduate Student Travel Grant funds: who, where and how much. Departments which fail to report will not receive an allocation for the subsequent year.

The point of the program is to provide some support to graduate students in their efforts to establish themselves in their field and to acquire the necessary experience and skills for their job search and their future in their chosen field. GPDs and faculty in departments know best the most important and useful conferences and events for their graduate students and are therefore best positioned to decide which opportunities most warrant funding. Shifting the award process to the departments will eliminate duplicate effort and reduce the time involved in the process.

For GPDs and Business Managers

GPDs and department business managers will be notified of the amount of their block grant and business managers will be asked to confirm the account to which they would like the funds transferred. Transfers will begin to be processed as we receive confirmations of the accounts from department business offices. In any case, once you have been notified of the amount of your allocation, you can begin to award funding based on that. If you have questions or need other assistance, please contact David Lafond at the program e-mail, travelgrant@grad.umass.edu or 577-6286.

For Students

Students who anticipate professional travel as described above should check with their GPD on the department process to request funding and should submit their request once they have confirmation of their presentation or as directed by the GPD. Your GPD will have guidelines about what to include in your request. Travel funding is processed as a business expense reimbursement. Students who receive funding should check with their business office on specific procedures for reimbursement. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules require that expense reimbursements be processed within 60 days and documented with original receipts so it is important to submit the necessary documents for reimbursement as soon as possible after your return.