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Student Travel Funding

Doctoral Student Conference Travel Funding Policy (updated Spring 2023) 

The Linguistics Department encourages its doctoral students to present their work at conferences. This encouragement includes funding to defray some of the cost of attending. Students should discuss their general plans for presenting at conferences, and any specific plans for a trip, with faculty advisors. While conference presentations are important, sometimes the time and energy involved is better directed elsewhere (e.g. preparing work for publication).

Students must apply before the trip for funding. The application includes indicating a faculty sponsor of the trip, with whom the student should discuss the plan before applying.


Before you travel:
1. Complete the student travel funding application: https://forms.gle/nkYATqnjBodWpyKWA

2. Ask your faculty advisor to complete the faculty sponsor form: https://forms.gle/gmz1KKQwQjGoakU3A

3. Register your travel (https://travelregistry.umasscs.net/)

4. Send an email to the office manager (Narda Wakoluk) and chair (Joe Pater) letting them know steps 1-3 are done.

After you travel:
Fill out the travel reimbursement form: https://forms.gle/PRrJ3Bt45bNRuAwm7

Turn in all relevant receipts to the office manager. For an especially complex travel arrangement that is funded by more than one department or includes some grant funding, it is helpful if you itemize your receipts and explain in detail who is funding each expense. All non-English receipts must be translated. For any Uber, taxi or metro receipts, or mileage reimbursements, indicate the departure and arrival locations.


Any current, in-residence PhD student is eligible. Students who, at the time of the conference, are on leave or are not in residence (e.g., teaching elsewhere while completing a dissertation) are not eligible. 

Eligible conferences include annual meetings, one-time events, workshops, etc. 

To be eligible, the student must give a talk, present a poster, or speak as a formal discussant. Merely attending, interviewing, or chairing a session are insufficient. 

Number of trips 

A student in the last two years of his/her program is eligible for two reimbursed trips in each academic year (where the Academic Year starts Sept. 1 and ends August 31). Third year students who have defended both generals papers and students beyond the fifth year who remain in the area, are making progress on a dissertation, and are actively seeking a job will also be eligible for two trips. Other third year students, and first and second years are typically eligible for one reimbursed trip per academic year. 

Reimbursement limits per trip are $1400, usually $1000 for transportation and $400 for lodging. These limits can occasionally be exceeded in special circumstances. A “trip” may include more than one conference, if two conferences happen to be able to be attended in one trip. Reimbursement limits are per trip, not per conference.

The department has committed to fully funding one trip per student; funding for the second trip for eligible students is contingent on resources available.

Reimbursable expenses 

Transportation, Registration, and Lodging are all reimbursable

  1. Meals are not reimbursable, except for breakfast if it is normally included in the cost of a hotel room 
  2. Individual items under $10 are not covered (e.g., local bus fares). 
  3. There is no reimbursement for mileage between home and airport, nor for airport parking. 

If you drive to a conference, however, that mileage is reimbursable. 

No other expenses are reimbursable. Non-reimbursable expenses include (but are not limited to) meals (except as above), photocopying, visas, etc. 

Sources of funds, application procedure 

Students should discuss all trips with advisors. The application consists of two google forms, one for the student, and one for the advisor. 

The advisor will be asked if they have funds to support the travel. The department commits to funding student travel under this program whether or not the advisor has funds to support it.

Conference organizers, fellowship programs, and the home governments of international students are also sometimes sources of support for academic travel. 


Requests for exceptions to any of these policies should be directed to the Department Chair.