GEC Travel Awards

The Graduate Education Committee (GEC) gives out small awards to support graduate student travel to national and international scientific meetings.

The awards are open to all CBL graduate students, regardless of degree program or discipline. Students may only apply for an award up to twice in a calendar year. The awards are made exclusively to graduate students who are giving an oral presentation or presenting a poster at the meeting that they are attending. A formal acceptance of the students presentation by the meeting is required. The GEC does not support workshop attendance. The awards are up to $500 for domestic and up to $750 for foreign destinations, per student, per request. Eligible students are usually guaranteed to receive the award, provided they fulfill the obligations outlined below. Students who receive a travel award are required to participate in CBL outreach and educational events. Students should contact the Outreach Coordinator for available opportunities.

Students who qualify and wish to apply for the University of Maryland Jacob K. Goldhaber Travel Award can use a GEC travel award to meet its matching funds requirement. The application form must be signed for approval by the GEC chair; this can be done electronically. There may also be additional small awards available from private donors who wish to support students, please contact the Assistant Director for Development for details on these. Additionally, there may be other travel funds available from the MEES office. Students are also encouraged to look for sponsorship through professional societies and many conferences will assist in the support of student travel.

Students applying for GEC travel support must supply the following:

  1. A cover letter. This must name the meeting you wish to attend, meeting and/or travel dates, the title and form of your presentation, and the significance of the meeting to your graduate research.

  2. A travel budget. This should include the total travel amount and highlight what the requested award amount may be used for. Expenses may include meeting registration and abstract fees, airfare, ground transportation, or personal vehicle miles, airline baggage fees, parking fees and tolls, accommodation etc. Sharing accommodation with co-attending students is encouraged and should be noted. Poster printing may NOT be charged to this award.

  3. A letter of support from your advisor. This should state that your advisor supports your wish to attend the meeting and should specify the need for GEC support. Specifically, it should contain an assurance that any expenses exceeding the amount of the GEC award will be covered by your advisor.

  4. An official confirmation from the meeting organizers or session chair that your abstract was accepted either as an oral or poster presentation. This can be in the form of an e-mail or letter. The GEC is aware that such confirmation is often sent well after the registration date, so it can be submitted after the other documents when available.

These materials can be e-mailed to the GEC chair as multiple files or a single, combined pdf file. Requesting the advisor letter of support is the responsibility of the student. Students may request expedited processing of their application if the meeting days are shortly after the beginning of the upcoming request period; such requests should be made to the GEC chair.

Upon receiving a GEC travel award, students will be notified via e-mail, with cc-s to the student's advisor and to the CBL budget office. Recipients must:

• Submit a Travel Authorization Request (TAR) form to the CBL budget office in advance of travel. The TAR form must specify the amount that will be charged to the GEC account (i.e. $750 or less for International travel, $500 or less for domestic travel. Any additional expenses are the responsibility of the student and his/her advisor and must be charged to a different account number.

• Have the CBL business office purchase all travel, registration costs and other expenses. Students who make purchases on their own may not receive reimbursement and will not be covered for refunds if flights/travel plans need to be cancelled.

• Submit a Travel Expense Statement (TES) form and all original receipts to the CBL budget office after travel has been completed.

• Give an oral presentation in the CBL Brown Bag Student Seminar Series, preferably in the series preceding the meeting or in the one directly following the meeting.

•Complete 4 or more hours per travel award of an outreach/education or development opportunity. Attendance at CBLs open house does not count towards these hours.