UW Graduate School

Graduate Student Conference Travel Awards

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be accepting requests for students who presented at conferences between January 1 and November 31, 2021 from October 1-December 1, 2021. For conferences in December 2021 or later, we will resume the deadline schedule below. Also due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will now include the conference registration fee in the allowable expenses to reimburse (this change will be indefinite).

Definition and Policy

  1. Graduate student travel awards are available to assist graduate students with travel fares and conference registration fees for national or international conferences so they may present papers or posters, or to serve as invited speakers. Students in the arts may receive funding to give invited performances or installations.
  2. Each student must be confirmed as a presenter before funds are requested, and each student must be in a degree program and enrolled in courses at the time of travel. (If the conference is in summer and the student is not enrolled, then he/she must have been enrolled in spring and registered for autumn classes at the time of request in order to be eligible.)
  3. Funds may be used only for transportation (airfare, mileage, taxis, etc) or conference registration fees; they may not be used for hotels, food or other expenses.
  4. Individual awards are limited to one every other year.1
  5. Priority will be given to graduate students who do not have other significant funding available for the travel and/or who have not received general graduate student conference travel funding from the Graduate School in the past.
  6. These awards are intended to support graduate students presenting research conducted at the University of Washington, and not at prior institutions.

Maximum Award Amounts

  • $300 for domestic travel
  • $500 for international travel

A limited amount of funding is available each period noted below to support graduate student travel within that period. Funding will be approved after stated deadlines with adjustments to maintain equity in the process. Departments should develop their own processes and priorities for students to request funding. Requests must be submitted before the trip and by the deadlines for each period. Funding will not be awarded retroactively. Departments may submit their requests at any time in advance of deadlines, but decisions for the travel period will be made only after the pertinent deadline has passed.

If an award is made and the student does not attend the conference or chooses not to use the Graduate School funding, please notify the Office of Fellowships and Awards so the award can be canceled and the student can maintain eligibility for funding.

We attempt to distribute funding equitably. If a department has made significantly greater use of the funds compared to other units, we may begin to place future requests on a waiting list. Toward the end of the fiscal year, in April or May, we will determine if anyone on the waiting list can be moved to funded status. If any students on the waiting list are fully reimbursed in the interim, they will not be considered for funding.

Submitting a Request

Travel requests must be submitted by authorized departmental personnel using the Awards portal in MyGrad. Students wishing to request travel awards should contact their departments for instructions and internal policies and procedures.

Requests may be submitted at any time prior to the requested trip but no later than the deadline listed for each travel time frame. Requests will be considered during the appropriate time frame as listed below, and awards will be made shortly after the deadline. As you will see below, for any one month of travel there are two different deadline opportunities by when a request can be submitted.

Submit a general conference travel funding request


Month of Travel
Deadline 1 Deadline 2
September July 1 August 1
October August 1 September 1
November September 1 October 1
December October 1 November 1
January November 1 December 1
February December 1 January 1
March January 1 February 1
April February 1 March 1
May March 1 April 1
June April 1 May 1
July May 1 June 1
August June 1 July 1

Request Justification

The justification section of the request must include:

  1. Title of the paper, poster or talk student is presenting
  2. Whether or not the student has applied for or is receiving other funding (this includes funding provided through the conference, department, faculty, and GPSS). If yes, source and amount requested or received.
  3. If applicable, an explanation of extenuating circumstances contrary to stated policies (Note: late requests will be considered only if paper/poster acceptance was made after the final deadline for the travel period. When you make the request in MyGrad Program, email a copy of the acceptance to Fellowships & Awards: gradappt@uw.edu.)
  4. Priority (optional; departments may choose to rank the requests they submit, and we will consider them in priority order)

By submitting a request, departments verify the conference is significant within the field of study and that the experience is important to the student’s academic progress (unless otherwise noted in the justification section). In order to submit a request, departments must upload a copy of the invitation letter or acceptance notification sent to the student.

Accessing Awards

The award approval process in MyGrad Program will generate an email message to the student and the requester. Award amounts are authorized to be spent from departmental GSF-RSA budgets (75-XXXX). No actual transfer of funds will occur. Please use PCA code “GRAD” when reimbursing.

MyGrad Program provides documentation of award amounts — students must first log into the student portal of MyGrad Program and accept the award. Departmental personnel will handle all travel reimbursements and can reimburse the Graduate School portion directly onto the GSF budget. We require that students be reimbursed directly and that no budget transfers be done. Students should contact their departmental financial administrators for instructions on accessing awards.

Questions should be directed to the Office of Fellowships and Awards.

1A year runs from July 1–June 30 (fiscal year).