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Travel Awards

The Graduate Office offers funding for students to attend scientific meetings each year.  Each award is for a maximum of $500.

The goal of this program is to encourage students to present their data and begin to develop contacts with scientists beyond the University of Pittsburgh. To this end, we require that applicants for travel fellowships be making a presentation at the meeting. This should be documented in the form of an abstract or other such submission in which the applicant is the first author. The opportunities to meet and interact with senior scientists are much greater at smaller meetings than at large gatherings. Gordon Conferences, which are a week in duration and typically have up to 200 attendees, represent the prototype of meetings that we would prefer to support; there are many others that fall into this general category.

The opportunity to meet potential post-doctoral advisors or employers emphasizes the value of meeting attendance to more senior students. Accordingly, in the selection process preference will be given to students who have completed their comprehensive exams and are closer to graduation. Other factors that will be considered include the support for the meeting indicated by the student's mentor, as well as participation in on-campus student activities such as the BGSA.

You can apply for a travel award by providing the following information to the Graduate Office (

  • Your name, program, advisor's name, the date you passed your Comprehensive Exam, and your expected date of graduation.
  • The name, location, and date of the meeting you wish to attend.
  • A letter from your advisor that briefly describes the nature of the meeting and the anticipated attendance, the benefits to you of attending, and the expected total cost of the meeting. The advisor should also indicate whether other travel fellowships are available for the meeting. This will not preclude support by this mechanism but is necessary to ensure that support does not overlap.
  • A copy of the abstract of the presentation that you will make at the meeting.

Applications for travel fellowships will be considered as they are received. Applications will be reviewed and approved by the Associate Dean. All materials must be submitted at least three months before the meeting. Each award will be for a maximum of $500. We will provide no more than one travel fellowship per student per year, and one fellowship per laboratory for any given meeting.  Travel awards are also available through the Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG).