Office of Research Travel Award

The Undergraduate Research Undergraduate Conference Travel Award promotes student involvement in their disciplines by partially funding travel costs associated with professional presentations at regional, national, and international conferences. Student poster and oral presentations, performances, and exhibits in all disciplines are eligible for funding.

This is a rolling application and the Office of Research makes awards on a first-come, first-served basis upon confirmation of matching funds.

The Council on Undergraduate Research also offers travel grants for students in certain disciplines. These can be combined with the Office of Research award, but cannot take the place of a departmental match. Learn more here.

What Travel Funding Can Do for You

Gain Experience

Scholars can practice their professional skills by becoming involved in their disciplines.

Network with Professionals

Traveling to conferences can provide outstanding career building opportunities.

Communicate your Research

Professional presentations skills are the nuts and bolts of communicating results to professional audiences.

Travel Funding Award Logistics

Matching Funds

This award requires another department at USU to provide matching funds. Office of Research awards are given as a dollar-for-dollar match for the funds you secure through your department.

Students primarily receive matching funds from their research mentor or department. Some colleges also provide funds, and students are welcome to request funding from other campus entities. You will not be able to submit this application without indicating where your matching funds will come from, and that department will need to commit to funding you before your application is considered.

Funding Amount

The maximum amount you may request from the Office of Research depends on the location of the conference:

  • Regional Conference
    • Events held in UT, ID, WY, CO, NM, AZ, NV
    • $200 maximum award
  • National Conference
    • Events held in all other US states
    • $300 maximum award
  • International Conference
    • Events in any non-US territory
    • $400 maximum award

Your department may elect to match at any rate; as long as funds remain in each month, we will match dollar-for-dollar their award up to our maximum for your event.

Eligible Expenses

If awarded, these funds can be used for travel expenses including:

All expenses (other than per diems and mileage) require an itemized receipt to be eligible for reimbursement. Expenses accrued above the combined departmental and Office of Research award limit will not be reimbursed. If the full award is not used for approved and documented expenses, the remaining combined award will be returned 1:1 to the Office of Research and the department.

Awarded students and their departments are required to submit all documentation for reimbursement within 60 days of the conference start date in order to receive a reimbursement from the Office of Research.

Event Eligibility

The Office of Research has designated this fund to support students in the presentation of their research or creative inquiry at a professional event. In many disciplines, this takes place as a poster or oral presentation at a professional conference; in the arts, this can be a performance or exhibit. The event that you intend to present at will be verified by the department matching your funds as legitimate before your application is considered for this award.

Students must be confirmed as presenters (or performers/exhibitors) at the professional event and must provide proof of acceptance in their application. Typically, students are notified by email that they have been accepted to present or perform and such an email would qualify as proof of acceptance. Similarly, being listed in a conference program would be acceptable as proof of acceptance to present.

Students that travel to a conference as an attendee will not be considered for this award, but may be able to secure departmental or college funds to do so. If you would like to attend a conference but will not present, please discuss this with your mentor or department.

Student Eligibility

Students are eligible if they meet the following requirements:

  • They are a current, USU-registered student, on the Logan campus, any distance education location, or online.
    • Distance education and online students may apply for funding to travel to the USU Logan Campus for conferences and events if all other eligibility requirements are met.
  • They are undergraduate students and have not yet graduated at the time of the application submission.
    • If a graduating senior applies before graduation to attend a summer event, they are eligible at the discretion of the department agreeing to match funding.
    • Students enrolled in 2-year or certificate programs at an undergraduate level are eligible.

Only one travel award per presentation will be funded. For groups where multiple undergraduates are co-authors, they may work with their department to share travel funding. Otherwise, only the first student that applies will be eligible for the UR Travel Award. This does not affect students presenting, performing or exhibiting different works at the same conference.

Students may only receive this award once per fiscal year (running July 1 to June 30), and are limited to two travel awards over the course of their undergraduate degree. Undergraduate Travel Awards do not affect eligibility for students to apply for the School of Graduate Studies Travel Award if they remain at USU for graduate programs.

Other Travel Funds

There are two other USU funds specifically dedicated to support undergraduate students in research-related travel. The Academic Opportunity Fund, run by the USU Student Association, uses a portion of student fees to fund student travel for presentations. You can learn more and apply here.

Students in the University Honors Program may be eligible to apply for the Honors Research and Study Abroad Fund to cover presentation travel expenses as well. Information on eligibility and the application are here.

These awards are unrelated to the Office of Research and can be combined with the Undergraduate Conference Travel Award.

University Travel Policies

All students, faculty and staff traveling with funding from the university must abide by all USU policies regarding travel. Please carefully review these here. Students should also confirm with the department providing their matching funding that they are familiar with any departmental requirements, and understand the process for travel authorization and reimbursement. Awarded students should discuss the award and travel plans with their department before making any purchases or arrangements.

Awarded students and their departments are required to submit all documentation for reimbursement within 60 days of the conference start date in order to receive a reimbursement from the Office of Research.

International Travel

Students traveling internationally must abide by all USU policies regarding travel and purchase International SOS insurance. Learn more about international travel requirements here.

Share Your Experience

Within a week of attending their event, funded students are required to submit pictures of themselves to document their experience for the Office of Research. Pictures of our students presenting, attending other parts of the conference, sightseeing, or otherwise enjoying their travel and conference experiences are encouraged, and can be sent to us during and after the event. The best pictures will be featured on our social media channels and may prompt follow-up contact for longer profiles on their research and travel experience!

Students are also encouraged to share their experiences on their own social media channels using #AggieTravel and tagging Undergraduate Research (Twitter @USU_UR or Facebook @USUUR).

To apply, students are required to complete a web-based form (Click “Apply Now”). The form requires the following information:

  • Student information: Student Name, A#, Department
  • Conference information: The conference title, location, dates, and conference webpage
  • Presentation information:
    • All authors
    • The title of the presentation
    • Presentation format (poster/oral presentation/performance)
  • Matching Funds: Source of matching funds
  • Proof of conference acceptance: Students must be listed in the conference program and must provide prof of acceptance at the time of application. Typically, students are notified by email that they have been accepted to present or perform and such an email would qualify as proof of acceptance. Similarly, being listed in a conference program would be acceptable as proof of acceptance to present. This can be uploaded as a PDF, or submitted as a link to the conference program.

Upon submission, students will receive an automated email confirmation that their application has been received.

From there, the application will go to the department providing matching funds. They will verify the conference or event’s legitimacy and student’s status as presenter and approve or deny the request to fund the travel. If rejected, the student may reapply with a different matching source; if accepted by the department, the student will then be considered by the Office of Research for funding.

When the department confirms matching funding and approval of the student, Office of Research funds are allocated on a first-come basis until the funds for the month of travel are exhausted.

All applicants will receive an email to inform them if their application is accepted for funding or rejected by the department or the Office of Research.

Approved Applications: Travel Authorization

For approved travel awards, the student’s home department will be contacted with further information about the financial process for the award. Travel Authorization (TA) and Reimbursement (TR) forms are to be completed by the department providing matching funds. Funds will be allocated within the Office of Research and disbursed to the department providing the match upon receipt of TA/TR information at the conclusion of travel; all documentation for travel must be submitted to the Office of Research within 60 days of the conference start date to be eligible for reimbursement. Departments that do not complete this step will not be reimbursed for any portion of the award, and the student may be liable for these expenses. Students should work closely with their funding department to ensure that all paperwork is completed as required before and after travel.

Deadlines

Funding is limited, so students should apply immediately upon confirmation that they are presenting. Applications must be submitted at least two weeks prior to conference travel; no retroactive applications will be considered.

All travel expense paperwork must be submitted to the Office of Research within 60 days of the conference start date. Student pictures must be submitted within one week of the conference end date. Failure to meet these deadlines may result in the student and/or department not being reimbursed for travel expenses. If extenuating circumstances occur and may delay either of these submissions, please contact Athena Dupont at athena.dupont@usu.edu to request an extension or waiver.

If you receive the award, please review the following information.

Claiming Your Award:

Please contact your department to claim your award; contact information for the departmental travel officer will be included in your award email. They will work with you to complete a Travel Authorization (TA) form in advance of any purchases or travel, as well as complete a Travel Reimbursement (TR) form when you have made all purchases for the trip.

  • TAs are confirmation that your travel is approved and that your expenses will be covered by the university. These should be completed at least one week before your travel start date but should be done as soon as possible.
  • TRs are the documentation for the expenses you accrued that will be reimbursed. Your department will not be reimbursed by the Office of Research until a TR is filed.
  • The index for the URF program of the Office of Research is included in your award email, which should be used in the TA and TR forms.

It is important that you contact your department before you take any other steps, as each department has a system in place for student travel and you need to follow their guidelines in order to be eligible for your funding. Your department will manage their share of your award as well as the funding provided by the Office of Research.

Departments vary on how they handle travel purchases. It may be expected that you will make the purchases and submit your receipts to be refunded after your travel; many departments prefer to make the purchases on your behalf. Work with your department to ensure that the process for handling your travel expenses is clear and feasible.

Eligible Expenses:

University funds can be used for:

If you have other travel-related expenses that are not listed here, please contact your department to confirm that they are eligible.

All expenses (other than per diems and mileage) require an itemized receipt to be eligible for reimbursement. Expenses accrued above the combined departmental and Office of Research award limit will not be reimbursed.

Before You Travel:

All students, faculty and staff traveling with funding from the university must abide by all USU policies regarding travel. Please carefully review these here. Students traveling internationally must also purchase International SOS insurance. Learn more about international travel requirements here.

During Your Trip:

Within a week of attending their event, you are required to submit pictures to document your experience for the Office of Research. This can be a picture of you presenting, attending other parts of the conference, sightseeing, or otherwise enjoying travel and the conference. Group pictures are welcome, but we ask that you include the USU-affiliated group members’ names in your caption for inclusion in any posts we share.

Submit your pictures here!

You will receive an email reminder after your trip to complete this requirement, as well.

The best pictures will be featured on our social media channels and may prompt follow-up contact for longer profiles on their research and travel experience! Students are also encouraged to share their experiences on their own social media channels using #AggieTravel and tagging Undergraduate Research (Twitter @USU_UR or Facebook @USUUR).

After You Travel:

When you have completed your travel, you need to submit all financial documentation (including itemized receipts) to your department so that they may complete your Travel Reimbursement form.

All expenses up to the amount of the award must be posted to the Office of Research index within 60 days of the conference start date in order to be reimbursed. Expenses not submitted by that time will be the responsibility of the department and/or student. A reminder following the conference will be sent to the department to ensure this step is completed.

If the full award is not used for approved and documented expenses, the remaining combined award will be returned 1:1 to the Office of Research and the department.

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Contact Information

For more information please contact Athena Dupont (435) 797-3762 athena.dupont@usu.edu or Alexa Sand (435) 797-8549 alexa.sand@usu.edu