Travel Grant Funds

The department normally has college RGSO and departmental funds for students to travel to professional meetings. Students should contact the department’s GAC about the availability of funds. The GAC will evaluate proposals according to the following criteria.


The fund was established to facilitate student travel to professional meetings. There is no limit to the number of times a student may apply for travel funds during their graduate career. Students can also apply for funding to attend more than one meeting in an academic year.


To be eligible you must meet the following requirements.

  • Be enrolled in the graduate program
  • Present written confirmation of acceptance to present a paper at a conference
  • Submit a proposal in paper and electronic form to the Graduate Program Assistant
  • The paper version must be signed by the student’s adviser


The deadline for submissions is the first Friday in October. Students must submit an electronic copy of requests for funding to the graduate program assistant.


The grants are competitive, and not every request will be funded. Judging from the college-wide RGSO competition several years ago, about one-half of all requests will be successful. Travel request evaluations will be based on, but not limited to, the following priorities. These priorities listed below in no particular order, are consistent with the ones used previously by the RGSO.

  • Students close to finishing their degree who are on the job market
  • Students who have defended their proposals (i.e., completed the comprehensive exam)
  • Students who present the paper or poster (either as sole author or the individual who presents a co-authored paper)
  • Students who are presenting their own work at a major meeting
  • Students who are presenting research of high quality (preferably work completed while at Penn State)
  • Promising new students pursuing topics directly related to planned doctoral research
  • Students who are in good standing in the department and are making rapid progress towards their degree
  • National meetings rather than local or regional meetings
  • Meetings that specifically advance the student’s research

Successful Proposal Requirements

Successful applicants will occasionally be requested to present their research at either a Department Colloquium or a subfield’s Journal Seminar. Poster presenters may be requested to provide a poster for display in the department or museum.

Travel Funds Reimbursement

Once you are awarded your funding you will need to contact Devin Sherman in 416 Carpenter Building about the reimbursement guidelines.  When booking your own airline tickets you will not be eligible for any type of reimbursement until after you return from travel. Remember to save all receipts. If traveling within the United States, you must keep your passenger receipts or e-tickets. If traveling outside of the United States, reimbursement will be provided using Penn State’s standard Meals & Incidental Expenses policy. All Students must complete and submit a travel support form to Devin Sherman within 30 days of their return to request a reimbursement or to settle an advance.

Download and complete the Travel Request Form to submit your request.