College of the Environment policy for contribution to student/postdoc meeting attendance

The College of the Environment supports undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in furthering their careers, and in making connections to networking opportunities afforded by the presentation of their original work in academic and/or professional meeting venues, by helping to support travel expenses to scholarly/professional meetings. Summer school attendance is generally not eligible for funding.

UW Environment supports individual student/postdoc travel, or virtual presentations, at academic meetings.

Submission process

Proposals during the 2023-2024 academic year are reviewed with the following submission deadlines.

Travel and conference attendance should be accomplished within six months of the date of the award. Awards will not be granted retroactively for travel and conferences that have already been completed, so please plan accordingly.

2023-24 submission deadlines

  • Autumn 2023: Friday, October 27
  • Winter 2024: Friday, January 26
  • Spring 2024: Friday, March 29
  • Summer 2024: Friday, June 28


The College realizes that presentation of original work at national or international meetings hosted by professional societies can truly accelerate the career of an early career scholar. We define professional meetings as those hosted by professional scholarly organizations operating at a regional, national or international level.  Examples include: the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), or the Ecological Society of America (ESA).  If you have a question about whether the meeting you would like to attend is eligible, please contact in advance of your application.


Applicants may only receive a travel funding grant once per degree (students) or position (postdocs).  Note that applications for participation in virtual meetings (online meeting registration only) will be considered more than once.

Applicants must be matriculated students receiving their degree from the College of the Environment, or postdoctoral scholars employed on a UW College of the Environment budget and with a College of the Environment advisor/Principal Investigator.

Undergraduates pursuing a minor in the College, but not a major, are not eligible to apply. Graduates pursuing a Graduate Certificate in the College, but not a UW Environment graduate degree, are not eligible to apply.

Applicants must be giving oral presentations of their original work (including co-authored work where the applicant is the presenting author). In extraordinary circumstances, funding may be available for poster presentations; for instance, if the conference only features poster presentations. If you are applying for funding for a poster presentation, you will be asked to describe these extenuating circumstances preventing an oral presentation and should ask your faculty advisor to also do so in their letter of support. Without this explicit additional documentation, your application will not be considered.

For Postdocs Only:  It is the expectation of the College that postdoctoral scholars working on grant/contract funding supporting research/scholarship will also be supported on those funding sources to present their work to professional audiences.  Therefore, added weight will be given to applications that clearly demonstrate that the work being presented falls outside of this focused research.  Examples might include interdisciplinary work, work that has evolved out of interactions with other scientists or labs while at the UW, or work that is not directly aligned with the work of the PI/research project.

Funding (NOTE – new rates starting in 2024)

Travel to national meetings (including Canada) funding maximum is $1,000.

Travel to an international meeting funding maximum is $1,500.

UW Environment Individual Student/Postdoc Travel Funds can be used to support:

  • conference registration fees
  • airfare, bus and other transportation costs
  • lodging and meals (NOT to include alcohol), up to per diem for the city of travel

UW Environment will not provide support for:

  • alcohol
  • accommodation or food expenses above per diem
  • stipend or salary payments
  • creation of presentation materials

To Apply

To apply for online meeting registration costs only, please provide:

  • Applicant name, unit, name of faculty advisor/PI
  • For students only: degree sought
  • Name of Meeting; Professional Society or Organization hosting the meeting
  • Dates of meeting
  • Presentation title, author(s), and abstract, as submitted to the meeting organizers.
  • Brief statement (300 words max) about how presenting your work at this meeting will advance your career.
  • Registration cost
  • If the amount requested is more than $300, please submit a letter of support from your faculty advisor using the guidelines detailed below

To apply for funding for individual student/postdoc travel:

  • Budget guidelines
    • Use the template to provide detail about your total estimated budget and funding sources. Where applicable, use UW meal and lodging per diem rates. To reduce costs, consider cost-saving measures such as sharing a room with a fellow student/colleague attending the conference or only requesting the amount necessary for meals or lodging (rather than the full per diem amount)
    • The strongest applications will show requested or approved support from several sources. If you are only requesting funding from the College, please state the reasons why you have not applied elsewhere
    • Upload your budget file using the format “LAST NAME, FIRST NAME Budget Proposal” when prompted
  • Obtain a one page letter of support from your faculty advisor


  • Please alert your faculty advisor of these required elements to ensure a strong letter of support:
    • How this particular conference is seminal in advancing the applicant’s career
    • Why this applicant in particular should be supported by the College.  If you have multiple students and/or postdocs applying for funding in the same quarter, please be careful to clearly distinguish among them
    • Why grant/contract support is not available to cover all of the travel expenses this student/postdoc requires.  Note that partial support of an applicant is viewed favorably by the committee
  • Have your faculty advisor save the letter of support as a PDF and name the document using the format “APPLICANT LAST NAME, APPLICANT FIRST NAME_ADVISOR LAST NAME_SupportLetter” and then upload document when prompted by the online application OR have your faculty advisor email the pdf directly to

Your application is not complete until you have submitted all materials. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Meeting Synopsis

Within one month of the meeting, awardees must submit a brief synopsis to Your synopsis should include the:

  • List of any awards/honorable mentions you received
  • Final title of your presentation
  • Session title, including whether the session is invited, or general session
  • Date and time of your presentation
  • Online attendance in your session/at your talk

Application review process

All complete applications will be reviewed by the College of the Environment Student Scholarship and Funding Committee, comprised of faculty and staff who are advisory to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. The Committee will submit recommendations, together with a brief explanation, to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, who will make the final funding decisions. Because of the continuing nature of this funding cycle, the Associate Dean reserves the right to sub-select from highly ranked applications in any single quarter, to balance out awards annually.

The Committee will score individual travel grant applications as follows:

  • Statement of how this specific meeting will help further career (50%)
  • Faculty advisor recommendation (20%)
  • Budget and need (20%)
  • Diversity and security of additional funding sources; has applied for funding from additional sources or can explain why not (10%)

Questions? Contact the Student Services team at

Additional sources of travel funding

Additional travel resources