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Conference Travel Awards for Graduate Students

Please note: Students may not submit to the Graduate College; students must submit directly to their departments. The department then forwards their selection to the Graduate College. This pdf form is available for departments to use internally during the departmental selection process. Submissions to the Graduate College must be made with the electronic submission form, available on this page during the open submission period.


Fall 2016 Competition:

  • August 29 - Submission opens 
  • September 29, 5:00 p.m. Deadline for departments to submit applications to the Graduate College 
  • October 27 - Funds will be available

Spring 2017 ComPetition:

  • January 30 - Submission opens 
  • February 27, 5:00 p.m. - Deadline for departments to submit applications to the Graduate College
  • March 27 - Funds will be available


The Graduate College will provide awards, not to exceed $350, for students to travel to professional conferences. These Conference Travel Awards are intended to support students who will be presenting papers, posters, or creative work at the conferences they attend. Please note that the award amount from the Graduate College is based on the distance between the University of Illinois Urbana campus and the student's conference destination. Conference Travel Awards are supported by the Student Initiated Fees. Students may not submit applications directly to the Graduate College. All applications must be submitted by departmental staff via the link provided.

Eligibility Requirements

Following are the requirements for consideration of an application:

  • The student must be registered and in good academic standing during the term the award is received.
  • A student is eligible to receive only one Conference Travel Award per academic year.
  • A student is eligible to receive only one Conference Travel Award per conference.
  • Non-degree students and students enrolled in online programs are not eligible for Conference Travel Awards.
  • For fall awards, the student travel may have occurred during the previous summer, or occur during this fall, the following spring or the next summer. For spring awards, the student travel may occur that spring, the following summer or the next fall.
  • The Conference Travel Awards are supported by Students for Equal Access to Learning (SEAL) fees, which are part of the Student Initiated Fees. Students must have paid the Student Initiated Fees in the semester they apply in order to be eligible to receive an award. For more fee information, see the Office of the Registrar's website. Students who are not assessed the fees, for example because they are registered in Credit Range III or IV (less than 6 hours) may participate by paying the fee at a cashier's window in 100 Henry Administration Building.

Instructions for Departments

  • The number of applications that may be submitted is based on 10th day department enrollment numbers. Please see the following table for information on how many awards your department will be eligible to receive. (Please Note: Because students in online programs are not assessed the Student Initiated Fees, they are not counted toward the department’s number of enrolled graduate students, nor are they eligible to receive the award.)
  • The department in which the student is enrolled must endorse and approve the student's participation in the conference. Electronic submission of a student’s application form will serve as the department's statement of endorsement. Departmental endorsement certifies that the department has verified the student's participation in the conference.
  • Applications to the Graduate College must be done using the electronic submission form. (Students may not submit via this link; they must submit directly to their department.)
  • Funds will be transferred to the State or ICR CFOP that is provided on the web form. Gift fund codes cannot be used. This allows the awarding unit to determine whether the payment to the student should be processed as a reimbursement or as a travel grant. The determination should be based upon whether or not the University is the primary beneficiary of the student travel. If the student travels on behalf of the University, the payment should be processed as a travel reimbursement through University Payables. Once the transfers have been processed, the departmental graduate contact will receive a summary report via e-mail showing all awards given to students in their department.
  • If students are traveling under University sponsorship, campus policy requires students to purchase CISI insurance through the Study Abroad Office if they travel outside of the United States. More information about the CISI insurance can be found on the Study Abroad Office website.

Unit size is based on 10th day enrollment numbers as reported by DMI (report #1) for programs housed in the unit.

Unit Size

Maximum Number of Travel Awards Per Semester

1-25 1
26-75 2
76-100 3
101-200 4
201+ 5


Award amounts are based on the distance to the conference location from Champaign, IL.  All conference locations in Canada and Mexico will be awarded at the Zone 6 rate.  The Graduate College calculation of mileage is not disputable.


Miles from Champaign



< 200















1900-2199, Canada & Mexico







Submission of Receipts

Students who are awarded a Conference Travel Award are required to submit to their department receipts supporting travel expenses. The Graduate College does not require these receipts; however, the department should keep copies of the award letter, relevant vouchers, and receipts on file for audit purposes.

Payment Procedure

Department Contacts will receive a report of the awards given to students in their department. Funds will be deposited directly into the departmental state or ICR CFOP that is provided to the Graduate College via the online submission form. Gift fund codes cannot be used. Students receive their award from their department.


Please direct all questions to Jane Gomez at or call (217) 333-9390.