Students Catching Fish with Net

Travel Opportunities & Policies

The IBS graduate program can provide awards of up to $500 per graduate student to help with travel expenses.

Masters students are eligible to apply for a one-time award.

Doctoral students are eligible to apply for the award twice (not more than once per fiscal year).

Types of travel allowed:

  • Conferences, where the student presents his or her research

  • Unique educational opportunities.

  • Regional, national, or international conferences, meetings, and seminars

Eligibility (must meet all criteria):

  • Applicants must be active IBS degree-seeking students enrolled in the Ph.D. or Master's degree program conferred by the graduate school.

  • Applicants must be in good standing with their department at the time of their application.

  • Typically, a student must travel at least 90 minutes from his or her home or campus, and must stay over at least one night at the destination.

1. IBS Travel Award

  • Download and complete IBS Travel Award Request Form.  Submit form no later than 6 weeks prior to travel.

  • ONLY IBS Travel Award Request Applications and all supporting documents (except possibly for the letter from the student's advisor or DGS), must be submitted together in a single email sent to Please include "Travel Award" in the subject of the e-mail.

  • The advisor's or DGS' letter may be e-mailed separately, either as an e-mail from the advisor or DGS, or as a signed, scanned letter.

  • Incomplete applications will be returned.

  • All applications must include a signed letter from the applicant's advisor or DGS affirming that the travel is related the student's degree program.

  • For conference travel, the letter should affirm that the student will be presenting his or her work at the conference, perhaps via a presentation or poster.

  • For education travel, the letter should affirm that the travel is required by the student's research.

2. SCSE Student Travel Support

  • Download and complete SCSE Travel Request form.

  • Questions regarding this award must be directed to SCSE.

  • DO NOT TURN THESE INTO THE IBS OFFICE. The requests will NOT get processed.

3. UMD Graduate Student Travel Support

These funds are to be used in partial support of travel by UMD graduate students for dissemination of their scholarly or artistic contributions associated with their graduate studies at UMD. Examples might be presentation of research from a Plan A thesis at a disciplinary meeting, or an invitation to exhibit a sculpture, created as part of an MFA in Studio Arts at an exhibition. It is expected that the student will attempt to garner other support of the travel through the advisor, program, department, and college.

  • Download and fill out this UMD travel award application.

  • Email it as an attachment to the Director of Graduate Studies in your program.

  • The DGS will email the attachment, with their approval, to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Education and Research at UMD.

  • The AVCGER will reply to the DGS, copying the student, and the UMD Grad Office staff person. If approved, the UMD Grad Office staff person will facilitate the transfer of funds with the appropriate graduate program staff.

  • DO NOT TURN THESE INTO THE IBS OFFICE. The request will not get processed.

  • Direct questions to the UMD Graduate School office.

4. Council of Graduate Students (COGS) Travel Awards

COGS distributes travel awards and leadership awards to deserving University of Minnesota graduate students. Travel awards help defray the expense of traveling to conferences, to research sites or to take advantage of unique educational opportunities. Leadership awards recognize outstanding leadership and service on behalf of graduate students, the University, and the broader community.

How to request a reimbursement:

  • Keep all original and itemized receipts - receipts must be turned in with Employee Expense Form.

  • Download and complete the Employee Expense Form (Excel spreadsheet).

  • Return completed Expense Form and original receipts to IBS.

Travelers must remove non-business related expenses before submitting a reimbursement request, when they combine personal and business travel. Reimbursement for airfare may not exceed the lowest available cost of a direct or uninterrupted route. If the traveler uses an indirect route or interrupts travel for personal convenience, any additional expenses incurred are the sole responsibility of the traveler and should be documented.

If you are traveling to countries on the U.S. Department of State's travel warning list, obtain approval from the University’s International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC) before departure. NOTE: Applicants are encouraged to apply early as the committee review process commonly takes 6 to 8 weeks. The committee will not consider applications completed less than 2 weeks prior to planned departure.

Register Travel: Register your travel through the International Travel Registry for Students, which will facilitate completion of the following requirements:

  • Obtain University-approved, mandatory international travel, health, and security insurance (cost is $31.00/month)

  • Complete a release and waiver

  • Provide 24-7 emergency contacts

  • Complete online health and safety orientation

It is important to note that the University policy applies to all students on any University-related program abroad (including student organization travel), or any overseas program connected to their studies at UMN, even if coordinated or funded through another organization. This includes, but is not limited to: internships, field experiences, coursework, capstones, conferences, and research.

Here is an overview of these requirements, funding resources and travel resources.

Graduate fellowships, awards based on academic merit, are available to new and currently enrolled graduate students at the University of Minnesota. The Graduate School Fellowship Office administers University-wide fellowships. Applications may be obtained from the Fellowship Office or may be filled out online, printed out, and sent to the Fellowship Office by the designated deadline. The Fellowship Office also administers the National Science Foundation program and the Fulbright program.