Travel Awards

Travel Opportunities & Policies

All applications must include a signed letter from the applicant's advisor 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.

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.

Four Types of Awards

1. IBS Travel Award - 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).
  • Download and complete IBS Travel Award Request Form.  Submit form no later than 4 weeks prior to travel.
  • IBS Travel Award Request Applications and all supporting documents (except possibly for the letter from the student's advisor), must be submitted together in a single email sent to [email protected]. Please include "Travel Award" in the subject of the e-mail.
  • The advisor's letter may be e-mailed separately, either as an e-mail from the advisor or as a signed, scanned letter.
  • Applications will not be submitted for approval if required documents are missing.

2. SCSE Student Travel Support

  • Download and complete SCSE Travel Request form.
  • Questions regarding this award must be directed to SCSE.
  • Turn in all documentation to IBS office for DGS signature.

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 IBS Program Coordinator, who will obtain approval of the DGS.
  • The IBS Program Coordinator will email the attachment, with DGS approval, to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Education and Research at UMD.
  • The AVCGER will reply to the IBS Program Coordinator and 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.
  • 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

  • Reimbursements are done either by completing an Employee Expense Form or by using the Chrome River program found in your MyU portal.
  • Keep all original and itemized receipts - receipts must be turned in with Employee Expense Form or uploaded to Chrome River.
  • Download and complete the Employee Expense Form (Excel spreadsheet) - contact IBS office to obtain Employee Expense Form.
  • Return completed Expense Form and original receipts to the IBS office.
  • Contact the IBS office for instructions/guidance on how to use Chrome River for your travel reimbursement.

Combined Business and Personal Travel

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.

Foreign Travel Approval

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.

Expense references for lodging, mileage and meal rates:

Per Diem Rates

Reimbursable / Non-reimbursable Travel-related Expenses

Traveling on University Business Policy

Student Travel and Education Abroad