Funding conference travel

Finding the financial resources to present your research, scholarly, or creative activities can be a real challenge, but the professional benefits are worth the effort.

Develop a reasonable budget

Volunteer to work at the conference: check the conference website to see if there are discounts on registration and funding for travel/housing for student volunteers

  • Take advantage of early registration discounts
  • Search out the least expensive transportation option(s)
  • Consider NOT staying in the conference hotel (these are often quite expensive, even at the conference rate).  Search online for nearby accommodations that are more reasonably priced.
  • Find a roommate (or 2 or 3) to share the cost of housing
  • Consider NOT attending the entire conference, especially if it is a week-long affair

Potential funding sources

  • Start with your research mentor, who
    • may have some funding available to help you
    • may suggest other sources of funding (e.g., department, college)
  • NAU
    • Provost - University College – Student Travel Awards program (available for both graduate and undergraduate students)
    • ASNAU – undergraduate students should work with your college senator to propose an Individual Allocation
    • GSG - graduate students should follow the directions on the Graduate Student Travel Award website
  • Conference student travel awards: many conferences offer competitive grants to cover travel costs; search the conference website for “student travel”
  • CUR (Council for Undergraduate Research): some divisions (e.g., biology, social sciences) offer travel awards

CUR Arts & Humanities Division 2013-14 Travel Awards for Faculty
With the goal of promoting undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity in Arts and Humanities education, the Arts and Humanities Division will offer financial support for faculty to present on the process and/or results of undergraduate research at regional or national Arts and/or Humanities conferences.
The awards will be from $500 to $800 and up to three will be awarded for presentations that have been accepted and presented no earlier than Sept. 1, 2013, and no later than June 30, 2014.  Award recipients will be expected to acknowledge the support of CUR in their talk or poster presentation.  After the meeting, a brief (maximum 300-word) follow-up report and an expense report (not included in the 300 word limit) should be submitted to the A&H grants committee chair and the appropriate expense claim form should be submitted to the CUR National Office (details will be given to successful applicants).

Eligibility criteria:

  • Full or part-time faculty, staff, or administrators who have an accepted presentation or workshop at a disciplinary or interdisciplinary arts and humanities meeting may apply. Application for funding may be made prior to conference acceptance, but a letter stating the date of acceptance must be included with the application; any award offered will be contingent upon the acceptance of the proposal and the actual presentation at the indicated conference.
  • Presenter must be an individual member of the CUR Arts and Humanities Division or an employee or graduate student at an institution that is a CUR institutional member presenting Arts and Humanities UR material/experiences at a disciplinary or interdisciplinary conference.
  • The applicant must attend in person the conference for which he or she has been funded.
  • Any additional costs for attending the conference will be the responsibility of the awardee or his or her university.

Application deadlines are available here.

Selection criteria:

The purpose of these awards is to promote the practice of undergraduate research in arts and humanities disciplines. Accordingly, awards will be made based on the integral role played by undergraduates in the research/creative process, the replicability or adaptability of the model or methods used to incorporate undergraduates into the research/creative process, and the educational impact for the student(s) of the research/creative experience. 


Travel Award recipients will be selected beginning with a consideration of the applications that have been submitted by January 1st. Applicants who are accepted after that date should apply for any available funds by March 1st. If funds are available a second call for applications will be released in late January. 
CUR Biology Division Student Travel Awards

The Biology Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is offering a limited number of travel grants, up to $250 each, for undergraduate students presenting original research results at a regional or national, discipline-specific meeting* during the fiscal year 2015 - 2016. Award recipients are required to acknowledge CUR for support of their travel in their talk or poster, to complete a short evaluation form about their meeting experience, and to submit a PDF file of their poster. Minority students are encouraged to apply. The following information is also available here.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Student must be an undergraduate at either a two- or four-year institution. If the student is a graduating senior, travel must be completed within three months of graduation.
  • Student's mentor must be a CUR member or the student's home institution must be a CUR institutional member
  • Student's home institution must provide at least a 50% match to support travel 

Application materials:

  • Electronic application form must be completed by nominating faculty mentor (Click here)
  • Reimbursement of travel expenses (up to $250) will require copies of receipts and confirmation of student’s attendance/presentation at the meeting.

 Selection Criteria: Travel Award recipients will be chosen based on the scholarly merit of their abstract, which should include:

  • A sentence that clearly states the study's OBJECTIVE (unless included in the title)
  • A brief statement of METHODS (if pertinent)
  • A summary of the RESULTS
  • A statement of CONCLUSIONS (it is not acceptable to state "the results will be discussed")
  • A statement of SIGNIFICANCE

Deadline: Applications must be received by 

  • 5:00 pm ET September 4, 2015 for meetings held between September 15, 2015 - February 15, 2016 
  • 5:00 pm ET January 15, 2016 for meetings held between February 16 - June 30, 2016. 

Applicants will be notified four to six weeks after the deadline. 

Questions: please send to Dr. Karen Resendes at for the September deadline, or send to Dr. Nitya Jacob, for the January deadline.

    * Tri-Beta, Sigma Xi and NCUR are not considered to be discipline-specific meetings.  While the Biology Division truly appreciates the value of these meetings to the educational experience of undergraduates, for this award we choose to use our limited funds to help undergraduates attend a discipline-specific meeting to enable interactions with primary researchers within that discipline. 

    **Due to the timing of the CUR fiscal year we are unable to award funds to attend meetings held in July or August.

    CUR Social Science Division Travel Awards

    The Social Science Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is offering a limited number of travel grants, up to $200 each, for undergraduate students presenting the results of research that they have conducted at a regional or national, discipline-specific meeting during the academic year 2014 - 2015. Award recipients are required to acknowledge CUR for support of their travel in their talk or poster. After the meeting, a brief report about the experience is expected. Minority students are encouraged to apply.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Undergraduate students at any level can apply but preference will be given to juniors and seniors or students attending 2 year community colleges.
    • Student’s mentor must be a CUR member or the student’s home institution must be a CUR institutional member.
    • Student’s home institution must match the $200 CUR travel grant.

    Application materials:

    • An electronic copy of the meeting abstract, including the title of the abstract, student author, faculty mentor, and institution.  If the abstract is written in highly technical terms, the applicant may also submit a brief (maximum 500 words) summary of the work written for an audience consisting of social scientists from a wide range of disciplines.  The abstract should note the study's objective, methods, results and importance.
    • Proof of acceptance to the regional or national meeting.
    • A list of itemized meeting expenses (travel, housing, and registration).
    • An email from sponsoring faculty acknowledging (1) student's enrollment as an undergraduate, (2) confirmation of student's planned attendance at the meeting, (3) confirmation of institution's monetary match of $200, and (4) confirmation of individual or institutional CUR membership.
    • Reimbursement of travel expenses (up to $200) will require copies of receipts and confirmation of student's attendance/presentation at the meeting.

    Selection Criteria:  Travel Award recipients will be selected on a first come, first serve basis provided that the above criteria are met.  Only one travel award will be granted per institution.  

    Deadline:  Applications for a travel grant to a fall 2014 or spring 2015 meeting are now being accepted.  Award decisions will be made on a first come, first serve basis.

    Submission of Application Materials: