Conference Travel Grants

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Political Science offer grants to support travel by M.A. and Ph.D. students who present papers at professional meetings and conferences.

Award amounts

In order for a student to receive a GSAS Conference Matching Travel Grant, the department must first approve a student's application and provide funds to defray expenses. GSAS will then match the funds provided by the department, up to a maximum of $250.

The department will grant up to $750 per student per year, including the department's matching contribution to a GSAS travel grant. The potential total amount awarded is therefore $1000 per academic year.

Types of expenses funded

Both the GSAS and the department conference travel grants reimburse students for registration, transportation, and lodging costs associated with presenting papers at professional meetings and conferences. 

Timing of applications

Travel grant applications are accepted three times per year: in June, for the first awards distributed each academic year; in October, for the second distribution each academic year, and in February, for the final distribution of awards each academic year. Exact deadlines are presented under "Application Procedures" below.

Eligibility

Students in the freestanding M.A. program are eligible for both GSAS and department travel grants with the approval of a faculty member at the time of application.

Students may apply for a department travel grant only after applying for a GSAS travel grant.

First-year Ph.D. students may apply for a department travel grant with the approval of a faculty member at the time of application. First-year Ph.D. students are not eligible to receive a GSAS travel grant.

Second- and third-year students are eligible for both GSAS and department travel grants with the approval of a faculty member at the time of application.

Students may apply for a department travel grant only after applying for a GSAS travel grant.

GSAS limits awards to one per academic year, and a maximum of two during a student's career at Columbia. Students who have reached these limits may apply for department travel grants.

Students who have received the M.Phil. may apply for both GSAS and department travel grants through their seventh year or through their sixth year if they have received advanced standing.

Students may apply for a department travel grant only after applying for a GSAS travel grant.

GSAS limits awards to one per academic year, and a maximum of two during a student's career at Columbia. Students who have reached these limits may apply for department travel grants for conference funding.

Students who have exhausted eligibility for GSAS travel grants may apply for additional department travel grants in a given year in order to present additional papers at additional meetings or conferences or to present a job-market paper at multiple conferences. 

Students on the job market who are presenting conference papers should apply for GSAS travel grants.

The department will provide grants up to $1000 for Ph.D. students on the job market to attend the APSA Annual Meeting in the year in which they go on the market, even if they are not presenting a paper or poster. Students on the market who wish to attend the APSA Annual Meeting and who are not presenting papers or posters should apply for a department travel grant in order to have trip expenses reimbursed.

Coordination of GSAS and department travel grants

Eligibility for GSAS travel grants is always applied before eligibility for department grants. Department grants reimburse expenses remaining after the GSAS grant has been awarded, and reimburse all expenses if a student is not eligible for a GSAS grant.

Examples

I. One conference paper in an academic year

Student presents a paper at the APSA Annual Meeting and incurs expenses of $1,000. A GSAS travel grant matching $250 of the department's contribution is awarded, and the department awards $750.

Total GSAS award: $250
Total department award: $750.

2. More than one conference paper in an academic year

Student presents a paper at the ISA Annual Convention and incurs expenses of $350. A GSAS travel grant matching $175 of the department's contribution is awarded, and the department awards $175.

Total GSAS award: $175
Total department award for this trip: $175.

Later in the academic year, student presents a different paper at the MPSA Conference and incurs expenses of $575. A department travel grant is awarded; it provides $575 for reimbursement of expenses.

Total department award for this trip: $575
Total department award for academic year: $750

Application procedures

Complete the GSAS Conference Travel Grant application and attach copies of receipts (not the originals themselves) or estimates of expenses, and evidence of participation in the conference in the form of a letter of invitation or a copy of the conference program, for example.

Submit all materials to the Director of Academic Administration and Finance by the following dates:

  • June 25: For conferences occurring between May 20 and August 31*
  • October 25: For conferences occurring between September 1 and December 31
  • February 25: For conferences occurring between January 1 and May 19

* Grants awarded for applications submitted on June 25 are charged to the upcoming academic year's allocation. In other words, summer grants are the first grants awarded in a new academic year.

Department approval of applications for GSAS grants does not imply or guarantee GSAS approval. 

When grants are approved, receipts must be submitted to the Financial Assistant within ten days of return from the completed trip.

All receipts for a given trip must be submitted simultaneously and accompany the same application. 

M.A. and Pre-M.Phil. students

Complete a department travel grant application and attach copies of original receipts (not the originals themselves) or estimates of expenses, and evidence of participation in the conference in the form of a letter of invitation or a copy of the program, for example. Submit all materials to the Director of Academic Administration and Finance by the following dates:

  • June 25: For conferences occurring between May 20 and August 31*
  • October 25: For conferences occurring between September 1 and December 31
  • February 25: For conferences occurring between January 1 and May 19

Only one department application can be submitted per trip, and all receipts for that trip must be submitted together. 

* Grants awarded for applications submitted on June 25 are charged to the upcoming academic year's allocation. In other words, summer grants are the first grants awarded in a new academic year.

M.Phil. students

Complete a department travel grant application and attach copies of original receipts (not the originals themselves) or estimates of expenses and evidence of participation in the conference in the form of a letter of invitation or copy of the program, for example. Submit all materials to the Director of Academic Administration and Finance by the following dates:

  • June 25: For conferences occurring between May 20 and August 31*
  • October 25: For conferences occurring between September 1 and December 31
  • February 25: For conferences occurring between January 1 and May 19

Only one department application can be submitted per trip, and all receipts for that trip must be submitted together.

*Grants awarded for applications submitted on June 25 are charged to the upcoming academic year's allocation. In other words, summer grants are the first grants awarded in a new academic year.