Travel Grants

Travel Grants are awarded to help students attend conferences, present posters and papers, collect data for experiments, and more. Students must review and be aware of the submission guidelines. before submitting.

For international students who have received a grant, please fill out the “foreign student travel tax questionnaire.”

Current Grant Due Dates:

Funding Period Proposal Deadline
Summer 2016: April 1 – September 30 February 12
Fall 2016: July 1 – December 31 June 3
Winter 2016: October 1 – March 31 September 2 – UPCOMING
Spring 2017: January 1 – June 30 November 11

*Note:  Deadline is at 11:59PM NM Time, no late submissions will be accepted!

If you’re not eligible for a GSA Travel Grant or need more funding than the GSA Travel Grant awards you, then you have a few options left:

  1. Double check with your adviser — often this is a moot point, because you probably (hopefully) already triple checked the availability of funds from your adviser.
  2. External funding — national/international organizations and conference/workshop organizers often have travel grants available.
  3. Apply to the NMT Administration (refer to the “Student Travel Reimbursement” Policy).

In the third case, you will need to submit a proposal very similar to your GSA Travel Grant Application to the Academic Affairs Office.  The policy linked above doesn’t specify exactly what your proposal should include, so I’m guessing here (if you find out that I’m wrong, then please let me know):

  • Brief travel summary; my guess is that they want to know more about why you need to travel and what other funding you’ve looked for and less about the specifics of your project.
  • Adviser “nomination”/statement of support:  my guess is that more weight will be put on the adviser’s statement; the statement should probably include explicit information about why the research grant can’t support the travel.
  • Budget; with specific information about what you want them to cover.


A Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’ve submitted my abstract to a conference, but won’t know whether it has been accepted until after the grant proposal deadline. Can I still apply for a travel grant?

A: You may still apply for GSA funding even if you are not sure that you will be able to travel. Indicate in your Project Summary that your travel is contingent upon approval from the other organization. If a decision is made after you submit the proposal, notify the GSA of the decision as soon as possible at If no decision has been made by the time of the GSA Grants Committee meeting, the committee will still evaluate your proposal, with three possible results:

  • You will be given funding to travel whether or not your abstract is accepted.
  • You will be given funding only if your abstract is accepted.
  • You will not be given any funding.

For result 1, if you abstract is not accepted and you decide not to attend the confer­ence, the funding will be returned to the GSA Travel Grant budget for the next semester. For result 2, you must demonstrate acceptance of your abstract to the GSA (see Section 4.2). Result 3 is straightforward.

Q: I would like to attend a conference, but will not be presenting a poster or giving a talk. Can I still receive travel funding from the GSA?

A: Yes. While preference is given to those students who are formally presenting their research, it is possible to receive some funding to attend a conference if the budget allows.

Q: My advisor wants me to attend a conference next month. I hadn’t planned on attending this conference, and the deadline for travel grant proposals for this funding period has already passed. Can I still apply for funding?

A: No. The GSA normally receives more proposals than it can fund each semester. Any unused travel funds will be rolled over to the next travel period.

B General Proposal Suggestions

Here we provide a list of suggestions to help improve your proposal preparation. These suggestions are based on comments from previous grant recipients and on comments from proposal reviewers.

  • Plan your travel early. The proposal deadline may be more than six months before your travel date. Late proposals are not accepted, so determine what travel you might want to do well ahead of time.
  • Start writing the proposal early. There are several parts to the proposal which will take time to complete. Pro­posals written at the last minute are usually poor in comparison to other proposals.
  • Give your advisor plenty of time to write a letter of recommendation. Do not assume that your advisor will have time to write something up on the afternoon of the proposal deadline.
  • Communicate with your advisor. Discuss potential travel for the next grant period with your advisor. Learn about important meetings before the grand deadlines, not after.
  • Communicate with your audience. If the reviewers cannot understand your proposal, it will probably not get funding.
  • Have someone else read over your proposal. Often, a different reader can catch errors that you miss. The Writing Center is also available to help students be successful in their writing; for more information refer to:
  • If your English is poor, get assistance from a friend with better English skills. Again, the Writing Center is available to help students; for more information refer to:
  • Use a spell-checker.
  • Check your budget carefully. Do not request funding for items not allowed by the GSA. Make sure your cost estimates are reasonable.
  • Double check your math.
  • Attempt to share a room with another person.
  • Rooms at conference hotels are often substantially higher than rooms in other hotels nearby. Check the prices of nearby hotels. If you need to stay at a location with a substantially higher price, include a justification in your Project Summary.
  • Check for student prices for conference fees and hotel room prices.
  • Look for alternate sources of funding. The GSA Travel Grant is partially need based, so you need to demonstrate that alternate sources of funding are not available. Check other sources in addition to your advisor. Does someone else on your thesis committee have funding that you can use? Does your department have funding? Does the conference you are attending offer funding for students?
  • Do you belong to a professional organization? Many conferences have reduced registration fees for organization members. Many organizations also have grant programs for student research and travel which you can apply for.
  • Complete all parts of the proposal. Proposals with missing parts will be turned down.
  • Follow the instructions. Failure to provide requested information will seriously damage your proposal.