Travel Awards

Travel and Expense Reimbursement Form format_pdf

Travel Award for Excellence in Graduate Research

The FGSA Travel Award recognizes graduate students who have made noteworthy progress in their academic careers. This includes both graduate students who demonstrate great potential as well as those with considerable accomplishments in their field. The award partially covers travel expenses to attend a scientific conference or workshop, including conference fees, travel, lodging, and food for the duration of the event.

Maximum Award Allocation: $500

Eligibility: Graduate students who are members of APS and FGSA

Application materials:

  • A maximum 4-page CV
  • A maximum 2-page statement of purpose. The statement of purpose should describe applicant’s interest and purpose for attending the conference. The applicant should note how his/her participation will benefit him/her professionally and contribute in achieving his/her professional long-term goals. The statement may also include information on the applicant’s interest in the award.
  • A 1-page maximum list of objectives that the applicant hopes to accomplish from attending the conference/workshop.

We encourage graduate students of all stages to apply.

Award Policies/Criteria:

  • Past recipients of the FGSA Travel Award are typically not considered to receive the award again.
  • Applications are reviewed by considering the purpose/benefits for the applicant in attending the conference/workshop, the applicant’s objectives, and the potential for continued success in the field.
  • When multiple applications are deemed equal in merit, final selection will be based on applicant's financial need.

Please apply online. Have all materials ready when submitting your application. You cannot save the application or return to edit it. If you have any questions, please email

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:   How many travel grants are given out every year and when are the application deadlines?

A:   Typically 4-6 travel grants are awarded each quarter of the calendar year. The quarters begin on January 1st, April 1st, July 1st and October 1st of any given year. The application periods are as follows:

Award period
January 1 - March 30
April 1 - June 30
July 1 - September 30
October 1 - December 30

Application period open
November 20 (prior year)
February 20
May 20
August 20

Application period close
December 20 (prior year)
March 20
June 20
September 20

Q:   Can I apply for the award more than once?

A:   Yes but it is highly unlikely that you will receive the award more than once.

Q:   What can the award be used for?

A:   The award can be used for travel to conferences, workshops and meetings that directly support your graduate research career. This includes events that are sponsored by APS as well as those that are not. The award CANNOT be applied to long-term events such as summer interships and travel to/from visiting researcher positions. If you are unsure whether you may apply the travel grant to a particular event email the FGSA travel committee with your question (email:

Q:   When will I hear the decision?

A:   You will get a response about 2-3 weeks after the application period closes. Note that this means you may not hear back until after the award period starts. Please be aware of this especially if you have a conference at the start of the award period.

Q:   If the event time-frame straddles two quarters (for example, if a conference begins at the end of March and finishes at the beginning of April), in what quarter do I need to apply for the award?

A:   The date the conference begins marks what quarter it is in. In the example above, the applicant would need to apply for the first quarter (Q1) travel award to be considered for that conference. Note that this typically means the applications will due prior to this quarter.

Q:   Does the FGSA provide feedback on individual applications?

A:   The FGSA cannot provide feedback on individual applications due to the large number of applicants. Generally speaking, the FGSA Travel Award committee makes the selection based on achievement and potential. This is to award applicants who have shown success as young scientists as well as those who would get the most out of attending their specified conference, workshop etc. The statement of purpose is important for evaluation of the latter.

Q:   How many applications do you receive, and what percentage of applicants receive the award?

A:   We receive an average of 35 +/-4 applications per award season. The average acceptance rate is 17%.

Since the FGSA Travel Award is given out 4 times a year we strongly encourage an applicant who was not selected to reapply in future quarters.

Q:   Does your award support summer school?

A:   We accept applications for summer intensive (non-credit-bearing) programs.

Q:   Can the travel award be used for conferences that aren’t sponsored by APS?

A:   Yes, it can be.

Q:   Am I still eligible to apply if the conference I’m planning on attending is after I graduate?

A:   As long as the applicant is a graduate student when they apply, they are eligible. Students who have not started their graduate program but will be a graduate student during the award period are welcome to apply.

Q:   What can I do if I find an error in my application after it is submitted?

A:   If an error is discovered after submission, an application can be removed from the system and a new application submitted online. The removal can be done by sending an e-mail request to The request must be received and the new application must submitted before the application period closes.