Travel Fund

Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Research Associate Conference Travel Fund

Funding for Engineering Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Research Associates presenting at research or academic conferences, in person or virtually, is available for both domestic and international conferences. Students and postdocs can apply for up to $1,000 to cover registration, travel, and other related expenses. Please note that travel to attend workshops, meetings, or conferences without presenting is not eligible for this award. Given funding limitations, an application does not guarantee support.

Award Eligibility

Students and postdocs are eligible to receive funding once a year up to three times over a six-year period if they are active in years one through six during the entire duration of the conference associated with the award. Students and postdocs that are currently on leave are not eligible. Only currently enrolled students and currently employed postdocs are eligible - students that will have graduated by the time of the conference or postdocs whose appointment will end prior to the conference are not eligible. 

Presenting, either in-person or virtually, at a conference:
Students and postdocs must show proof that they have been invited to present at a conference. This can be an official email or letter of invitation to present at the conference or a program from the conference that includes the student’s name and presentation title. The Conference Travel Fund is available for both domestic and international conferences. Awards will not be granted for merely attending a conference. 

Receive up to $1,000 in Conference Travel Funding per academic year:
Students and postdocs can receive up to $1,000 per academic year (June 1st through May 31st) as determined by the end date of the travel or virtual conference. Students and Postdocs can only apply once per academic year for Conference Travel Funding.

Apply at least 30 days before the start of your conference or travel:
Applications must be submitted through this form at least 30 business days before the start of travel or the start of the conference. Students and postdocs not able to make this deadline should email to see if an exception can be made. 

Provide an approved Safety Plan, if applicable:
All students and postdocs are required to register their travel plans in TravelSafe (for both domestic and international travel). In addition, some international travel destinations require completion of a Safety Plan in TravelSafe and approval from the Global Travel Risk Assessment Committee (GTRAC). Find current US DOS travel advisory levels in TravelSafe by clicking on the 'Travel Advisories' tab (destinations at Level 3 or 4, designated at High Risk, require GTRAC approval). Check Brown’s current travel guidelines and requirements on the International Travel Risk Management webpage. Additionally, transactions with comprehensively embargoed countries, including certain academic collaborations and the exchange of research materials, may require authorization from the government. If you are considering collaborating with or traveling to an embargoed country, you must contact Brown's Export Control Team well in advance.

Travel Fund Reimbursement Guidelines

Brown’s Controller’s Office mandates that funding can only be provided on a reimbursement basis based on submission of appropriate receipts. For travel reimbursements, students and postdocs do not need to wait until after their travel is complete to submit reimbursement requests for airline tickets, train tickets, conference registration, and other pre-paid trip expenses. If you are able to wait for reimbursement until you return, submitting only one request for reimbursement helps to reduce costs and effort on the part of the Controller's Office (and your administrative coordinator). However, you may submit your request for reimbursement in advance of your travel if waiting would cause you financial hardship or if your advance purchases have expended the full amount of your award. Any remaining receipts should be submitted to your Administrative Coordinator within 30 days of completion of travel. Delay in submitting receipts can put you in danger of missing the University reimbursement deadline which may result in your reimbursement being considered taxable income.

If you have set up direct deposit for reimbursements in Workday, your reimbursement will be deposited directly into your account. If you have not set up direct deposit, a check will be mailed to the address on file in Workday.

If your plans change and you are not able to complete your trip:
If you have received an award for travel funding, but are no longer able to use the award, please send an email to This will make the funds available for other students in need and will reset your award eligibility during that academic year. 

If you received and used an award but are no longer attending the conference, you will need to repay the funding you received. Your Administrative Coordinator will help facilitate this process.

Who processes reimbursements?
Administrative Coordinators process reimbursements through Workday as Expense Reports. Students and postdocs should provide all documentation directly to their Administrative Coordinator within 30 days of the completion of travel to allow time to process and submit the reimbursement request in advance of University reimbursement deadlines. Make sure to provide your Administrative Coordinator with a copy of the official award confirmation email, which specifies which award you received, the amount of funding you have been awarded, and the worktags your Administrative Coordinator should use when submitting the reimbursement.

What you need to submit when requesting reimbursement:

  • A copy of the conference website home page (or program’s cover page) and meeting agenda. 
  • A copy an official email or letter of invitation to present at the conference or a program from the conference that includes the student’s name and presentation title.
  • All receipts in PDF format, ideally combined into one chronological document.
  • An expense spreadsheet totaling the costs, this must include dates and descriptions. 
  • Currency conversions for any purchases that were not in US dollars (USD).
  • A copy of the official award confirmation email.

Check with your Administrative Coordinator for any specific instructions on submitting materials for reimbursement. 


Whenever possible, provide receipts as a single PDF, rather than submitting each receipt individually.

The receipt(s) must include a date and show that you have paid (e.g., “Paid by Mastercard: xxxxx1212”).

Airfare: You must provide both the full itinerary and the receipt that shows payment. If you have purchased plane tickets online through Expedia or other similar sites, it may be necessary to log back into your account and request a receipt for your trip.

Car Rentals: A final receipt is required for reimbursement; agreement estimates do not qualify as receipts. Brown has preferred vendors for domestic car rentals which can be reserved through the University Travel Portal.  

Important Note: The University self-insures rental cars for those over the age of 25 and will not reimburse for rental insurance. If you are under the age of 25 you are required to purchase rental insurance and you will be reimbursed. 

Hotels: You must provide the detailed hotel bill or Airbnb confirmation that shows where you stayed, how long you stayed, and a breakdown of charges. 

Meals: You can request either a reimbursement of receipts for meals or a per diem payment. Reimbursement for meals or per diem requests can only be processed after you have completed your trip. 

Per diem meal rates are determined by the lesser amount found on either Brown’s Annual Spending Guidelines or the GSA Domestic Travel Per Diem Rate website or the US Department of State Foreign Travel Per Diem Rate website based on the destination of your travel.

If you do not have a receipt or proof of payment you must complete a Missing Receipt Affidavit which will be submitted in lieu of the receipt. You will also need to provide a copy of your credit card or bank statement that includes your name, the date of purchase, vendor, and amount. 

Expense Spreadsheet
If you are submitting more than two receipts, create an expense spreadsheet totaling your purchases by category. The spreadsheet should include the date of purchase, the vendor, the item purchased, the amount, and a currency conversion, if applicable.

Currency Conversions
If expenses have been paid in a currency other than US dollars (USD), you'll need to provide a conversion into USD.

If a credit card was used to pay for the expense(s), you should include a statement that shows the details of each transaction. The statement must include your name, the dates of purchase, the vendor, and amount in USD. If you are unable to provide a credit card statement, you must provide a PDF of the currency conversion for expense(s) using the OANDA Currency Conversion Calculator to convert the expense(s) to USD. 

Please note that while the information above is kept as up to date as possible, it may not immediately reflect new policies and updates. All current policies can be found at