Graduate Student Travel Funding

Updated as of 3/4/24

Conference Travel Application (pdf)





Full details of the application process and timeline found below under “Application Process”

Basis of Our Policy

The Department has budgeted funds to subsidize graduate student travel to major conferences for giving talks and presenting posters. This is money that, in principle, the Department wants to spend, since giving conference talks is part of professional training and might help you in a job search. Therefore, the Department strongly encourages you to submit abstracts to major conferences in your field, as soon as your research program has developed to the appropriate point.

Funding Levels

The number of trips taken per year is at the student’s discretion. However, please be aware of the funding limits (by grad year) below. These are the maximum possible total funding amounts per student (maximum funding not guaranteed):

  • Year 2 Maximum: $1000
  • Years 3-5 Maximum: $1500
  • Years 6+ Maximum: $800

Reimbursable Expenses 

The following items are considered allowable expenses for reimbursement:

1. Conference Registration

2. Membership Dues (if required for registration) 

3. Airfare (Economy/Coach class only)

4. Domestic Lodging*: University max $275/night

5. Domestic Meals*: University max $79/day (no alcohol)

6. Transportation

* Foreign Meals and Lodging per diem maximums are set per location/country and can be found here.

If you need handouts for your conference presentation, the Department can assist you in making copies using the Campbell Hall copier, at the Department’s expense. Students may also utilize the Department’s poster printer to print conference posters at no cost. Contact our Front Office Student Workers in our Main Office, 3125 Campbell Hall, for assistance.

Application Process

Prior to submitting your abstract for the conference, you must speak with your advisor (or the relevant faculty) about the conference you are considering and provide them with a copy of the abstract you are planning to submit. Please give the faculty sufficient time to read and consider the abstract. Complete Part One of the application form (above), which requires a signature from your advisor or a faculty in the relevant research area. This signature confirms that they have read and approved the abstract, and are willing to do the usual advisory task of providing input and polishing the paper.

Again, this must be done before you submit your abstract. Applications submitted after you have sent in the abstract or without the advisor/faculty signature will not be approved. Once your abstract has been accepted for presentation and prior to travel, complete Part Two of the funding application form (above), which requires reimbursement information. Attach the conference invitation and submit the form to the Graduate Student Affairs Officer (SAO). 

Conference and research travel falls under the scope of the UCLA Graduate Division Doctoral Student Travel Grants, through which every UCLA PhD student is allotted $1,000 throughout your career. We ask that you please apply for these grants before using Department funds for travel. Your conference travel will be considered once you have used your allotted $1,000 or if the university denies your application for whatever reason. 

Reimbursement Procedure

Once you have returned from the conference, submit your receipts and documents to the Graduate SAO. Receipts MUST be submitted within two weeks of the conclusion of your trip. 

Caution:  If you submit your receipts more than two weeks after the conclusion of your trip, it may be impossible for the Department to reimburse your travel.

If receipts do not clearly state the amount paid and method of payment (i.e. the last four digits of your credit card), then a credit card/bank statement listing the charge is also required. Such statements should be redacted of all personally identifiable information with the exception of the account holder’s name, statement date, and the charge(s) in question. 

Submit the relevant documents below:

  1. Conference program which includes your name and presentation details. 
  2. Conference registration fee receipt. 
  3. Lodging receipts: The maximum that UCLA will reimburse for domestic lodging is $275/night. Must be itemized with amount and method of payment indicated. Lodging expenses that include personal expenses (i.e., room service and entertainment) will not be reimbursed.  
  4. Meal receipts: The maximum that UCLA will reimburse for domestic meals is $79/day. Receipts must be itemized with amount and method of payment indicated. Alcohol is not reimbursable. 
  5. Foreign Meals and Lodging: Foreign per diem maximums are set per location and can be found here. Receipts must follow the same requirements as domestic lodging and meals (see #3-4). 
  6. Transportation receipts: Receipts must be itemized with amount and method of payment indicated. 
  7. Arline tickets: Receipts must include your name, flight itinerary, airfare amount, method of payment/billing information, and class of travel (economy class only). 
    • For paper airline tickets, submit the ORIGINAL airline passenger receipt (last page in your paper ticket stub). 
    • For electronic airline tickets, submit either the email e-ticket receipt or the e-ticket receipt printed from the airline website. 
    • UCLA charges a mandatory carbon mitigation fee on all airfare paid by or reimbursed by the University. The fees are $9 for domestic and $25 for international. This fee will be included as part of your grant (the Department cannot cover this fee in addition to the grant) and is reimbursed directly to the University. 

Please note that UCLA will not reimburse travel packages (i.e., package deals of airfare and hotel, airfare and car, etc.). You must purchase these expenses separately to be reimbursed.


  • Graduate Division policy requires that travel reimbursement be made during the same fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) the trip occurred. 
  • The Department will not approve retroactive travel funding requests. 
  • The Department will prioritize requests from students who have already used their $1,000 as part of the UCLA Graduate Division Doctoral Student Travel Grants program. 
  • Conference travel funding will not be approved for students who have missed major Department deadlines for progress in the program. 
  • Conference travel support for the sixth year students will be as follows: (i) sixth years who are receiving a TAship/fellowship will receive travel support as per the normal policy; (ii) other registered/enrolled sixth years will be funded at 50% of the limits above. Students beyond sixth year in the program will not receive travel support. 
  • We strongly encourage you to purchase the lowest fares possible. Only economy class is reimbursable. This will allow us to fund more travel reimbursement requests. 
  • Students must be registered in the degree program during the quarter the travel takes place. For summer, students must be enrolled in the preceding spring quarter. 
  • It is to be understood that conference travel funding is not guaranteed. If there is overwhelming demand for travel money, or any other financial emergency, there may have to be funding cutbacks. However, the policy is definitive as a statement of the Department’s goals for student conference travel. 
  • In general, queries about conference travel policy should be directed to the Director of Graduate Studies, with CC to the Graduate SAO. Procedural queries should be directed to the Graduate SAO. 

A note on California State Law AB 1887

On Wednesday, September 13, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 447, ending the ban on state-funded travel to states with anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. In place of the ban, SB 447 establishes the “Building and Reinforcing Inclusive, Diverse, Gender-Supportive Equity Project” (BRIDGE Project) to promote social equity, civil rights, and antidiscrimination through marketing and advertising campaigns.

The restrictions put in place by Assembly Bill 1887 (2016) have been eliminated. As of September 13, 2023, state funds can be used to travel to all states. If travel to the previously banned states occurred prior to September 13, 2023, state funds generally should not be used (for a list of states, contact the department). University of California Business and Finance Bulletin G-28: Policy and Regulations Governing Travel has been revised and no longer includes the AB 1887 restrictions.