Graduate Student Travel Funding (2020-2021)

Conference Travel Application 2020-2021 (.pdf)

COVID-19 TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS  All nonessential University-related international and domestic travel is suspended until further notice. To request approval to engage in essential travel, students traveling for UCLA business and using University funds must obtain a Dean’s, Vice Chancellor’s, or Vice Provost’s written approval. If booking through the UC Travel Center, the approval must be provided at the time of booking. For questions, contact Fund Manager Melissa Jamero at melissa@humnet.ucla.edu

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 within per year is at the student’s discretion. However, please be aware of the funding limits below.

Maximum total funding per student, per year: $1,400

Maximum total funding per trip:

    • USA, Canada, and Mexico – $800
    • All other countries – $1,400

Reimbursable Expenses 

The following items are considered allowable expenses for reimbursement:

  1. Conference Registration
  2. Airfare
  3. Lodging: Max $275/night
  4. Per diem: $30 per conference day (max 3 days). Provides for meals (except alcohol), ground transportation, and other incidentals that comply with University policy.

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. See the Department Coordinator in our Main Office for assistance. Students may also utilize the Department’s poster printer to print conference posters at no cost. See the Department Engineer for assistance with the poster printer.

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 is 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 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 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. Meal-related expenses, however, may be covered as part of your $30 per diem.
  4. Per diem expenses: Receipts must be itemized with amount and method of payment indicated. Alcohol is not reimbursable.
  5. 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.

Policies 

  • 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

Students are advised to consider that the law of the State of California prohibits the use of state funds for travel to any state that has passed a law that (1) authorizes discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, or (2) voids or repeals existing state or local protections against such discrimination. As such, the list of prohibited states continually updates. If your application for conference travel funding involves one of these states, please note this since it may be necessary for Department staff to redistribute funds accordingly. For more information and the current list of states, consult the website regarding the Travel Notice: Assembly Bill 1887.