INDIVIDUAL TRAVEL FUNDING
OVERVIEW

The Graduate Student Senate (GSS) has established a Traveling Graduate Student Funding mechanism to support graduate students traveling to a professional event, such as a conference, to present a project related to their academic or professional goals. Presenting an academic project, creative exhibit, or a performance can be a valuable experience that enriches a graduate student’s understanding of their discipline and future profession. The GSS’s Traveling Graduate Student Funding is designed to encourage and assist graduate student presentations at professional events related to his/her goals by off-setting the cost of registration, travel, and lodging.

 

Traveling Graduate Student Funding Info 

 

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for the GSS’s Traveling Graduate Student funding, you must meet ALL of these criteria:

    • A UMass Dartmouth graduate student from any college, school, department, or program
    • Registered as full-time
    • In good standing
    • Traveling to a conference, exhibit, seminar series, training program, or similar professional event
GSS FUNDING CAP

A graduate student can receive up to $750 total from the GSS during the fiscal year. A student may request funding multiple times, as long as the total amount received does not exceed the annual cap.

    • The fiscal year is July 1 – June 30.
    • If the travel dates of a funding request span two fiscal years, the total requested amount will be assigned to the fiscal year of the last day of travel (because all awarded funds are received as reimbursement after travel).
    • The cap is set to benefit as many students as possible with the limited funds that the GSS receives.
    • Funding is on a “first come, first served” basis. The funding pool may be depleted without notice.
    • Funding caps may be changed for the next fiscal year.
BEFORE APPLYING FOR FUNDS

Due to limited funds, the GSS requires all students to first seek as much aid from other areas as possible (the GSTG, departmental funds, grants, etc.).

    • If eligible, the student MUST first apply for the Graduate Student Travel Grant (GSTG, see the next section).
GRADUATE STUDENT TRAVEL GRANT REQUIREMENT

Students seeking GSS funds for travel to present their work MUST first apply for the $500 Graduate Student Travel Grant (GSTG, awarded by the Office of the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies) if eligible, BEFORE submitting the Traveling Graduate Student Funding Request form.

    • The GSTG application can be found by clicking on the “Travel Grant Application (PDF)” link on this webpage: https://www.umassd.edu/graduate/studentresources/
    • Note that as stated in the application, you must apply for the GSTG at least 21 days prior to the beginning of travelto be considered!
    • All GSS funding requests without a prior GSTG request (or an explanation of GSTG ineligibility) will be denied.
HOW TO APPLY FOR FUNDS

To apply for GSS funds, the graduate student must fill out the Traveling Graduate Student Funding Request form and submit it to the GSS.

  1. Each applicant must submit their own funding request, even if another applicant is going to the same event; combined funding requests will not be considered.
  2. The Traveling Graduate Student Funding Request form must be submitted to the GSS at least SEVEN DAYS BEFORE the first date of travel, or their application will be ineligible. Extenuating circumstances may still be considered, contact gss@umassd.edu for questions. Note that most applications are typically processed in ~1 month, see below for details.
  3. A graduate student should apply for funding as soon as they have confirmed their travel dates and developed a rough estimate of expenses.
  4. >>>CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE TRAVELING GRADUATE STUDENT FUNDING REQUEST FORM (EXCEL SPREADSHEET).<<<
  5. All grey fields must be filled in by the applicant prior to submission. The form will be returned to the applicant if any grey fields are empty.
  6. Meals should be expensed using standard Local Meals per diem rates based on http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/perdiemCalc.cfm, which vary by city. To look up the Local Meals per diem rate at the above website, in the Contiguous United States section select your destination state from the “STANDARD CONUS RATE” drop-down menu, then click the “CALCULATE” button to show a table of all per diem rates by city. Find your destination city and use the per diem rate listed in the Local Meals column.
    • For the first and last day of travel, you can only claim 75% of the per diem rate.
    • If you cannot access the per diem website on a computer, please try from a mobile device.
    • Do not enter more than the per diem rate for food; you cannot be reimbursed for more than this rate.
  7. Hotel/Room Rental fees may be expensed directly (not as per diem).
  8. If using a personal vehicle for travel, mileage may be expensed using standard rates based on https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/standard-mileage-rates/.
  9. GRADUATE STUDENTS WHO ARE PRESENTING THEIR WORK AND HAVE BEEN AWARDED THE GRADUATE STUDENT TRAVEL GRANT (GSTG) MUST ALSO SUBMIT THE APPROVED GSTG APPLICATION, SIGNED BY THE ASSOCIATE PROVOST FOR GRADUATE STUDIES (see the “Graduate Student Travel Grant Requirement” section above for more info).
  10. GRADUATE STUDENTS WHO ARE PRESENTING BUT HAVE NOT (YET) RECEIVED THE GRADUATE STUDENT TRAVEL GRANT (GSTG) MUST SUBMIT IN ADDITION TO THE FUNDING REQUEST: 1) THE CONFIRMING NOTICE THAT THEIR PAPER OR CREATIVE WORK HAS BEEN ACCEPTED FOR PRESENTATION, AND 2) A LETTER OF SUPPORT FROM THEIR ADVISOR OR THE CHAIR OF THEIR DEPARTMENT.
  11. GRADUATE STUDENTS WHO ARE NOT PRESENTING THEIR WORK, BUT STILL TRAVELING TO ATTEND A CONFERENCE, EXHIBIT, SEMINAR SERIES, TRAINING PROGRAM, OR SIMILAR PROFESSIONAL EVENT, MAY SEEK GSS FUNDS PROVIDED THAT, IN ADDITION TO THE TRAVELING GRADUATE STUDENT FUNDING REQUEST FORM, THE STUDENT ALSO SUBMITS: 1) A LETTER OF SUPPORT FROM THEIR ADVISOR OR THE CHAIR OF THEIR DEPARTMENT, AND 2) A STATEMENT OF NEED OUTLINING THE VALUE OF THE ACTIVITY AND HOW THIS ACTIVITY WILL FURTHER THE STUDENT’S STUDIES OR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.
  12. The Traveling Graduate Student Funding Request form and all required supporting documentation must be submitted via email to gss@umassd.edu.
  13. Incomplete applications will be returned.
EXAMPLE FORMS

Click here for an example of a properly filled-out Traveling Graduate Student Funding Request form.

FUNDING REQUEST DECISIONS

  • Most applications are typically processed in ~1 month. If your application must be processed sooner, please email gss@umassd.edu. Rush requests are not guaranteed, and depend on the availability of the Finance Committee and the Senators.
  • GSS meetings are open, and the applicant is welcome to attend to discuss their funding request with the Senate prior to the voting (though attendance is not necessary).
  • If GSS funds are awarded, graduate students who are presenting their work should acknowledge the Graduate Student Senate for funding support where appropriate.
RECEIVING AWARDED FUNDS

All awarded funds will be issued in the form of reimbursement after travel.

    • ITEMIZED receipts for all expenses (except food, which is reimbursed at the per diem rate) must be submitted to your department Administrative Assistant (or the Grad Studies Office if you also received the GSTG) WITHIN 30 DAYS of return of travel (or 30 days after GSS funding approval, whichever is later) in order to be reimbursed.
    • If the GSTG was awarded in addition to GSS funds, your reimbursement will be provided through the Graduate Studies Office. Work directly with this office for reimbursement.
    • If only GSS funds were awarded (not a GSTG), your Administrative Assistant will need to complete a Travel Authorization before your travel, and Expense Report after your travel. Work directly with your Administrative Assistant for reimbursement.
QUESTIONS 

All questions can be emailed to gss@umassd.edu.