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The official graduate student government at UC Merced

Travel Awards F.A.Q.s

Can I use funds for research related travel?

No, these funds are designed to allow students to present their work at conferences.  They are not meant to support research activities.


My conference straddles one of the funding periods. Which should I apply in?

You can apply for whichever period your conference STARTS in. For example, your conference dates are Jan 30th - Feb 2nd. You will apply for the Nov. 1st deadline as the funding period is Nov. 1st - Jan 31st.


I am presenting at a conference, but I am not the first author. Can I still apply?

As long as you are the presenting author and you contributed to the research (which you probably did assuming you are an author), you may still apply.


I am going to a conference, but I am not presenting. Can I still apply?

No, due to large demand, we only accept applications for those who are presenting.


I have partial funding for this conference, can I still apply?

Yes, if your current funding does not fully cover the conference, the GSA Travel Award can be used as supplemental funding.


Why don't you have a competitive selection process?

UC Merced graduate students conduct research across multiple disciplines. It can be difficult for a small subset of us to determine who is the best applicant without a long and arduous selection process. In the past, GSA officers have also been accused of favoring their friends and colleagues. Given our current resources, GSA is not in the position to fairly and effectively evaluate applications.


Why reimbursement? Why not an award up front?

There are 2 reasons we reimburse rather than award up front. The first is that awards are taxable, while reimbursements are not. The reimbursement process allows us to distribute more money to you. The second reason is that the reimbursement process allows us to monitor the use of funds, making sure they are spent appropriately.


How much can I be reimbursed?

$400 max.


How does this work?

We allocate 2 reimbursements to the 3 schools four times a year based on the schedule posted on the main travel award page. Winners are chosen at random. Award recipients are notified within 3 business days after the application deadline.


If you have more questions, please see our funding policy or email