Frequently Asked Questions

Student Research Grants Competition Information Resources

As soon as you are able before or after you travel. Applications for the Conference Presentation Funds are accepted all year on a rolling basis, and are reviewed every two months at the end of August, October, December, February, April, and June. If you anticipate traveling during the next fiscal year, you may submit your application during the current fiscal year once your conference presentation acceptance has been confirmed. However, applications for travel beginning after July 1, 2016 will not be reviewed until the 2016-17 competition is announced.

Yes. However, you are only eligible to receive either the Conference Presentation Funds or the Research Travel Award once per fiscal year. If more than one of your applications are selected to receive for the award, you will be asked to accept only one and forfeit the other awards.

In the online application, you will be asked to:

  1. Complete an application form
  2. Upload synopsis
  3. Fill out an estimated budget form
  4. Request a letter of support from your academic advisor

International students with Non-resident Alien Status might be required of additional documentation (depending on their appointment status with the University). More information on special requirements for international students is available at the Conference Presentation Funds website under “Conference Presentation Funds Recipients”.

The itemized budget form in the application helps you estimate expenses. The primary categories are:

  1. transportation
  2. lodging/accommodation

If the estimate of these primary expenditures (excluding funding from other sources) do not exceed $600 or the amount awarded, meals may be included at per diem rate. Please click here for more information on meal payment.

You should complete the form to the best of your ability. In cases where there is a significant discrepancy between your final expenses form and the estimated budget forms, you will have the opportunity to include a statement or explanation on the cover page of the single PDF when you submit your receipts.

Yes. Award recipients are required to follow the new travel guidelines starting July 1, 2015. The major change for most students would be the booking method for air travel. All airline reservations must be made with Fox World Travel or via the Concur self-booking tool. Please visit the Accounting Services website for more information.

Yes. You may use the award to pay for mileage or gas and parking expenses incurred during travel if you are driving a privately owned vehicle. The use of a rental vehicle is acceptable when it is the most cost-effective means of transportation available. You will need to include some document indicating mileage (e.g. Google Map driving direction) when submitting proof of financial need. Please visit the Accounting Services website for more information.

In your application, you will provide your advisor's information. Once you complete the application, your advisor will receive an email invitation to follow the link and upload the letter to your application. You are encouraged to follow-up with your advisor to confirm that she/he received the message from FluidReview.

If your application is both complete and correctly submitted, you may expect to receive a notification of the award decision by email within six weeks after each of the posted application reviewing deadlines. Once notified, you should follow the instruction in the award letter and prepare documentation for verification. This documentation must be submitted before the payment may be processed and dispersed. You are expected to submit the this documentation as soon as your expenditure has totaled at least $600 or the amount awarded, or no later than two weeks after your travel is concluded.

There are several reasons why your application may be rejected:

  • You are not enrolled in one of the graduate degree programs of the Graduate School.
  • You have not followed the guidelines for submitting the required materials.
  • You have applied to the wrong competition – e.g., you are traveling to conduct research but you applied to the Conference Presentation Funds or vise versa.
  • Your estimated budget does not demonstrate a need for financial support that exceeds the award amount of $600.
  • You have already received one of these awards during the same fiscal year.
  • You submitted documents in languages other than English without providing a translation.
  • Your proposal was not approved by the reviewing commitee.

N.B. In years when funding is limited, qualifying application will be awarded on a lottery basis, and not all qualifying applications will be funded.

In order to receive your award, you will need to log into your online application and do the following:

  1. Complete the Finalized Budget Form.
  2. Upload proof of travel-related expenditures (a.k.a. your receipts). These expenditures must total in excess of the amount awarded. Receipts should be scanned and submitted as a single PDF file (e.g., all receipts must be consolidated in the same PDF file).
  3. Upload a 250-word post-travel report (an essay on how this award and your research travel have benefited you professionally).

The only appropriate proof of expenditure is an official/electronic receipt that shows the amount you paid. If necessary, you should request an additional invoice which demonstrates that you paid for a service from the service provider. The following are NOT acceptable:

  • Hotel and travel reservation confirmation emails
  • Illegible scanned images and/or photos of receipts
  • Banking statements (unless a previous arrangement is made with the Graduate School)

In addition, you are responsible for obtaining a separate receipts if the expenditure is shared (e.g., shared hotel room or an apartment sublease).

Click here for a sample of “proof of financial need”.

There are several actions you can take before you leave for your research travel that will facilitate your submission of proof of expenditure upon your return:

  1. Know which receipts you need to collect during your travel.
  2. Check all receipts to make sure that they indicated the name of the service provider, the date of service and amount you paid. If this information is not on the receipt you are given, request a more detailed invoice from the provider.
  3. Obtain a separate receipt if the expenditure is shared by a group. A hotel receipt that indicates occupancy by more than one guest will not be accepted, unless the expense of each guest and payment by each guest is articulated on the official receipt by the service provider.
  4. Indicate the amount this receipt represents in US dollars, if your receipts are denominated in a foreign currency.
  5. Provide a translation for receipts and other documents if they are in languages other than English.

You are responsible to keep all receipts until awards are dispersed, particularly those of the primary expenditures (transportation and lodging).  Payment will NOT be dispersed without these receipts. You may receive reimbursement for meals at the per diem rate without receipts ONLY when the primary expenditures incurred (noted above) do not exceed $600 or the amount awarded. Find more information about meal payment here.

The maximum award for research travel is $600 (unless your award letter indicates otherwise). There are a limited number of $1,500 wards. You will not receive additional reimbursement from the Graduate School beyond this amount.

Yes. If your application is selected for the award, you may submit receipts as soon as they exceed $600 (or the amount awarded) before or during you travel. However, your documentation won’t be verified until all post-travel tasks are completed (including the completion of the finalized budget and the post-travel essay)

This depends on the nature of the changes. Minor changes on travel dates and/or length of stay are normally acceptable. However, the award may not be used for traveling to research sites other than the one proposed in the application unless a prearrangement is made with the Graduate School. If there is a discrepancy between the estimated budget and the finalized budget because your plans have changed, you must provide a statement or explanation on the cover page of the single PDF when your upload the proof of conference-related expenditures (receipts).

You may expect your payment within six weeks after your documentation is verified. The majority of students will receive paper checks in the mail, and international students with Non-Resident Alien Status will receive direct deposits to their bank accounts.

Note: Due to legal requirements, students considered to be non-resident aliens for tax purposes may have taxes taken out of their award. This is not something over which the Graduate School has control (see response to “Am I required to pay tax on the award?” below).

No. Awards will only be issued in your name. You are responsible for making payment arrangement with your program coordinators or any other parties, if you receive additional travel support.

This depends on your citizenship status. Most awardees (domestic students and international students with Resident Alien status for tax purposes) will receive the full amount of the award, and are advised to consult with a tax expert for tax-related questions. However, if you are an international student with non-resident alien status for tax purposes, tax may be deducted from your award, depending on the treaty between the U.S. and your home country. UW-Madison’s Accounting Services has webpages for additional information on federal and state tax reporting and payments to individuals (especially see section II.b.).

Normally, yes. You can still receive the award if the travel takes place during the time when you are still enrolled at UW–Madison. However, if you graduate before receiving your funding, you will need to contact the Graduate School award administrators in order to change your mailing address.

In some cases, you may be disqualified from receiving funding even after you have been approved to receive this award:

  1. You have not completed documentation required for payment processing before deadline that is stated in your award letter.
  2. You have inflated your finalized budget. In the case of shared lodging or group booking for transportation, for example, you are responsible for providing separate receipts. If separate receipts are not available, you should take into account your share of the cost when filling out the budget form. You are expected to provide explanations on the cover page of the single PDF under these circumstances.
  3. You have not responded to an email from the Graduate School notifying you that the documentation of travel-related expenditures you submitted is incomplete or insufficient before the deadline stated in your award letter.

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