NC State
Graduate Student Association

Current Application Status: The Fall 2024 application portal will close on September 22, 2024, at 11:59 PM.

Reimbursement Form: Reimbursement form is linked here

Last updated on: 07/22/2024

Travel & Conference Awards

Interested in going to a conference to present your research? Worried about not being able to afford the trip?

The GSA Conferences and Travel Awards consist of the GSA Award for Conferences and GSA Travel Assistance Award. These are highly competitive, merit-based awards intended to cover the costs of attending a conference for NC State graduate students. Students who wish to apply must submit a complete application using the submission form (Fall submissions open now). The Fall and Spring semesters’ deadline is September 22 and February 15, respectively, by 11:59 pm. The submissions will open each year for Fall and Spring on July 22 and December 15, respectively. Although students may apply in advance for funding, the GSA Conferences and Travel Awards operate on a reimbursement basis, meaning awardees are reimbursed for costs after travel takes place with receipts. Lastly, the awards are NOT on a rolling basis, all applications will be assigned to the reviewers from the Graduate Student Association Research Recognition Committee after the corresponding deadline, and the winners will not be announced earlier than the assigned date. Please check the Application Timeline section for details.

The General Process

The applications are available online prior to the beginning of each semester, mid-July for the fall application cycle, and mid-December for the spring application cycle. Once available, applicants are able to edit and submit their application and supplementary material (personal statement, abstract and confirmation of acceptance (if received), unofficial transcript, CV, letter(s) of recommendation, DGP Authorization) until the deadline, September 15 and February 15, respectively, at 11:59 pm. Lastly, the applicant is required to be part of the NCSU community at the time of the conference, and we cannot offer funds for conferences that occur after graduation.

Note: The Letters of Recommendation and the DGP Authorization must be submitted through separate links provided on the GSA Travel Award website and in the application. These links are publicly available and should be reviewed prior to emailing them to your DGP or reference writer. Furthermore, these documents must be received before the deadline. Once a DGP Authorization or Letter of Recommendation is submitted, a confirmation email is sent to the applicant and the DGP or reference writer. It is up to the applicant to keep track of this. These two documents are the most common missing items that disqualify an application!

After the deadline, the applications are checked for completeness, including verifying that all supplementary material has been provided. Applications that are complete will then be distributed to the Research Recognition Committee to be evaluated. The Research Recognition Committee consists of over 12 graduate students from various GSAs across the university. Each application is evaluated with a rubric at least 3 times, and the judges evaluating an application do not know the applicant and if possible, are not in the applicant’s program or department. These evaluations are then compiled, analyzed, and put into a report to assist with determining the awardees. Next, the committee meets to discuss the applications. Each judge has the opportunity to bring up their top application for debate, and the committee will discuss the application’s strengths and weaknesses. Each awardee is determined by vote.

Once the finalists are decided, notification letters are sent out to all applicants by November 15 and April 15 for the fall and spring cycles, respectively. Those who receive an award are notified of which award (GSA Award for Conferences or GSA Travel Assistance Award) and the amount. Awardees are required to provide a picture and a brief biography for the GSA website to celebrate their accomplishments with the broader graduate student community. Additionally, after attending their conference, awardees are required to submit a statement describing the impact of the conference.

Hopefully, this overview gives you a better idea of how these travel awards are allocated. To familiarize yourself with more specific information, including the differences between the GSA Award for Conferences and the GSA Travel Assistance Award, please continue to the specific cycle information below and visit our FAQ prior to applying. If you have any questions, please email the VP of Academic Affairs at

The Details

GSA Award for Conferences

A student can only receive the GSA Award for Conferences once per graduate degree

. If awarded, a student is reimbursed up to $1,500 to cover conference and travel expenses.

GSA Travel Assistance Award

The GSA Travel Assistance Award was created through collaborations between the GSA and the Graduate School. These awards were allocated for the first time in Spring 2018.

A student can only receive the GSA Travel Assistance Award once per graduate degree. If awarded, a student is reimbursed up to $500 to cover conference and travel expenses.

Other Awards

The committee may also decide to award applicants with Arthur B. Moss International Grant and Bob & Seuster Sowell Scholarship based on their availability each semester. Awardees are selected from the GSA Travel Awards application pool.


The GSA Conferences and Travel Awards are open to currently enrolled, fee-paying graduate students in good academic standing (GPA > 3.00). Please note that if you are taking advantage of the faculty waiver program (outlined here), you are not eligible for these awards. Lastly, the funds cannot cover events that occur after the applicant’s graduation, the graduation is based on the applicant’s corresponding ETD deadline.

Note: The GSA reserves the right to limit the number of applications to no more than 5% of the total number of graduate students in the same program based on the volume of applications received. In this instance, the DGP will assist in narrowing down the pool of applicants from their respective programs based on the highest quality of research. This restriction would be implemented after all applications have been submitted and evaluated.

Recipient Stipulations

Each NC State Graduate Student:

  • Can only receive each award once per graduate degree.
  • Can apply to both awards using one application cycle. Indicating that you are applying to ‘both’ on one application will be sufficient. The type of award received is merit-based and is determined by the selection committee.
  • Can receive one award per academic year (Ex. If you received either award in fall 2017, you are ineligible to receive an award in the spring 2018 OR if you received either award in spring 2017, you are ineligible to receive an award in fall 2017.)

Application Requirements

All parts of the application must be received. Applications missing any of these will NOT be evaluated:

  1. Completed application form.
  2. 4500 characters personal statement — considering an audience of educated professionals outside of your field, describe the following:
    1. The relevance or impact of your research on the existing field.
    2. How your research contributes to society as a whole.
    3. How your attendance at the conference contribute to the scientific and academic enrichment of NC State, your department, and/or your program.
    4. How your attendance at this conference supports or will support your personal and career goals.
  3. Copy of an abstract submitted to the conference and confirmation of abstract acceptance (if received).
  4. Copy of NC State unofficial transcript (accessible via MyPackPortal).
  5. Curriculum Vitae (include a list of publications, if applicable).
  6. Two Letters of recommendation (applicant should receive confirmation emails from jotform to confirm their letters have been submitted by the recommenders).
  7. Authorization from the applicant’s Director of Graduate Programs (DGP).

Application Links 

(Fall 2024 submissions will close on September 22, 2024, at 11:59 pm.)

Application Timeline

Fall Travel Awards:

Submission Portal Open: July 22, 2024
Deadline: September 22, 2024
Travel Dates: September 15, 2024 – February 14, 2025
Notification date: November 15, 2024

Spring Travel Awards:
Submission Portal Open: December 15, 2024
Deadline: February 15, 2024
Travel Dates: February 15, 2024 – September 14, 2024
Notification Date: April 15, 2024

Please note that from Spring 2019 award cycle, the travel dates to be eligible for the awards have been changed. The travel should be within a six-month period from the application deadline.

Any questions? Check the Frequently Asked Questions page!

If your question is still unanswered, please email Naimul Haque at