NC State
Graduate Student Association

Applying for the GSA Travel Awards

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

The GSA has two opportunities for graduate students to support their travel to conferences, the GSA Award for Conferences (up to $1500) and the GSA Travel Assistance Award (up to $500). The GSA Travel Assistance Award was recently developed in Fall 2017 and is in collaboration with The Graduate School. Both of these awards are competitive, merit-based awards. Currently, we provide at least 5 GSA Awards for Conferences and at least 20 GSA Travel Assistance Awards per semester. In addition, we will also be judging for Arthur B. Moss International Grant and Bob & Seuster Sowell Fellowship based on the availability of these awards.

So, what is the 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 5 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 applications. 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 on November 15 and April 15 for the fall and spring cycles, respectively. Those that 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. 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 read the main website and visit our FAQ prior to applying. If you have any questions, please email the VP of Academic Affairs at