MSU PDA - Travel Award - How to apply

Click here to see previous Travel Award winners.


Three travel fellowships of $500 each will be awarded twice a year:

  • December, the FALL TRAVEL AWARD for travel period starting 1 September (same year) to end of February (following year) (due date December 1, 11:59 pm)
  • May, the SPRING TRAVEL AWARD for travel period from 1 March (same year) to 31 August (same year) (due date May 1, 11:59 pm);

If the total number of applications is not equal to or higher than three, for each award period, then the travel fellowship will accordingly increase:

  • Two applications will correspond to two $750 awards;
  • One application to one $1500 award.

All postdocs and research associates (RAs) are eligible to apply except for:

1) Current members of the MSUPDA Steering Committee;

2) Individuals that have already received this travel award during their time at MSU;

3) Those attending meetings/scientific conferences held at Michigan State University.

Recipients must agree to serve on the Travel Fellowship Committee for the following cycle;

Awards will be granted to attend meetings/scientific conferences but not invited talks at Universities or non-conference events.


A panel of judges selected by the MSUPDA Steering Committee will review all applications and reserves the right, should the quality of the applications be inadequate, to forego granting fellowship awards;

If the meeting/conference is postponed or canceled, an addendum should be sent to the MSUPDA Steering Committee within a timely manner informing them of the postponement or cancellation. Applicants awarded a fellowship will be able to use the money for postponed meetings when they occur. MSUPDA Travel Award monies awarded to postdocs planning to attend cancelled meetings/conferences must be returned to the MSU graduate school within 30 days of the meeting/conference cancellation;

It shall be the full responsibility of the recipient Postdoc to turn in all required documentation (travel vouchers and receipts) for the reimbursement within your department. The person preparing the reimbursement should contact Aida Montalvo ( for the account number for the respective award within 14 days*** after completion of the meeting/conference. In the event this does not happen, the MSU PDA and MSU graduate school reserve the right to revoke the Travel Award. In such event if the award money is already in the possession of the postdoc, the recipient shall be required to reimburse the full amount of the fellowship to the MSU graduate school.

***For the Spring Travel Award, all receipts must be submitted to the Graduate School after July 1, unless specified otherwise.


Each applicant should fill all the information requested in the official form that can be downloaded here. The completed application should not exceed 2 pages.

The form includes two major components:

1- Abstract of the work to be presented:

a) The abstract should clearly and concisely identify the aim(s), goal(s) and results/conclusions of the work presented;

b) Include, if known, whether the presentation will be oral or a poster.

2- A short description of the research and travel plan , that should include the following points:

a) Description in general terms of the overall research with which the postdoc is involved, how it is integrated into a main focus area of the lab, what has been previously achieved and how this work is moving the project forward; the impact of the work on the applicant’s field of research and/or the applications outside of the field, if any;

b) The technology behind the work if it is new or unusual in the field;

c) How the participation in the meeting/workshop will impact the applicant’s research and field;

d) In the travel plan, the name of the meeting, date and places should be clear; the inclusion of travel expenses is optional;

e) The use of field-specific jargon and abbreviations should be avoided.


All the applications should be prepared using the official word form that can be downloaded here.

Once the form is filled, it should be converted to pdf file format, saved with applicants last name as file name and submitted via email to

Form to apply for MSU-PDA travel award.

Applications that do not respect the number of pages or use the official form will be disregarded.