Conference & Research Travel Support

Student Resources

Conference & Research Travel Support

All students are encouraged to attend the American Planning Association (APA) national conference, which occurs each year in March or April. The Student Planning Organization (SPO) subsidizes student travel to the APA meeting and coordinates volunteer opportunities. SPO also facilitates attendance at quarterly Illinois APA meetings and the Illinois APA annual conference each September/October.

For all other conference travel, the best general source of funding is the Graduate College's Conference Travel Awards for Graduate Students program. Each semester, the Graduate College provides grants not to exceed $350 for students who will present papers at conferences. The Department submits its top two applicants to the Graduate College, which then makes the final decision. Students must submit their applications to the main office by September 15, for the fall competition and February 15, for the spring competition.

The Department will provide limited travel support for students not selected for funding through the Graduate College competition. In order to be eligible for funding, students must have applied for the Graduate College Travel Award, must have a formal place on the conference program, and requests should be endorsed by their academic adviser. The Department encourages the student's adviser to match or exceed the Department's contribution.

Full-time doctoral students within the first four years of their program enrolment can receive conference travel support from the Department. In each academic year before advancing to candidacy students can receive up to $300, once they have obtained ABD status students can receive up to $500 of funding. The Department will also consider funding requests from part-time doctoral students and students beyond the fourth year, based on merit and on funding availability.

MUP students presenting papers at conferences can also be considered for Departmental travel support up to $250 per academic year.

To be eligible for a conference travel grant, the student must be registered and in good academic standing during the term the award is received. For fall term awards, travel must take place anytime from the beginning of the previous summer to the end of the following summer. For spring term awards, travel must take place anytime from the beginning of the spring term to the end of the following fall term.

Dissertation Travel Grants

The Graduate College has a Dissertation Travel Grants program to subsidize travel and costs associated with dissertation research (approximately 12 awards of up to $5,000 College-wide per year, depending on funding availability). These awards are not to be used for conference travel. The Department provides limited matching support, resources permitting. The Department is limited to three nominations each semester. Students interested in applying should follow the College application guidelines and submit all materials to the DURP PhD Program Director (Professor Faranak Miraftab). Applications for Spring awards are due to Professor Miraftab by March 1 (the Department will submit nominations by March 14). Travel funded through Spring 2019 competition must begin no later than May 31, 2020 and must conclude by August 31, 2020.

Master's Project Travel Grants

The Graduate College's Master's Project Travel Grants provides reimbursement to Illinois students for travel-related costs incurred for the completion of an off-campus, short-term project required of one of the University's master's degree programs. Approximately 10 grants of up to $500 will be awarded given sufficient funding. Students interested in applying should follow the Graduate College application guidelines and submit all materials to Jennifer Kowalski about a week prior to the deadline, which is typically in March of each year.

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