Travel Fund Application


The purpose of the Department of Physics Graduate Student Travel Award Fund is to provide opportunities for graduate students to participate (remotely or in person) special conferences or workshops, to participate in professional development activities that are not funded by their advisers' research grants, or to supplement student funding for unanticipated medical, financial, or educational expenses. Awards will typically be limited to a maximum of $500, although higher award amounts are possible in exceptional circumstances.

Application Schedule

The 2024-2025 Physics Grad Travel Award program will be divided into three time periods. Applications should be submitted by the following dates if possible:

  • September 1, 2024, for September 1, 2024 – January 31, 2025 conference participation or supplementary funds
  • February 1, 2025, for February 1 – May 31, 2025 conference participation or supplementary funds
  • May 1, 2025, for June 1 – August 31, 2025 conference participation or supplementary funds

Applications may be accepted for reimbursements, and it is preferred that applications be received at least 30 days before funds are needed. Questions about deadlines and submissions should be directed to Professor Lance Cooper (, associate head for graduate programs.

Application Evaluation Process

Applications will be reviewed by the associate head for graduate programs, and final decisions will be made by the associate head for graduate programs. Applicants will be informed of the final decisions. All decisions of the associate head are final.

Application Review Criteria

Review criteria include:

  1. An assessment of how the proposed conference participation will contribute to the student's professional development or a brief explanation describing why supplementary funds are needed.
  2. The student's past history of travel support by the department (for conference participation awards).
  3. Time remaining to PhD degree (for conference participation awards).

Application Materials:

A complete Graduate Travel Award application consists of the following items:

  1. Completed Graduate Travel Award form
  2. For conference participation awards, a brief letter of support from the applicant's thesis adviser, which can be submitted to Associate Head Lance Cooper via e-mail ( For supplementary funds requests, no adviser letter is required, but a brief explanation of the funding request via e-mail, phone, or Zoom meeting would be appreciated.

Graduate Admissions Contact

S Lance Cooper

Lance Cooper
Associate Head for Graduate Programs
227 Loomis Laboratory
(217) 333-3645

Have questions about the admission process?
Read through the Admissions pages or contact us.


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