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GSA Graduate Student Domestic Travel Subsidy Award

ISTA 2022: The 33rd International Congress, Maui/Hawaii, August 31 – September 3, 2022

Tabitha Derr (far left), a PhD student in biomedical engineering and member of the Implant Research Core, attended the 33rd Congress of the International Society for Technology in Arthroplasty in Maui, Hawaii August 31 to September 3, 2022 with the IRC group.

The 2023-2024 subsidy program is closed as of June 1, 2024. Please check back over the summer for the 2024-2025 program information, which is subject to change based on available funds.

The Graduate College and/or GSA will send an email communication if/when the 2024-2025 program is up and running with additional details.


The Graduate Student Association (GSA), in partnership with the Graduate College, offers a limited number of Graduate Student Domestic Travel Subsidy Awards annually to encourage graduate student presentation at academic meetings and conferences held within the United States and territories (including Puerto Rico)*. These opportunities not only strengthen the academic and professional skills of our student presenters, preparing them to be leaders in their fields, but also increase the awareness of the exceptional graduate student research happening at Drexel.

*Students intending to attend international meetings and conferences should apply for the Global Engagement Funding through Drexel Global.

The Graduate Student Domestic Travel Subsidy Award was established in 2016 and funded in part by a generous donation from Teck-Kah Lim, PhD, former Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics, through 2023. The goal of the subsidy award is to provide more opportunities for graduate students to travel to present at meetings and conferences, often when they have little or no other support to do so, and to further advance Drexel's mission and status as an R1 research institution. The subsidy award also provides an opportunity for graduate students to develop important presentation, networking, and professional development skills. Many go on to win conference/meeting awards and accolades!

Effective July 1, 2023, the GSA is funding the subsidy award through a small percentage of student activity fees which make up their annual allocation. Please note several changes due to limited funding available.

To donate to this fund, please visit the fund's giving page.


  • Must be a current Drexel graduate student enrolled full-time (or part-time) in a doctoral or master's degree program at the time of application and of presentation at the meeting/conference*
  • Must be in good academic standing (term and cumulative GPA is 3.00 or higher)
  • Must be invited to present an oral research presentation or talk at a meeting or conference within the United States and territories **
  • Must complete the application with all required materials at least three weeks prior to the first day of travel or first day of the meeting or conference, whichever comes first
  • Must NOT have already received this subsidy award during the current fiscal year (July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024), one per student per fiscal year
  • maximum of five awards will be given out for the same meeting or conference. Additional awards may be given out at the discretion of the review committee

*A small number of part-time and fully online students may be eligible per availability of funds; however priority will be given to full-time on-campus students who contribute student activity fees.

*Accelerated degree program students (BS/MS) who are not fully converted to graduate program level status (GR) are not eligible for this subsidy award; however, they may be eligible for travel grants through Undergraduate Research & Enrichment Programs (UREP).

*Students in the College of Medicine and Kline School of Law are not eligible for this subsidy award. Students studying in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies in the College of Medicine are encouraged to apply for the Dean's Graduate Student Travel Award.

**Please Note: At this time, we are not accepting applications for research poster presentations due to limited funding. 


A maximum of $800 will be awarded per eligible student per fiscal year while funds last based on the criteria outlined below. Award amount is not negotiable. Proof of eligible purchases required for reimbursement. See "Reimbursement Process" below.

Application & Review Process

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by a review committee made up of members of the Graduate College and GSA and decisions will be rendered ASAP prior to the start of travel or the first day of the meeting or conference. If the subsidy award is essential to your decision to travel or participate in the meeting or conference, please let us know in your application so we can render a decision ASAP.

Applications will be considered with the following criteria in mind:

  • Reasonable estimated travel expenses (economy), including consideration for distance and duration of travel
  • Complete, accurate, and well-written materials, including quality of abstract and personal statement, such that it is clear, concise, and compelling
  • The type of meeting or conference and presentation, the significance and/or impact of exposure such that it will elevate Drexel’s reputation as an R1 research institution
  • The importance or potential impact of participating (e.g. early stage vs. late stage, what the student will learn or gain from the experience, how the student will have an impact on other attendees, the field, the greater community, level of exposure to Drexel's research enterprise)
  • IMPORTANT: Financial need and consideration of all other available sources of funding that can help support the student

The following applications will NOT be considered:

  • A late or incomplete application
  • An application with inaccurate or fraudulent information
  • An application with an unrealistic and/or unnecessary budget
  • An application for participation in a meeting/conference or workshop, but with no proof of invitation to present an oral

Application Instructions

Students must submit a completed application via the Drexel Funding Portal (InfoReady), linked below, with all required materials are due at least three weeks before the first day of travel or the first day of the meeting or conference, whichever comes first.

Please review Drexel's Business Travel Guidelines for a list of allowable expenses without any restrictions. Please contact the Graduate College at if you have any questions regarding allowable expenses for this subsidy award.

To apply, please complete the Drexel Funding Portal (InfoReady) application linked below which asks for the graduate student applicant's information, meeting or conference dates, location, and presentation details, estimated expenses, total amount requested, and any other requested, anticipated, or confirmed sources of funding, etc. Please have this information ready prior to beginning an application.

In addition, you must upload each of the following REQUIRED supplemental materials as a PDF:

  1. Abstract (150-250 words and no longer than one-page in length)
  2. Personal statement explaining the relevance and significance of participating in the meeting or conference, format of the presentation, who will be in attendance, level of exposure for you, your department, Drexel, potential for networking, professional and career development, etc. (Maximum one page, please be at detailed as possible)
  3. Statement of support from a faculty member you work closely with, including justification for attendance, potential impact, and MUST INCLUDE a detailed explanation of any other sources of funding available, pending or confirmed, for this meeting or conference or in the department/college/school in general. MUST answer this question of whether or not the student will be able to participate if they do not receive this subsidy award. (May be in the form of an email, Word doc, etc.)
  4. Proof of acceptance/invitation to present or confirmation of presentation at the meeting or conference (Copy of the email, webpage, etc. is appropriate, with as many details as possible)
  5. Resume or CV

Incomplete or ineligible applications will be returned or rejected. If you have any questions, please contact prior to submitting an application.

For Subsidy Award Recipients ONLY: Reimbursement Process

Subsidy awards are processed AFTER successful completion of travel and/or presentation through the University's reimbursement request process outlined below. This is not negotiable.

First, follow the instructions below to complete the Check Request Form [PDF]:

Section 1: Payee Information

  1. Enter the payee name and complete mailing address exactly as it is to appear on the check. For payments to individuals, a permanent home address is required.
  2. Attach the original invoice or other original documentation that substantiates the payment for audit purposes.
  3. Employee and student payees must provide their University ID number (8 digits). Do not use your Social Security Number (SSN).
  4. If the payee is an individual, indicate the citizenship status and whether the payee is an employee of Drexel University. Questions regarding payments to Non-resident Alien individuals should be directed to the Tax Department at or (215) 895-6880.

Section 2: Justification & Delivery

  1. Enter for the reason for expenditure, including that it is a reimbursement for travel subsidy award, the conference name, conference location (City/State), and dates of travel.
  2. To facilitate timely payment, checks will be mailed directly to payees. "US Mail" is the default distribution method or direct deposit, if applicable. A Request to Mail with Enclosures must be accompanied by the original documents to be mailed to the payee AND copies of the documents for audit purposes.
  3. Pick-ups are for emergencies by arrangement only.

Section 3 & 4: Funding Source & Approvals

Please leave these sections BLANK. They are for official use only.


Next, in addition to a completed Check Request Form [PDF] outlined above, you must submit all of the following documentation in a SINGLE PDF FILE which must be 10MB or less to the Graduate College via within two weeks of the last day of travel:

  1. Subsidy Award Email Notification: Please provide a copy of your award notification email from the Drexel Funding Portal (InfoReady) / Graduate College confirming the award amount. You may forward it and attached the following items.
  2. All Relevant Original or Digital Receipts/Invoices*: Please ask for separate and itemized receipts whenever possible. Please write-in any added tips and totals, if applicable. Small printed and original receipts can be scanned and included in a digital format in the single PDF file. Digital or emailed receipts or invoices should also be included in the single PDF file. Please redact any personal information which is not necessary for the purposes of this reimbursement request.
  3. Bank or Credit Card Statement(s): Can be downloaded from your online bank or credit cards account(s) and must include ALL transactions requested for reimbursement. Please redact all account numbers, balances, and other personal information which is not necessary for the purposes of this reimbursement request.

*Please review Drexel's Business Travel Guidelines for a list of allowable expenses without any restrictions. Please refer to the Business Mileage Reimbursement Policy for requested reimbursement for personal vehicle mileage. Please submit a digital map for proof of mileage, such as from Google Maps, including the taken route to and from each destination and mileage totals for each (please put in Drexel University as your initial departure point). The University does not reimburse for gasoline. Meals should not exceed $60 per day for a maximum of two days ($120) and no more than 20 percent tip, if applicable. Further, alcoholic beverages are not eligible for reimbursement for the purposes of this subsidy award. Please purchase separately. Please contact the Graduate College at if you have any questions regarding allowable expenses for this subsidy award.

And finally, please complete the post-meeting/conference survey [Qualtrics] summarizing your experience and including any presentation photos or headshots. Please also mention any awards, honors, highlights, impact, accomplishments, etc.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at