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University Conference Travel Grant Program

PLEASE NOTE: Be advised this application process requires Chair and Dean approval to be completed in Workflow by the deadline. Please allow 2-3 days for approval time when preparing your application.


1.  Purpose and Scope

The University encourages its full-time faculty to become active members of their respective learned and professional societies and shall, subject to the availability of funds, subsidize participation in meetings of prestigious learned societies and other academic and professional conferences (Full-time Faculty Handbook). The University Conference Travel Grant (UCTG) Program is intended to augment, but not supplant, existing support for faculty travel to present their work at appropriate venues available through Departments, Colleges, Centers and Institutes. Therefore, the UCTG Program will consider proposals from full-time faculty only when alternative sources of travel support (for example, external grant funding, Department, College, Center or Institute travel support) are not available. Faculty may apply for UCTG funding while seeking support from other sources. However, if funding is received from other sources, UCTG support may be limited to conference travel costs not covered from other sources. 

2.  Eligibility

2022-2023 travel grants will be awarded to support virtual/online and in-person conference attendance. Any awards for in-person travel will need to adhere to restrictions in place by the University or local/state/national restrictions at the time of travel. University Conference Travel Grants are available to tenure-track, tenured, or full-time continuing non-tenure-track faculty to present work at national or international meetings, exhibitions, festivals, or other venues appropriate for a given discipline. Non-presenting faculty are not eligible for support. Applicants must certify that the scholarly work to be presented has not been published or previously presented. The UCTG Program will not support travel in which participation is limited to organizational activities including session chair, panelist, reviewer, judge, workshop attendee, etc. Support is limited to one travel activity within a fiscal year. Proposals for retroactive reimbursement of costs of travel that has already occurred will not be considered.

3.  Types of Activities for which Support is Available

The UCTG Program will support faculty travel to present work at a variety of venues of national or international scope. These venues include meetings of a national or international professional society; meetings sponsored by a government agency or industrial society if the meetings are of an academic nature; juried competitions; conferences on a specified topic at which attendance is by invitation only; and invited performances at meetings/exhibitions/festivals.

4.  Selection Criteria

  • Priority will be given to tenure-track Assistant Professors and to full-time continuing non-tenure-track Assistant Professors who have not traveled using UCTG Program funds during the previous 12 months. 

  • The nature of the presentation, prioritized as: 1) keynote or plenary speaker/presenter, 2) invited speaker/presenter, 3) contributed speaker/presenter. In general, the UCTG Program will not provide travel support for faculty delivering poster presentations.

  • The extent to which participation in the meeting will further the career development of the faculty member.

  • The significance of the presentation with respect to the faculty member’s academic discipline.

  • The significance of the meeting itself.

  • The extent to which participation in the meeting will enhance the University’s reputation.

  • The applicant’s record of scholarly productivity, as evidenced by refereed publications or other discipline-specific scholarly activity, over the past five years.

5.  Application Documents

Submit all information through Digital Measures-Activity Insight (Workflow) via MyNova

The University Travel Grant application will be submitted electronically using Digital Measures Workflow. Your personalized application may be found on your Activity Insight dashboard, under the Workflow menu item. Activity Insight is available via MyNova. Search for Activity Insight, open the link, and you will see the travel grant application in your inbox there. If you do not see it, please notify our Digital Measures administrator, Michael Risch to report the problem. The application seeks the same information that has always been required, but it requests it in a uniform format. However, a few notes about filling out the form:

  • Due to the twice annual application opportunity—the application link in Activity Insight may appear as October—this however is the correct application route for the spring window as well.

  • The form will automatically generate five years of your publications and other information in the form of a Vita directly from Activity Insight. If you have not already, be sure to enter your publications into Activity Insight before filing the application.

  • We are still using the PDF budget form. The form is fillable in Adobe Acrobat, so download it and use Acrobat, rather than viewing it in your web browser. You will then upload the PDF with your saved budget.

  • Approval by department chairs and deans (or their designees) will be obtained electronically. The deadline for your application has been set for the day before the program deadline, to give each signatory one day to sign before the due date. (This is not a fixed deadline, so if you file later and have your signoffs completed quickly, you may still meet the deadline.)

  • Some faculty are listed in departments that don’t match our official list. If your application gets routed to the wrong department chair, please notify Michael Risch.

  • Due to the way Workflow handles conflicts of interest, signatories (e.g. department chairs) are not set up to apply. If you would like to apply and you are a department chair, please let Michael Risch know who will be signing off on your application and he will create an application for you in Workflow.

  • Be sure to include all of the requested information, or the application may be returned to you for additional information.

  • You may apply if you have submitted to present, but have not yet received confirmation of acceptance. However, award funds will not be released until you forward your final notification of acceptance to Janice Bially Mattern, PhD, Director, Villanova Institute for Research and Scholarship (VIRS).

6.  Application Timetable

  • Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 7, 2022 and on Friday, February 10, 2023. Decisions will be made within one month of the submission deadlines. Applications should be submitted well in advance of the travel dates.

  • Applications received in the interval between deadlines will be considered under extraordinary circumstances, for travel to particularly prestigious conferences where invitations were received after the travel grant program deadline, but travel will occur before the next review cycle. Department and college funding sources must be completely exhausted for consideration off-cycle. Award amounts may be limited due to availability of funds. Please contact the Director of VIRS prior to submission of an application to be reviewed off-cycle.

7.  Application Review

  • Proposals are routed to the Director of VIRS via the Workflow process through the applicant’s Department Chair and Dean’s Office.  These approvals indicate that the proposed conference travel merits support, but that the applicant has exhausted Departmental/College/Center/Institute funds typically allocated for faculty travel at this stage in the applicant’s academic career.

  • Proposals will be evaluated by a committee of tenured and CNT faculty from across the University, appointed by the Director of VIRS. Committee members will typically serve for three years.

8.  Award Terms (Updated 12/2021)

  • Awards are intended to cover the full cost of participation, including registration fees, transportation, lodging, and meals, subject to the University’s Travel and Business Expense policies. In general, awards are anticipated to be less than $2,500. Requests for support in excess of $2,500 will be considered, but must have exceptionally strong justification. The committee will evaluate all proposed costs for reasonableness.

  • NEW! Effective February 2023 meal costs for domestic travel may be requested up to the federal government M&I per diem rate for the destination city.  Foreign travel meal per diems may be requested up to the U.S. Department of State per diem rate for foreign travel. Please include these per day costs in the budget request, but understand that only ACTUAL meal expenses will be reimbursed (i.e. per diem is not allowed by University policy). 

  • Awards will not cover the costs of membership fees, workshops, social events, field trips or related activities held in association with a meeting/event.

  • In applying for the University Conference Travel Grant, applicant must acknowledge that they have reviewed the current University travel guidance ( and will adhere to policies in place at time of travel. 

  • Faculty who need to arrange for childcare due to conference attendance may qualify for the Backup Care Reimbursement Program to defray childcare costs.

  • In the event the applicant can simultaneously apply for, and is awarded, college-level funding, the Director of VIRS will coordinate with college-level programs prior to award announcements with the understanding that college-level funding is to be used prior to UCTGP funding.

  • If a college-level travel funding program is available, but was not applied for, the applicant will not be given priority for funding and it will be at the discretion of the committee whether the grant is awarded, based on availability of funds.

  • Awardees are expected to acknowledge the support of the Villanova University Conference Travel Grant Program in their presentation in a manner appropriate to their discipline.

Note:  Awards within a fiscal year are subject to the availability of funds reserved for this program.

9.  Members of the 2022-2023 University Travel Grant Program Evaluation Committee are:

  • Janice Bially Mattern, PhD, Villanova Institute for Researcch and Scholarship
  • Bridget Wadzuk, PhD, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Bonnie Henderson, PhD, Department of Geography and the Environment
  • Michael Risch, JD, Charles Widger School of Law
  • Michael Curran, PhD, Villanova School of Business
  • Timothy McCall, PhD, Department of Art History