University Travel Grant Program

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

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 documents here as a single combined PDF.

  • Cover sheet (fillable pdf available on website)

  • Budget worksheet (fillable pdf available on website)

  • A statement describing the nature of the intended presentation, the significance of the conference/event, and how participation will further the applicant’s academic career and will enhance the University’s reputation.  This statement should be limited to no more than one page (no smaller than 10-point font, single-spaced, one-inch margins).

  • Anticipated itemized cost of participation (on a separate page). Note: If department or college support is available, but is not enough to cover travel costs, the amount available should be indicated in the itemized list, and only remaining uncovered costs should be requested. If the applicant has access to discretionary funds, but for some reason chooses not to use those funds, an explanation must be provided as to why such funds are not being used to cover the requested travel. Unless otherwise indicated, availability of discretionary funds will be assessed on the basis of fiscal year (June 1 – May 31), e.g. if travel will commence on July 1, and the application indicates that departmental support provides $1000/year in travel funding, the committee will assume those funds are available for the July trip. Thus, it is important that applicants are clear in their description of what funds are available, when they are available, and to what extent they are exhausted.

  • A list of professional meetings/events at which the applicant has presented over the past 24 months, indicating the cost of attendance and source of funds used to cover the cost (include also when personal funds were used to support travel).

  • A copy of the originally submitted abstract or equivalent means by which interest in participating was expressed.

  • A letter of invitation or a communication that your presentation has been accepted, if available.  (Note: a letter of acceptance is not required at the time of application; awards can be made pending receipt of a letter prior to the initiation of travel).

  • A list of the applicant’s refereed publications, or other equivalent of scholarly activity in areas where refereed publications are not the standard, over the past five years (do not attach a full curriculum vitae).

6.  Application Timetable

  • Applications are due by 5:00 PM on the first Friday in October and first Friday in February.  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 AVPR prior to submission of an application to be reviewed off-cycle.

7.  Application Review

  • Proposals are to be routed to the Associate Vice Provost for Research ( through the applicant’s Department Chair and Dean’s Office (and Center or Institute, for faculty with such affiliations).  The Cover and Routing Sheet includes signature fields in which the Department Chair and Dean’s Office (and Center/Institute Director, if appropriate) representative indicates 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 faculty from across the University, appointed by the Associate Vice Provost for Research.  Committee members will serve for two years.

8.  Award Terms

  • 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.

  • Meal costs may be requested up to $60/day for domestic travel and 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 workshops, social events, field trips, or related activities held in association with a meeting/event. 

  • In the event the applicant can simultaneously apply for, and is awarded, college-level funding, the AVPR 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 2017-18 University Travel Grant Program Evaluation Committee are: 

Dr. Amanda Grannas, Office of the Provost

Dr. Nathaniel Weston, Department of Geography and the Environment

Dr. Hibba Abugideiri, Department of History

Dr. Bridget Wadzuk, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Ruth McDermott-Levy, College of Nursing

Dr. Lucy Chen, Villanova School of Business

Professor Michael Risch, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

* University Travel Grants Cover Page.pdf
University Travel Grant Cover Page
* University Travel Grant Cost Estimate Worksheet v2.pdf
University Travel Grant Budget Worksheet

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