FRIENDS TRAVEL SUPPORT
Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of UIUC Department of Communication, this program provides support for graduate student travel. Students may receive support to travel to professional conferences as author or co-author of a paper accepted for presentation, and/or support to attend other academic events that involve a competitive selection process but might not involve presentation of original research (e.g., NCA Doctoral Honors Conference, RSA Institute, non-presenting authors of a paper selected for a traditional conference). All students who qualify receive awards. Students can receive two awards in an academic year.
A standard award is for up to: (a) $400 for a conference in which the student is an author and sole presenter of original scholarship, or (b) $250 for co-authors to travel to a conference or for travel to other competitively selected academic events (e.g., NCA Doctoral Honors Conference, RSA Institute).
Students may choose to make ONE of the two awards each academic year a premium award, which provides twice the amount of a standard award (that is, up to $800 for a sole presenter of original research at a conference or up to $500 for other awards). The premium award does not need to be the first event attended in the academic year.
Qualifying for Friends Travel Support
The funds available for this program are limited, so some restrictions on eligibility are necessary; these are described below:
- To qualify for a standard award of $400 (or $800 if the student designates the trip as a premium award), an applicant must be a graduate student in Communication, currently registered and in residence, who will be the sole presenter of a paper that he or she has written at a professional meeting or conference. Presentations may be made in a traditional paper session, a high-density paper session, or a Scholar-to-Scholar poster session.
- To qualify for a standard award of $250 (or $500 if the student designates the trip as a premium award), an applicant must be a graduate student in Communication, currently registered and in residence, who will be attending an academic event for which there was a competitive selection process. (This includes being a non-presenting author of a competitively accepted conference paper.)
- In the case of papers co-authored by two or more graduate students, the sole presenting student may apply for a standard award of $400 (or $800 if the student designates the trip as a premium award) by submitting materials that show he or she is the sole presenting author. Alternatively, if the paper will be presented jointly by two or more student authors, each of the student co-presenters may apply for $500/$250 in support. (Non-presenting authors of a competitively accepted conference paper are eligible to apply for the $500/$250 award as well.)
- In the case of papers co-authored with faculty members, the student may apply for $800/$400 in support only if the student will be presenting or co-presenting the paper. If multiple student coauthors will be presenting the paper jointly, each of the student co-presenters may apply for $500/$250 in support. (Non-presenting authors of a competitively accepted conference paper are eligible to apply for the $500/$250 award as well.)
- A student may receive a maximum of two travel awards in any academic year. (An academic year begins on August 16 and ends on August 15 of the next calendar year.) The limit of two applies regardless of the amount of each award.
- Each travel award must be used to attend a different meeting or event; that is, one may not receive two awards to attend the same meeting, even if one is presenting two or more papers at that meeting.
Applying for Friends Travel Support
- The application form, which can be found on the forms page of the department web page, must be filled out completely and must be accompanied by evidence that the paper has been accepted for presentation or that the student has been competitively selected to attend an academic event (typically a letter of acceptance from the program chair and/or a copy of the meeting program).
- Students must apply for support a minimum of two weeks in advance of travel to the conference. Students will receive notification of the award before they travel.
Receiving Friends Travel Support
- Award amounts listed above are maximums. If the amount of reimbursable expenses does not reach the award level listed, the award will be reduced to match the actual amount of reimbursable expenses incurred.
- Travel supported by Friends awards is subject to all university rules and regulations for travel. For example, students cannot be reimbursed for travel expenses that are being paid by another entity (e.g., if a conference provides a student travel grant, Friends can only be used for expenses not paid for by the conference grant).
- Awards will be disbursed only after conference travel and based on the amount of allowable conference travel expenses that can be substantiated with receipts. All student conference travel will be processed through Chrome River, a web-based system for submitting and approving requests. To receive awards, make sure you are set up in Chrome River through the main office and submit all receipts for allowable travel expenses to Michelle Malloch promptly on your return from the conference. If these are not received by the university within 60 days of the completion of the conference, the entire amount will be considered taxable income and you will only receive the awarded amount minus taxes.
- All receipts must be original, itemized and show date, amount and method of payment. For receipts not showing this information, additional documentation may be required (e.g., copy of a credit card statement). If expenses are shared with others, the university requires proof the portion claimed was paid by the student claiming it.
- Shared expenses: when expenses are shared, only those who paid the vendor directly can claim their portion of the expense. The university requires a bill showing payment information and clear itemization of charges. If one person paid a shared expense, only that person can claim their portion.
- Allowable travel expenses include the following:
- Hotel bills (not including incidental charges for telephone calls, mini bars, in-room movies, and the like). Provide a detailed bill showing a zero balance. If room is shared, request separate bills showing each individual's portion and payment information.
- Conference registration fees - Receipt required. (Note: Membership is not considered a travel expense and cannot be included among expenses claimed.)
- Airline, train, or bus - Receipt required. For conference travel interrupted for personal time, request only the rate for uninterrupted travel by the most direct route. University requires a sample itinerary/cost of the trip without the personal time printed at the same time as the ticket was booked. For tickets showing more than one traveler, additional documentation is required to show the portion claimed was paid by the student claiming it.
- Taxi service - receipt required.
- Parking - receipt required.
- Mileage - charges at the university rate per mile can be claimed only by those who drive their own cars to conferences. University limits apply. Fuel receipts not required.
- Per Diem - A daily allowance for meal expenses while in conference travel status may be received. Amount is calculated by the start/stop time of conference travel and reduced for any meals provided. Receipts are not required.
This program is unrelated to the Graduate College student conference travel grants. Therefore, one might apply for and receive both a Friends Travel Support and a Graduate College Grant for the same conference (but students cannot be reimbursed for travel expenses that are being paid by another entity).
This program provides support for graduate students to present papers at professional conferences. Calls for applications are sent out each fall and spring semester and the department submits nominations to The Graduate College. The application form must be accompanied by evidence that the paper has been accepted for presentation. Conference Presentation Awards are available only to students who will be presenting a paper, poster, or creative work at a professional conference they attend. Students attending a conference without giving a presentation are ineligible. The amount of support awarded varies depending on the number of nominations and funding offered by The Graduate College.