Travel Award Program

Updated 07/26/2014


Travel Icon The Materials Computation Center (MCC) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign administers an NSF-sponsored program offers travel funds to US-based scientists to attend workshops, symposium and tutorials.

Who is eligible for support?

Support is available to junior faculty, postdocs, students or research scientists at US universities; tenured faculty are eligible, but are much less likely to receive support. Only researchers attending or employed by US universities a re eligible. (Staff employed at national labs are ineligible unless they also have an appointment at a university.) We will consider individuals from research areas overlapping with those of MCC: condensed matter physics, chemistry, materials science and computer science.

What does the support cover?

Funding will support travel to and from workshops before September 30, 2015 and cover local expenses during the workshop. In some cases, only partial funding will be available. We will add eligible workshops as we hear about them, and encourage early-career scientists to apply.

When do I apply?

In general, the Travel Support application is due the same date that the workshop application is due. (You must submit two applications; one for the workshop itself, and one for travel support.) For the workshops which have not posted application due dates, the Travel Officer has assigned a due date for the travel support applications 60 days before the event starting date, and marked the due date with an asterisk (*) in the list below. For example, if a workshop starts on June 1st, and there's no workshop application due date, the travel support application is due April 1st. If you have questions, please contact the Travel Officer.

Online application

Online travel support application.

Upcoming workshops

The CECAM workshop page lists other details about the events. The Travel Support application lists the workshops, in chronological order.

Obtaining travel support

To get support you must:

  1. Visit the workshop's website and complete a workshop application.
  2. Complete the online Travel Support application. Late travel support applications will be accepted, but are given lower funding priority. Applicants should apply to the travel program simultaneously with applying to the workshop.

The MCC travel officer will inform you of any award thirty days after the travel support application due date.

It is the responsibility of the traveler to obtain any required visas from the appropriate embassy or nearest consulate of the country. Be sure to allow sufficient time for processing any visa applications.

Reimbursement after travel

The traveler will be reimbursed only after the awardee has mailed the following to the MCC Travel Officer at: Susan Logan, University of Illinois, Materials Research Laboratory, 104 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, Illinois, 61801:

  1. all original travel-related receipts in hardcopy, such as boarding passes for flights
  2. a Travel Reimbursement Form
  3. a scientific report
  4. and any visa-related documents, if you are staying in the U.S. under a visa. Different visa types require different documentation.


  • Travel guidelines of the National Science Foundation apply to this travel reimbursement, along with other guidelines given in the Travel Award Instructions (PDF).
  • You will send the reimbursement paperwork to different addresses (at either University of Illinois depending on which event you attend. If your application is accepted, your acceptance letter will give the mailing address for your reimbursement.
  • If you send the paperwork to the wrong place, you could delay your reimbursement by several weeks.
  • The University of Illinois charges tax on reimbursements which are processed more than 60 days after the expenses were incurred. So, be timely.
  • Please email the MCC travel officer if you have questions.

Other travel support opportunities

Travel support for specific workshops will be listed here, as we hear about them.

APS Travel Grants Deadline: January 23, 2014 The International Travel Grant Award Program promotes international scientific collaborations between APS members and physicists in developing countries. Grant recipients receive up to $2,000 USD to help support travel for the developing or developed country scientist to visit their collaborator abroad for a minimum of one month. International Travel Grant Award Program is now accepting proposals to cover travel and lodging expenses for international travel while visiting a collaborator.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Updated 01/22/2013

Q: Do you consider late applications?

A: Yes, but your chances of receiving support are better if you apply at least 60 days before the starting date of the workshop you plan to attend. Sometimes we hear about workshops close to the workshop's starting date, so if there's a workshop you think would qualify, email details about it

Q: I'm not flying directly to and from the workshop location from my home institution. For example, immediately after the workshop, I'm flying to a third city, to attend another workshop before returning home. How does this influence reimbursement?

A: Please email two flight itineraries, along with the ticket prices for those itineraries. Please do not send only a general description of your travel plans or ideas -- submit the exact dates, flights, and costs. The first should be your actual itinerary with documentation showing you have paid for this ticket; the second itinerary should show the flight costs for a trip directly to and from the workshop location, without any additional stops or additiona l days. The itineraries should indicate that they were generated on the same date. The funds can be used to pay for the lesser of the two ticket prices (plus any lodging during the workshop stay, and taxi/train ex penses to attend the workshop).

Q: What should be the contents of the letter of reference from my adviser/supervisor?

A: We usually recommend to the advisers that:

  1. The letter should indicate:
    1. Your approval for the applicant's participation in the trip
    2. How you think the applicant's attendance at this workshop will benefit their professional development and research
    3. How suitable the topic is for applicant's interests and current level of experience
    4. Any support which your university can provide to fund this trip
  2. A lengthy letter is not necessary, it can be 2-4 short paragraphs.
  3. Please send the letter to
  4. The letter can be a plain-text email message, or a PDF file attached to an email message.

Q: I've submitted my application several months in advance of the application deadline -- is it possible to get an early decision?

A: No, very likely not, for two reasons. One, we evaluate the applications after the workshop organizers have accepted applicants to the workshop itself. Two, typically the Travel Officer reviews all the applicat ions at one time, after the Travel Support de adline for that event has passed. In case there are more applicants than we can fund, this is fair to all the applicants. The deadline is usually 90 days before the workshop/event date, to give the Travel Commi ttee time to review the applications and inf orm the applicants, with more than 60 days before the event starting date, so that awardees can make any travel arrangements.

Q: The documentation says that all non-US citizens need to submit a copy of their visa and I-94. Where and how should I submit those items?

A: You should submit those documents with your completed Travel Reimbursement Form, after you return. The address is listed on the form. Also, even if the back of the fo rm is blank, please copy it and send it with your other paperwork.

Q: Can you give me a letter saying that I've been accepted to the workshop?

A: No, such a letter has to come from the conference organizers. We can write a letter that you have a travel grant to go to the workshop.

Q: Can these funds cover my visa costs?

A: No, the funding can only be used to support travel to and from the workshop and cover local expenses during the workshop. The funds cannot be used to cover anything else, for example, the funds cannot be used to cover costs incurred when obtaining a vi sa.

Q: I want to go to a workshop which isn't listed here. Will you consider adding it?

A: The MCC supports travel to CECAM and Psi-K workshops. If the workshop is sponsored by CECAM or Psi-K, the omission may be an oversight and then the chances of our supporting it are quite high, and you should email the travel officer information about the meeting.

Q: I already bought my ticket for air travel on a non-US-operated airline. Will you make an exception?

A: No. If that part of the trip can be accomplished with a US-operated airline, we cannot reimburse for travel on non-US airlines.

Previous Workshops include:

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