Travel Award Program

Updated 05/26/2015


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.

Dates Workshop Travel Support Application Due
5/27-29/2015Electron-vibration coupling : theoretical and numerical challenges
Lausanne, Switzerland
March 3, 2015
6/1-5/201512th ETSF Young Researchers' Meeting: Challenges in ab initio Modelling of Materials and Molecules
Paris, France
March 3, 2015
6/1-5/2015Electronic Structure Library coding workshop: utilities toolbox
Lausanne, Switzerland
March 3, 2015
6/1-5/2015JUJOLS VIII : An European Workshop on Theoretical approaches of Molecular Magnetism
Bages, France
March 3, 2015
6/3-5/2015Flexibility and Disorder in Metal?Organic Frameworks
Paris, France
March 5, 2015
6/3-6/2015Methods and Algorithms in Electronic-Structure Theory
Ringberg Castle, Germany
March 5, 2015
6/8-10/2015Future Technologies in Automated Atomistic Simulations
Lausanne, Switzerland
March 10, 2015
6/10-12/2015"Theory of Metal Atoms
Aalto University, Finland
March 10, 2015
6/15-19/2015Molecular Quantum Dynamics Methods: Benchmarks and state-of-art
Lausanne, Switzerland
March 17, 2015
6/15-20/2015deMon-2k and deMon-nano tutorial
Orsay, France
March 17, 2015
6/17-19/2015Atomistic simulations in Earth Sciences
Paris, France
March 19, 2015
6/17-19/2015Multi-scale modelling of matter under extreme irradiation
Dublin, Ireland
March 19, 2015
6/22-26/2015Integrating genomics with hierarchical physical models of DNA and chromosomes
Lyon, France
March 24, 2015
6/22-26/2015Lattice Gauge Theory Simulations Beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics
Tel Aviv, Israel
March 24, 2015
6/22-24/2015Liquid/Solid Interfaces: Structure and Dynamics from Spectroscopy and Simulations
Lausanne, Switzerland
March 24, 2015
6/22-24/2015The Physics of Protein Self-Assembly
Lausanne, Switzerland
March 24, 2015
6/29 - 7/1/2015Modeling activity vs. selectivity in metalloproteins
Paris, France
March 31, 2015
6/29 - 7/1/2015Modeling metal-based nanoparticles: toward realistic environments
Toulouse, France
March 31, 2015
7/6-24/2015Summer School on Atomistic Simulation Techniques for Material Science, Nanotechnology, and Biophysics
Trieste, Italy
April 7, 2015
7/7-10/2015Advanced thermoelectrics at nanoscale: from materials to devices
Paris, France
April 8, 2015
7/12-21/2015CCP5/CECAM Summer School in Molecular Simulation
Daresbury, UK
April 13, 2015
Berlin, Germany
April 15, 2015
7/13-23/2015Hands-On Workshop Density-Functional Theory and Beyond: First-Principles Simulations of Molecules and Materials
Berlin, Germany
April 14, 2015
7/13-17/2015Next generation quantum based molecular dy-namics: challenges and perspectives
CECAM-DE-MM1P, Germany
April 14, 2015
7/20-22/2015Recognizing the Relevance of Change: Analysis and Control of Time-evolving Networks in Epidemiology and Evolutionary Medicine
Berlin, Germany
April 21, 2015
7/21-23/2015The role of local structure in dynamical arrest
Mainz, Germany
April 22, 2015
7/27-31/201528th International Conference on Defects in Semiconductors
Helsinki, Finland
March 31, 2015
8/2 - 10/10/2015International Guest Student Programme on Scientific Computing
Juelich, Germany
May 4, 2015
8/10-14/2015Electronic structure at the cutting edge with the Elk code
Lausanne, Switzerland
May 12, 2015
8/18-21/2015Intrinsically Disordered Proteins - Bringing together Physics, Computation and Biology
Zurich, Switzerland
May 20, 2015
8/25-28/2015Perovskite solar cells: the quest for a theoretical description
Lausanne, Switzerland
May 27, 2015
8/31 - 9/4/20154th CP2K Tutorial
Zurich, Switzerland
June 2, 2015
8/31 - 9/12/2015Topological phases in Condensed Matter and Cold Atoms systems
Ménasina, France
June 2, 2015
9/1-4/2015Chemical and Structural Transformations in Materials under Mechanical Load
Lausanne, Switzerland
July 6, 2015
9/6-10/20152015 Psi-k Conference - ab initio Calculations (from the Electronic Structure) of Processes in Materials
San Sebastian, Spain
June 8, 2015
9/7-9/2015Molecular and chemical kinetics
Berlin, Germany
June 9, 2015
9/7-25/2015School in Computational Condensed Matter Physics: From Atomistic Simulations to Universal Model Hamiltonians
Trieste, Italy
July 1, 2015
9/9-11/2015Computational approaches to chemical senses
Juelich, Germany
June 11, 2015
9/16-18/2015A scientific roadmap for simulation and modelling for 2020
Lugano, Switzerland
June 18, 2015
9/16-18/2015From trajectories to reaction coordinates: making sense of molecular simulation data
Vienna, Austria
June 18, 2015
9/28 - 10/2/2015Exploration of ultra-fast timescales using time dependent density functional theory and quantum optimal control theory
Lausanne, Switzerland
June 30, 2015
10/5-9/2015Virus as a whole: meso- and macroscopic structure and dynamics at all atom resolution
Lausanne, Switzerland
July 7, 2015
10/11-15/2015Development of next generation accurate approximate DFT/B methods: Flagship workshop and tutorial
CECAM-DE-MM1P, Germany
July 13, 2015
10/12-25/2015Extended software development workshop
Juelich, Germany
July 14, 2015
10/12-14/2015Free energy landscapes for protein folding. Consensus or dissensus?
Zurich, Switzerland
July 14, 2015
10/13-17/2015Computational Modeling of Gene Expression and its Evolution
Tel Aviv, Israel
July 15, 2015
10/26-30/2015Electronic Structure Theory for the Accelerated Design of Structural Materials
Moscow, Russia
July 28, 2015
11/2-4/2015Computational plasmonics: an ab initio and multiscale perspective
Lausanne, Switzerland
August 4, 2015
11/8-11/2015Simulation of Chemistry-Driven Growth Phenomena for Metastable Materials
Schloss Rauischholzhausen, Germany
August 10, 2015
11/10-12/2015Understanding function of proteins in membrane by atomistic and multiscale simulations
Lugano, Switzerland
August 12, 2015
11/30 - 12/4/2015Big Data of Materials Science -- Critical Next Steps
Lausanne, Switzerland
September 1, 2015
11/30 - 12/4/2015Open Quantum Systems Computational Methods
Pokfulam, Hong Kong
September 1, 2015
1/7-9/2016Total Energy 2016
October 9, 2015

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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