Global Programs Graduate Student Travel Grants

Important Note: Applications for new travel grants are currently suspended pending the University’s lifting of COVID-19 related travel restrictions.

Global Programs maintains a fund to support international travel by Penn State graduate students.  The main use of graduate student travel grant funds is to assist students in presenting their scholarly work at international conferences or other major professional meetings. Funds may also be used to support research. Workshops, internships and other activities are not eligible for funding. Graduate student travel grants are intended to promote Penn State’s global leadership in scholarship and international engagement.

International graduate students are welcome and encouraged to apply.  

Awards are contingent upon the availability of funds and the number of applications received. Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek additional funding sources, including matching funds from their campus/college/department or external funding sources.  


Applicants must be currently registered Penn State graduate students in good academic standing at the time of application and at the time of travel.

The application form requires applicants to identify:

  • a concise summary of the paper/presentation;
  • a brief description of the conference and its significance in the applicant’s field
  • a short explanation of why it is important for the applicant to present their work at the selected conference
  • a succinct assessment of the connection between the student’s research to one or more of the evaluation criteria
  • a tentative travel itinerary, and
  • a tentative budget.

Any documents that are uploaded with the application must be in PDF for Word format, and the file name must include the applicant’s Penn State User ID (everything before “” in the applicant’s email address).

Applications will be considered for works prepared and presented by the graduate student applicant. If multiple graduate students are applying to present the same work at the same conference or major professional meeting, each graduate student must submit a separate application.

Applications must include a letter of support from the graduate student’s academic advisor.

Letter of Support from Faculty Adviser:

Applicants are required to have a letter of support from their Faculty Adviser. As part of the application survey, letter writers identified by the applicant will be sent an email requesting the letter of support. The letter of support must be submitted prior to the application deadlines for an application to be considered complete.  

The Graduate Student Travel Grant Evaluation Committee, comprising Graduate School faculty and representatives from Global Programs, considers the Faculty Adviser's letter of support as one of the key criteria used in evaluating each application. The letter of support is an opportunity for Faculty Advisers to explain why it is important for this particular graduate student to present his/her work at the selected conference.

Evaluation Criteria:

Priority consideration will be given to applicants whose work advances Penn State’s global leadership in scholarship and international engagements.

Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:


Graduate Student Travel Grants are awarded twice annually. Applications are due by 5:00 P.M. (EST) on the day of the deadline.

Current Deadlines are:

  • September 20 by 5:00 P.M. (EST) for travel to take place on or after November 1 of that year
  • February 20 by 5:00 P.M. (EST) for travel to take place on or after April 1 of that year
  • If the deadline falls on a weekend, applications will be accepted until the following Monday at 5:00 P.M.

Decisions will be made within 4-6 weeks of the application deadline. The Graduate Student Travel Grant Evaluation Committee will evaluate all complete applications and make recommendations to the Vice-Provost for Global Programs, who will make final decisions.

Applications for travel to occur over Spring break must be submitted in September to ensure funds distribution prior to travel. Graduate Student Travel Grants will not be awarded retroactively (i.e. for travel that has already occurred at the time of the application). 

Application Form

Graduate Student Travel Grant Application

Information for Recipients

  • Funds will be transferred to the University Financial Officer for your college/campus within two (2) weeks after award notification. Recipients should contact their University FO to access the funds.
  • Recipients must notify Global Programs if the trip must be postponed or cancelled.
  • All international travel funded by a Global Programs travel grant must comply with all applicable Penn State travel policies. The award of a travel grant does not constitute approval of the proposed trip or eliminate the requirement that the proposed international travel comply with all University travel policies.
  • Global Programs would like to remind all graduate students that they must register their travel with the Penn State Travel Safety Network.
  • Travel to areas identified by Penn State as high risk areas must be reviewed and approved in advance.

Reporting Requirements:

Graduate Student Travel Grant recipients are required to submit a Graduate Student Post-Trip Report within two (2) months of the trip. Failure to submit a Post-Trip Report may affect future grant applications.

Graduate Student Post-Trip Report


Questions can be directed to