Travel Awards Program

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has created the travel award program for postdocs to support their professional development during their postdoc training at Penn State. Since 2008, numerous postdocs across  University Park campus have taken advantage of the travel award program. The fund is intended to assist postdoctoral scholars who have been selected to present results from their research at professional meetings and conferences, travel to a research collaboration site, project evaluation or professional development not directly related to presenting their research. The awards are given on a rolling basis.

Please check with Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs for the availability of funds and the application form. We are accepting applications for 2021-22 fiscal year starting July 1 for travel that has been approved by Penn State and/or registration for online conferences and meetings. Contact with any questions regarding the process.


These are some of the past award winners, pre-pandemic.

Dr. Riley F. Bernard


Dr. Riley F. Bernard is a postdoctoral research associate in Dr. David A. W. Miller's lab. Her research focuses on using tools from Decision Analysis to help natural resource managers work through complex wildlife decisions (i.e., how to manage a widely dispersed species [or multiple species] suffering from an emerging infectious disease). Currently, she is working with managers to identify actions to combat white-nose syndrome in bats and chytridiomycosis in salamanders.

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Dr. Martina Calovi


Martina Calovi conducts a multidisciplinary research in the area of Geographical Information Science, investigating the interactions and coexistence of human and physical environments under climate change conditions. Her primary research interests concern the development of innovative methodology for analyzing large, high-dimensional and spatially distributed data.

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Dr. Haribabu Palneedi


Hari has a strong curiosity to explore the processing-structure-property-application relationship in materials and extend the knowledge to nature and society. His research focuses on ferroelectric, piezoelectric, and magnetoelectric materials for multifunctional applications including magnetic sensors, tunable inductors, energy harvesting and storage, and wireless power transfer. He has authored several high-impact research articles, reviews, and book chapters in his field of research. His scientific contributions have been recognized with awards from Indian Ceramic Society and Korea Institute of Materials Science

Dr. Giorgia Picci


Giorgia Picci is currently a postdoctoral researcher in developmental neuroimaging in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Her current research interests include understanding how early adversities impact neurodevelopmental trajectories, and how particular resilience factors may inhibit deleterious outcomes (e.g., substance use). 

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Dr. Shannon Guillot-Wright

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Dr. Guillot-Wright’s program of research focuses on structural violence, with a particular emphasis on how evidence-informed policy can improve minority health and well-being. She has conducted photo-ethnographic fieldwork with Filipino migrant seafarers in the Gulf of Mexico (2017) to understand how health inequities are embodied and produced through political, economic, and social policies. Her current ethnography (2019) explores the use of research evidence in the U.S. Congress.

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Dr. Karen Poh

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Karen C. Poh’s overall research focuses on the ecology of vector-borne diseases transmitted by ticks and mosquitoes. Her current research foci include Ixodes scapularis chemical ecology and the role of atypical vectors in disease transmission. Her research will guide the development of surveillance tools and educational materials to protect humans and animals from future vector-borne disease threats.

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