Travel Awards Program

Internal Travel Award Opportunities 

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs offers a limited number of travel awards of up to $500.00 to support participation in conferences and professional meetings.  Please note that Penn State's College of Medicine has their own Travel Awards program, so this is exclusive to University Park and other campuses.  Application reviews will be conducted by staff and faculty in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research.  Decisions of this review panel will be final. 

Eligibility for OPA Travel Awards: 

  • The applicant must be a current postdoctoral scholar at Penn State. 

  • The applicant’s travel must also be during this postdoctoral appointment for reconciliation purposes. 

  • The applicant must provide a statement of support from the current supervisor that includes: 1) explanation of this travel’s relevance to the postdoc’s aspiration, 2) indication of the meeting or conference’s strong reputation within the field, 3) explanation of demonstrated need and/or pre-existing funding source contributing to this travel. 

  • The applicant must be a presenting author. 

Application Instructions: 

  1. Complete the online application form through the InfoReady portal at least three weeks before your date of travel. 

  1. Upload a PDF of your proof of acceptance to present. 

  1. Upload a PDF of your CV. 

  1. Upload a PDF copy of a message from the current supervisor addressing the components listed in the eligibility criteria. 

  1. Upload a headshot (standard professional and/or action shot in one’s professional field).  Headshots are used in a listing of awardees on the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs website. 

  1. Upload a short paragraph summarizing career interests and research accomplishments.  Biographical paragraphs are also used in a listing of awardees on the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs website. 

  1. Upload budget template Excel spreadsheet. 

  1. In the case of international travel, upload a letter from Global Programs indicating your eligibility to travel. 

Process for Accepting the Travel Award: 

  1. Postdocs will be informed about the status of their travel award application via email. Inquiries about the status of the travel award application or any question related to the travel awards can be sent to

  1. As the travel award is typically a reimbursement to the advisor’s budget or individually to the postdoc, all receipts for the charges incurred during travel must be included in the reimbursement request submitted to their respective department/unit staff person within 30 days of attending the conference. 

  1. Postdocs will inform their department/unit staff person to contact for confirming the travel award amount and fund number at least one week before the travel date. 

  1. Postdocs who are traveling internationally to their conferences affiliated with Penn State will need to register through the Travel Safety Network ( Reimbursement cannot be made if the travel is not registered. If you have registered through TSN, indicate that to your staff person while submitting the receipts as it needs to be included for reimbursement.