A student presents a research poster to a visitor during an academic conference.

Undergraduate Travel Awards

Undergraduate Travel Awards provide up to a $500 scholarship to students who are presenting their research or creative projects at an academic conference.

Undergraduate Travel Awards provide up to a $500 scholarship to KU undergraduate students to defray the cost of conference registration fees to present their research or creative performance at a professional conference in their field or to attend a virtual conference.

  • Funds are dispersed until depleted, beginning in August each year.
  • Apply as soon as possible
  • Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis around the 15th of each month during the academic year, with notification of results by the end of that month
  • All funds must be awarded by June 1 of each year—if your conference takes place over the summer, please be sure to apply early.

The Center receives funding for this program from the University of Kansas Office of Research and the Student Senate's Equal Opportunity Fund

  • All full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students in good academic standing are eligible to apply. If you are enrolled in fewer than 12 hours, please email cur@ku.edu to inquire about an exception and include the reason you are requesting an exception.
  • To attend an in-person conference, eligible students must be presenting their work, not just attending the conference.
  • The Center will accept applications to attend a virtual conference, even if the student is not presenting.
  • The conference presentation must occur while the student is still enrolled at KU.
  • The conference to be attended must be considered a “professional conference” according to the Guidelines for Professional Conference Classification
  • Students may only receive one travel award per academic year.
  • Successful applicants will receive up to a $500 scholarship to cover their online/virtual registration conference fees.
  • This money will be posted to the student's account through the Financial Aid Office at the time that the student is notified that they have received a Travel Award
  • If you owe KU for any charges (e.g. tuition, required campus fees, etc.), this financial aid will be applied towards the amount due and if a credit balance is created within your account, the credit balance will be refunded to you
  • You will receive your check via direct deposit if signed up for this service in Enroll & Pay. Otherwise, the Bursar’s Office will mail you a check
  • If you have questions about how this award may affect your Financial Aid, please contact your Financial Aid counselor.

Once the conference presentation is completed, students are expected to fill out the travel award evaluation form, where they will be asked to submit an electronic copy of their poster or talk. If the student is unable to attend the conference to present their research after the Travel Award has already been distributed, they will be required to return the Travel Award money in full. 

KU undergraduates are eligible to apply for funding from the Center for Undergraduate Research in order to present their original research at professional conferences or to attend a virtual conference. Please use the following guidelines to determine whether the conference you plan to attend would be considered a “professional conference.” If you feel that your conference does not meet these criteria but is still a “professional” conference, please email cur@ku.edu.

  • The conference should be sponsored by a professional organization or academic institution.
  • A student participant must present in the same way that a professional participant would present, if the conference is in-person.
  • The student participant must have confirmation that they will present at the conference and must submit that confirmation to the Center for Undergraduate Research before their Travel Award application can be considered for funding.

A complete application includes:

Requests for funding must be made prior to the conference date. Applications received by the 15th of each month will be reviewed prior to the end of the month. The Center will begin dispersing funds at the beginning of the semester and will do so until all funds have been exhausted.  It is recommended that students apply as early as possible.

If a student asks you for a reference for the Undergraduate Travel Award, you simply need to fill out the short Research Mentor Travel Award Reference form.  You do NOT need to provide a letter of reference; there is a spot on the form for you to enter any comments.

Evaluation Form: Once the conference is over, students are expected to fill out the travel award evaluation form, where they can submit an electronic copy of their poster or talk. If the student is unable to present at the conference after the Travel Award has already been distributed, they will be required to return the Travel Award money in full.