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Professional Travel Grants

The Professional Travel Grant Program provides support for AAUP represented faculty and academic professionals holding appointments of .50 FTE or higher to support professional development activities that require travel.  Such activities may include developmental workshops, continuing education, conference presentations, and attendance at conferences at which recipients of travel funding do not present a scholarly paper.  Applicants may apply for awards of any amount with a limit of one award per fiscal year.


Please read the instructions carefully, the process has changed. Based on the faculty survey completed last year, the FDC decided to move to a lottery-based system for professional travel awards. The FDC sees the main benefits of such a system in a drastically simplified application process (no more narrative!), a more uniform distribution of the funds, and faster turnarounds. You will have the opportunity to provide feedback at the end of the submission. We look forward to hearing from you.



  • Before you start, make sure you have a completed travel authorization form of your planned trip ready. No other documents will need to be submitted.
    • The travel authorization form does not need to be signed or have index codes filled in before you submit it to the online system.
    • However, all other fields must be completed, in particular the 'Business Purpose of Trip' and 'Total Trip Amount' fields.
      • Check with your department or research admin to make sure the travel meets the PSU guidelines (e.g., per diem, hotel rates, etc.). Note that all official travel needs a travel authorization form.
      • The FDC does not require quotes for flights, etc., but the administration will. So make sure you base your numbers on actual quotes.
    • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Partially completed applications will be saved for one week in the online system. If you make a mistake and need to re-submit your application, please clear your cookies/cache to begin a new survey.
  • IMPORTANT:  You must click on the arrows (>>) until you see the submission screen. Your application will not be submitted otherwise.You will receive an automated confirmation e-mail if your application was received successfully. If you don't receive a confirmation e-mail within one hour, check your spam filter.

The prior requirement of matching funds has been eliminated.


The maximum award amount is $4,000. Travel that exceeds this amount will be considered, but any difference in cost must be paid from an alternate source.


    Applications for travel grants must be submitted no later than the deadline for each term and must be for travel after the specified date. The Faculty Development Grant Committee will not accept or review late proposals for Professional Travel Awards. Deadlines for each term are as follows:

     Deadline (5:00pm strict) 

     For Travel Beginning 

     Award notification (tentative) 

     October 1, 2014

     November 1, 2014

     2-3 weeks after application deadline

     December 1, 2014

     January 1, 2015

     2-3 weeks after application deadline

     March 1, 2015

     April 1, 2015

     2-3 weeks after application deadline

     June 1, 2015

     July 1, 2015

     2-3 weeks after application deadline

    Note that summer travel awards (May deadline) cannot be dispensed until the start of the new fiscal year (July 1)

      The FDC will select awardees with a lottery-based system that may be biased by considering the following factors:

      • Previous travel award. The longer you have not received travel funding through this program, the more likely you will be to get funding during the current round.
      • Paper/poster presentation (or performance/exhibition for artists). You are more likely to receive funding through this program if you present a paper/poster (or performance/exhibition for artists) at the conference/meeting you are going to.

      For each travel round, the selection probabilities (including the weighting of the three factors listed above) will be adjusted as a function of the number of application and the available funding.

      Additional details on the lottery process, including probability weights for each factor can be found in the document linked here. 

      The FDC does not consider faculty rank, department and school affiliations, or travel justifications in this process. For each travel round, the selection probabilities (including the weighting of the three factors listed above) will be adjusted as a function of the number of applications and the available funding.


      • It is is the PI's responsibility to obtain final signatures on the travel authorization form once an award is received.
      • If you receive an award and you cannot travel and/or the chair/research admininstration do not approve your travel, you are obliged to return the travel award. Details will be spelled out in the award letters.


      Current AAUP represented employees holding appointments of .50 FTE or higher must complete the online application linked here to be considered for travel grant funding: Travel Grant Application

      For questions and comments, please send an e-mail to Please note that the FDC has very limited adminstrative resources, so please be patient.


      Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or the FDC list-serve for up-to-the-minute news and information on internal grant opportunities!

      During spring term 2013 the FDC sent a survey to all eligible program participants in an effort to gauge satisfaction with the enhancement grant and travel award programs, and vet newly proposed policies. Please find the survey results here, and the complete report here.

      This program has become extremely competitive.  Unlike past years, now only about half of all applications are funded, and that number continues to fall.  Please keep this in mind when you submit an application to the committee.

      Please direct all questions to

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Q: Can I enter the lottery more than once for the same travel?

      A: Yes, as long as the travel respects our deadlines.

      Q: I just heard about a conference, but it occurs before the time parameters of the next application deadline.  Are you flexible about these dates?

      A:  Unfortunately, the committee is unable to fund last-minute requests.  It's just not possible given the constraints on our budget and review procedures.   

      Q: I didn't get a chance to finish the online application, but I just got an email saying my application was received.  What happened?

      A: The online system automatically sends an email whenever an application is submitted, and unfinished applications are automatically submitted after 7 days.  Don't worry; you can re-submit using the same online form.  We will accept the most recent and/or complete submission from you.  You may need to clean your computer's cache or "cookies" before you can access a new online application, though.

      Q: The conference I want to attend does not have any registration information available yet. What do I do?

      A: You can provide the previous year's registration information and use that as your estimate. Please note in your application that you are doing so.

      Q: How often can I be awarded a travel grant?

      A: You are eligible to receive one travel award per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). The date of travel, not the date of the application or award letter, is used to determine when you received an award.

      Q: There are two conferences I want to attend this year. Can't I just submit two applications and let the Committee decide what to fund?

      A: Due to the large number of applications we receive, the Committee can only review one application per person. If we receive two applications from you for the same deadline, one will be returned to you without review.

      Q: Who determines eligibility and available funding for the Travel Program?

      A: The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and PSU governs the Professional Development Program and its mission. More information can be found here.

      Q: How stiff is the competition? What's my chance of getting funded?

      A: The committee was only able to fund about half of all applications in Spring 2012, and competition will likely only get stronger.

      Q: May I use a travel grant to pay for my membership to the professional organization that is hosting the conference I plan to attend?

      A: You may not use grant funds to pay for your membership, but you may use them towards the conference registration fee.

      Q: I got an award, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I can't attend the conference. Can I bank the funds and use them for next year's conference instead?

      A: The Committee has an allocated amount of funds each year and awards those funds for specific conferences in that year. You may not use this year's award for next year's travel unless that was what you indicated in the initial application. You may, however, wait and apply for an award next year.

      Q: I received a travel award; now, how do I get reimbursed?

      A:  Your department administrator can assist you in submitting receipts to the Budget Office.  Your initial award letter contained an index code that begins with the letters "TRV" and this index code holds your account funds in Banner.  We do not handle reimbursements. 

      Q: I received a travel award and need to access the funds, but they are not yet in my index code. Do I have to wait until I actually see them in Banner to submit an expense?

      A: No. If you received a travel award letter, those funds are available to you immediately. The funds are transferred by the Budget Office, a process may take up to several weeks to complete after they've received notification of your award.