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Conference Travel Funding

Funding is available for Joint Program students traveling to conferences to present papers or posters. If intending to request funds from both MIT and WHOI, please inform both institutions. Additionally, students should inquire about funding opportunities through their advisors.

MIT Resources

Graduate Student Council Conference Fund Grant Program

The Conference Grant is designed to support the conference-related travel expenses of MIT graduate students in all Schools throughout the Institute. Specifically, this fund is allocated to conference travel expenses that are not currently funded by the student's advisor or other MIT-related funding. The fund provides grant money for most conference-related expenses including lodging.

MIT Student Assistance Fund

The MIT Student Assistance Fund is intended to provide financial assistance for all Joint Program students towards certain incidental expenses such as travel and equipment purchases which is not available for one reason or another through the student's principal advisor.

Who is Eligible

The Fund is for the use of all Joint Program students, no matter what discipline, no matter what department they are enrolled in.

What the Fund can be used for

The following categories are allowable:
Laboratory equipment under $500
Computer equipment under $500
Field Instrumentation under $500
Travel to Scientific Workshops and Meetings

What the Fund cannot be used for

Student stipends
Tuition Assistance
Major equipment purchases or leases (i.e. no purchases over $500)

How to Submit a Proposal

Funds can be accessed by a short written proposal from the student stating clearly the type of assistance, why it is needed, what it will be used to pay for, and a proposed budget. A letter from the principal advisor must accompany and support this request. No action will be taken without both the request and the letter of support.

In case of travel to workshops and meetings, students needing to present a talk or a poster would be given preference over those wishing to attend for experience alone, and we expect the advisor would cover 50% of the total costs of attending the event.  Please make sure that your proposed budget reflects this amount from your advisor before submitting.

Requests for travel support must be made in advance of the trip.  No retroactive requests will be granted.

Depending upon the request, the SAF may contribute up to half the total expenses with no award exceeding $1,000.

Where to Send a Proposal

Please send your written proposals via email to Professor Mick Follows at, cc Tricia Nest at

If you have any further questions regarding this Fund, please contact Mick Follows.

WHOI Resources

WHOI's Academic Programs Office will reimburse students up to $1,000 each calendar year (beginning July 1, 2023) for travel to a professional conference to present their research.  Advisors are expected to pay a portion of the travel cost.


  • Prior to travel, send a brief email describing your participation in the conference to WHOI's Registrar for approval.
  • To request reimbursement before or after travel, submit a request for reimbursement through Unanet along with original receipts.  See Related Links (video) and Related Files (pdf) for Unanet instructions.
    • Receipts must show your name and method of payment (credit card, cash, etc.) as well as the total amount charged.  An itinerary without this information is not a valid receipt.  Make sure to retain your original receipts for one year.
    • Reimbursement can be requested in advance of travel for prepaid items such as airfare or conference registration.
    • Multiple requests may be submitted (pre- and post-travel).  Multiple WHOI funding sources (project numbers) can be included in the same request.
    • Academic Programs will reimburse domestic per diem at the general domestic rate listed on the Procurement website (not the individual GSA city rates). Current WHOI per diem rates can be found on the Procurement website.

To access Unanet outside of WHOI's network, you'll need to use your WHOI LDAP credentials and a VPN.  Contact the WHOI Help Desk to set that up.

If you have any questions regarding APO travel funds, contact Meredith Bittrich

Related Links

Travel Registration

MIT Information

If your travel will be funded in part by MIT funds (via the MIT Student Assistance Fund, for example), please review MIT’s current Travel Policies: to be sure you are up-to-date with all pandemic-related travel policies as well.  Per the policies you will find on the Travel page, you must register your trip in Covid Travel:, with special note to the following language: Travelers should be aware that, if the CDC or Department of State risk level for your destination changes prior to departure, you may be required to request an exception or you may need to postpone or cancel your trip.

WHOI Information

Email to register your travel.