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Postdoc Professional Development Travel Awards

Modified: July 13, 2016



Postdoc Professional Development Travel Awards provide funds to assist Northwestern postdoctoral fellows traveling to conferences, seminars, and meetings that will further their professional development and career advancement. Fifty (50) awards in the amount of $500 will disbursed in two cycles as outlined below.


  • CYCLE 1:
    • Postdocs must apply by August 12th by 5pm. Late applications will NOT be accepted, no exceptions.
    • Funds will be awarded for travel taking place between September 1st and February 28th.
  • CYCLE 2:
    • Postdocs must apply by February 10th by 5pm. Late applications will NOT be accepted, no exceptions.
    • Funds will be awarded for travel taking place between March 1st and August 31st.
  • Please note:
    • Funds must be used by August 31, 2017
    • Travel awards will not be awarded retroactively for travel that has already taken place


  • Applicants must be a current postdoctoral fellow from any of the departments, research centers, institutes or schools of Northwestern University.  Research associates and research faculty are not eligible for this award program
  • Postdocs must have completed at least one year of postdoctoral training (by the time of travel, not time of application) at Northwestern.
  • Postdocs are eligible for a maximum of two awards over the entire course of their postdoctoral training.
  • Postdocs are eligible to receive one grant per year.
  • Postdocs can submit an application for attendance at a discipline-specific conference, professional development meeting, career development workshops, or other type of professional development or career development program. 
  • Travel awards are intended for supporting travel and participation in opportunities outside of Northwestern.  Applications requesting funds to attend outside programs that are already available at Northwestern will not be considered. Applications requesting funds to participate in a program offered at Northwestern University will not be considered.


The maximum travel award amount is $500. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and The Graduate School will review and select applicants. A total of 50 applications will be awarded during the 2016-17 award year.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS (Download instructions here):          

  • Fill out all fields of the online application form
  • Complete and upload required budget form (download here) to the online application form
    • Must be itemized budget (ex: $200 for registration and $300 for flight)
    • Must include all travel-related expenses (even if total is more than $500)
    • Must use the required budget form (download here)
  • Upload a CV or resume (maximum of 4 pages, upload as a PDF within online application)
  • Incomplete applications, applications with incomplete budgets and applications that exceed the page limit will not be considered.  Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. This is a highly competitive award and exceptions will not be made.


  • Applications will be reviewed by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.
  • Notifications:
    • Cycle 1 – by the end of September 2016
    • Cycle 2 – by the end of March 2017
  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed/awarded
  • Applications from ineligible postdoctoral fellows will not be reviewed/awarded
  • Criteria for review are as follows:
    • Essay questions (How will this augment your postdoctoral training and How will this promote your career development) will account for the majority of the score - 80%
    • Budget (use of correct form, completeness, accuracy and reasonable) - 5%
    • Research and professional progress - 15%


  • Those selected to receive an award must provide a chartstring for use in transferring the award funds.  Reimbursements and use of the travel award must be done through the home department, research center or institute. We recommend notifying financial administrators in your home department of award in order to prevent delays in successful transfer of funds.
  • A one-page report of how the funds were used must be submitted to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs by September 1, 2017.
  • As a condition of the award, all recipients must submit an abstract to present (oral or poster) at the next annual Northwestern University Postdoctoral Forum (NUPF) symposium taking place September 2017.  To learn more about NUPF and their annual symposium, please visit the NUPF webpage.

CONTACT: postdocs@northwestern.edu

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