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Postdoc Professional Development Travel Awards

Modified: January 21, 2016

Postdoc Professional Development Travel Awards

Please note: The Travel Award is transitioning to accommodate TWO (2) application cycles per year.  Please review instructions carefully as guidelines have changed.  Applications will be considered for travel taking place between January 1, 2016 and August 31, 2016 (funds must be used by August 31st or they will be forfeited).


  • Postdocs must apply by February 19th by 5pm. Late applications will NOT be accepted, no exceptions.
  • Funds will be awarded for travel taking place between March 1st and August 31st.
  • Travel awards will not be awarded retroactively for travel.
  • Funds must be used by August 31, 2016 or award will be forfeited.


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.


  • 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.
  • Postdoc 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.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS (Download instructions here):          

  • Fill out all fields of the online application form (Will open on January 15th)
  • Provide an itemized budget (ex: $200 for registration and $300 for flight) and budget justification for all travel-related expenses using THIS FORM (include all expenses, even if total is more than $500)
  • Provide 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, exceptions will not be made.


  • Applications will be reviewed by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.
  • Notifications will be sent to applicants by the end of January 2016 for Cycle 1 and end of March 2016 for Cycle 2.
  • 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 (completeness, accuracy and reasonable) - 5%
    • Research and professional progress - 15%


  • You 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.
  • A one-page report of how the funds were used must be submitted to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs by September 1, 2016.
  • As a condition of the award, all recipients must submit an abstract to present (oral or poster) at the annual Northwestern University Postdoctoral Forum (NUPF) symposium.  To learn more about NUPF and their annual symposium, please visit the NUPF webpage.

CONTACT: postdocs@northwestern.edu

Announcements, Funding Connection, Professional Development