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Interdisciplinary Conference Travel Grants for Mellon-Affiliated Students

Students actively affiliated with the Mellon clusters in the Humanities and Non-Quantitative Social Sciences are eligible for travel support to attend conferences and/or seminars and make presentations on behalf of the University. This is intended to support the presentation of research at conferences not specifically in the student’s home discipline but rather allied to the interdisciplinary range of a Mellon cluster. This is not intended to support attending courses at other schools, research, or general educational travel.


  • Students must apply at least 14 days prior to the first date of travel. Under no circumstances will approval be given if the application is initially submitted less than 14 days prior to the first date of travel.
  • Funds for travel in the 2019–20 academic year (fiscal year 2020) are available between Sunday, September 1, 2019 and  Monday, August 31, 2020 (or until all available funds have been awarded).  Funds for travel after Tuesday, September 1, 2020 cannot be awarded until the next fiscal year (after Tuesday, September 1, 2020). Students who are attending conferences in early September must still apply at least 14 days in advance, with the understanding that funds for travel starting on or after Tuesday, September 1, 2020 cannot be accessed until after September 1.
  • Under no circumstances will approval be given retroactively if an application is submitted after the conference has begun.


  • Students must be registered and in good academic standing in PhD programs administered by The Graduate School (TGS), involved with the activities of at least one Mellon cluster, and within their degree time limitation.
    • Students may utilize grant funds only while students in The Graduate School at Northwestern. Should students graduate or otherwise depart the University prior to travel and/or expenditure of funds, funds will not be available.
  • Conference should be allied to the interdisciplinary range of a Mellon cluster.
  • Students must have completed at least three quarters of full-time study in their PhD program.
  • Applications must be endorsed by the Director of the Mellon cluster with which the applicant is affiliated.
  • Students must provide a copy of the invitation to present at or confirmation of registration for the conference/seminar.
  • Students are eligible to receive one award per fiscal year and two during their TGS career. (Note that this is in addition to the TGS Conference Travel Grant allotment)
  • It is not necessary to secure commitments from other University sources (the home department or school).
  • Funds will not be awarded retroactively.
  • Students who do not submit an interdisciplinary conference travel grant application at least 14 days prior to the first day of travel are not eligible for the award.


The maximum award is $1,000.

Application instructions

  1. Complete an ICTG application: Complete an Interdisciplinary Conference Travel Grant application.  Once you submit the application, it will be forwarded to your cluster’s Director for approval.
  2. Cluster Director’s approval: Your cluster’s director will receive an email once you submit the online application form. Approval indicates that the cluster director has vetted the application and verified your active affiliation with the cluster.
  3. Program review: Program approval indicates that the department has vetted the application and approves of your traveling to the conference/seminar on behalf of the University.
  4. TGS approval: Once your program has reviewed your application, it will be sent to TGS. An application is not approved unless it is approved by the cluster’s director, student's program, and TGS.


For more information, please email:

Graduate student international conference travel

Students traveling internationally for conferences, research or other professional activities should review the Global Safety and Security Graduate Student Travel Policies

Students traveling abroad are required to submit a Travel Disclosure to the Office of Global Safety and Security and enroll in Northwestern’s GeoBlue health insurance, per the independent traveler requirements outlined here.