Conference Travel Grant

The Conference Travel Grant (CTG) provides funds to assist PhD and MFA students traveling to conferences and/or seminars to make presentations on behalf of the University. The grant is not intended to support attending courses at other schools, research or general educational travel.

This grant is considered a separate grant from the Dependent Care Professional Development Grant. Students may apply for both grants simultaneously.  


  • Students must apply at least 30 days prior to the first date of travel.
  • Funds for travel are awarded for the academic year starting September 1 and ending August 31 (or until funds are depleted).  Funds for travel after September 1 cannot be awarded until the new fiscal year (after September 1). Students who are attending conferences after September 1st must still apply 30 days in advance.
  • 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 or MFA programs administered by The Graduate School (TGS) 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 must be returned to The Graduate School.
  • Students must have completed at least three quarters of full-time study in their PhD or MFA program.
  • Students are eligible for a maximum of two grants up to $600/$800 (depending on discipline, see below) over the entire course of their graduate career.
  • Students are eligible to receive one grant per fiscal year.
  • Students must have received commitments from other University sources (the home department or school) to partially cover the costs of the conference or seminar. The school or department must commit at least $200 towards expenses.
  • Student must be the primary presenter at the conference and must provide a copy of the invitation to present.
  • Funds will not be awarded retroactively.
  • Students must apply 30 days in advance of the first day of travel.


The maximum Conference Travel Grant is:

  • $600 for students in science, engineering, and math.  This includes programs in McCormick, Feinberg, WCAS Division I (Chemistry, Earth and Planetary Sciences, IBiS, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, Statistics) and related interdisciplinary programs.
  • $800 for students in social sciences and humanities

Application Instructions

1. Complete a CTG application 

Complete a CTG application using the online form

2. Program Approval

Your program’s CTG contact will receive an email once you submit the online application form. Program approval indicates that the department has vetted the application and committed financial support. Please coordinate approval of financial support with your program's graduate contact before submitting an online application form.

3. TGS Approval

Once your program has reviewed your application, it will be sent to TGS. A Conference Travel Grant will not be awarded unless the application is approved by both your program and TGS.


For more information, please email:

Graduate Student International Conference Travel

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