Professional Development Travel Grants


The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs provides financial assistance to Northwestern's postdoctoral trainees as they further their professional development and career advancement. Currently, the OPA provides two types of travel grants:

  • Professional Development Travel Grants to defray the costs of traveling to conferences, seminars, meetings, and workshops that support professional development. 
  • Dependent Care Travel Grants to help postdoctoral trainees with short-term dependent care expenses incurred when traveling to attend professional meetings, conferences, workshops, and professional development opportunities.

Grant Eligibility

  • Applicants must have a University-designated title of Postdoctoral Fellow (see below) from any Northwestern department, research center, institute or school to be considered.  Research associates and research faculty are not eligible for this grant program.
    • Postdoctoral Fellow
    • Postdoctoral Fellow, Direct Fellowship
    • Postdoctoral Fellow-Dept. of Education
    • NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow
    • Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Applicants must be a current postdoctoral fellow at time of application and have completed at least six months of postdoctoral training at Northwestern by the time of travel.
  • Applicants must apply and be approved for both grants before their anticipated travel dates.
  • Applicants are welcome to simultaneously apply to both grants to support travel to a single event, or to apply separately to each grant to defray the cost of attending two different events.
  • Applicants are eligible to receive one Professional Development Travel Grant per academic year for a maximum of two Professional Development Travel Grants during the entire course of their postdoctoral training.
  • Applicants to the Dependent Care Travel Grant are eligible to receive $850 post-tax in total compensation in a single academic year. Applicants may apply for two Dependent Care Travel Grants during their postdoctoral tenure for a maximum of $1700 in post-tax compensation.

Award Information

  • Professional Development Travel Grants: Beginning in Fall 2018, the maximum grant amount will be $500.
  • Dependent Care Travel Grants: Applicants are eligible to receive $850 post-tax in total compensation each academic year. More information on the award can be found in the grant application form.

Selection Process

The Graduate School and Office of Postdoctoral Affairs will consider applications on a first-come, first-served basis.


Both grants are open until August 1st, 2019, or until funds are exhausted. Please note that you must apply and be approved for both grants before your anticipated date of travel. If you are submitting an application outside of the open application periods, or if the grant funds have been exhausted, your application may not be approved by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

  • The Professional Development Travel Grant and the Dependent Care Travel Grant are now closed for the 2018-2019 academic year. The grants will reopen in September 2019 to fund travel for the 2019-2020 academic year.


Post-Award Instructions

  • Receipts for the Professional Development Travel Grants must be submitted to the department or business administrator for reimbursement within thirty days of travel.
  • Receipts for the Dependent Care Travel Grant must be submitted to Lindsey Martin, Assistant Director of Postdoctoral Affairs, within 14 days of travel.
  • All recipients must complete this short questionnaire that asks a series of questions about their research and travel plans. The questionnaire should be submitted to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs within thirty days of travel. We may use this information on our website, newsletter, and/or social media channels to highlight the research being performed and presented by the postdoctoral community at Northwestern.
  • Please note that the failure to complete these requirements may affect eligibility for future OPA Professional Development Travel Grants.

Contact OPA with any questions.