How to Apply for Travel Funds

Mason can help you with travel experiences for conferences and other professional trips.


  • Create an account at or log in to the Graduate Student Travel Fund (GSTF) website.
  • Select "Create a new request."
  • Provide all requested information, such as anticipated expenses for each category (registration, transportation, lodging).
  • Submit the application. An email will be sent to the faculty advisor (and department chair, if international travel is involved) for approval.
  • Applications cannot be modified once approved by your faculty advisor and/or department chair.
  • If your application is approved by your faculty advisor and department chair (if applicable), a notification will be sent to the GSTF for the final stage of review.
  • The GSTF will advise you of its funding decision within seven days of the relevant application deadline. This decision is final, and it will not be changed or reconsidered.

It is your responsibility to see that your advisor and department chair (if applicable) approves or denies your request for funds in a timely manner. If the request hasn’t been reviewed five business days after the relevant deadline, the application will be denied.

Faculty Advisors and Department Chairs

The online application allows you to create an account to view and respond to all applications your students submit. When visiting the online application site for the first time, enter your GMU ID and password (your email login information), and you will be asked to create an account. You will not need to do this again. You may then review your student’s application, add comments, submit letters of recommendation (for international travel requests), and approve or deny the application.

If a Funding Request is Approved:

While Traveling

  • Attend the conference and save all original, itemized receipts (receipts that list all purchases made, not just the total amount that’s due). These original receipts must be submitted with your request for reimbursement in order for it to be processed. Food is not reimbursable.

When You Return

  • Log in to the GSTF site and select "View existing requests."
  • Select the relevant conference application. At the bottom of the application select "Request Reimbursement," where you will enter expenses in each category (registration, transportation, lodging).
  • Select "Continue" to see the Reimbursement Request Form. You must submit the form online AND print the form to hard copy to sign and send it to GSTF, along with all supporting receipts.
  • GSTF must receive the signed reimbursement form and original receipts within two weeks of your return. GSTF will not process reimbursements received past that deadline.

Documents you will need to email to GSTF:

  • Signed GSTF Reimbursement Request form.
  • Original proof of conference registration (even if not asking for reimbursement of the registration fee).
  • Original proof of airfare purchase (if traveling outside of Virginia, Maryland, and D.C.).
  • All original, itemized receipts.

If the reimbursement request is approved, the GSTF will forward it to Accounts Payable for processing. You should receive reimbursement within four to five weeks of your request being received by the GSTF. There may be some delays in processing requests during the scheduled holiday breaks. If the reimbursement request is not approved, you will receive an email from the GSTF, and your application status will be updated online.

This process must be completed carefully and correctly — set aside some time to complete these steps properly. Failure to correctly complete the forms will delay your funding disbursement, and could block it completely.

If Your Funding Request is Denied:

  • You may not appeal this decision, it is final. However, you can apply for GSTF funding for your next conference.
  • The GSTF will not provide funding for other expenses you might incur while attending a conference.

Important Notes

  • Your Mason email address will be the primary method of communication about your funding request and reimbursement.
  • Make sure your Mason email inbox is not full. The GSTF will not resubmit bounced-back email notifications.
  • If you do not follow these procedures and adhere to guidelines, you may not receive funding.
  • The GSTF reserves the right to modify its procedures at any time.