How to Apply for Travel Funds

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

Eligibility Criteria

  • You must be a graduate student currently enrolled in a certificate, Master's, or doctoral program at George Mason University
  • You must be presenting at the conference
  • You can only receive GSTF funding once per fiscal year (between July 1 and June 30)
  • You must receive your faculty advisor's approval to attend the conference, and for international conferences, you must also receive approval from your department chair
  • You must submit your GSTF application before the deadline (listed below)

GSTF funding is limited, so meeting the eligibility requirement does not guarantee funding. Upon submission, your application will be reviewed by the GSTF, and you will receive a notification after the application deadline on whether or not your funding was approved.

Application Deadlines

Be aware of these deadlines and plan ahead! Funding must be requested prior to your conference attendance. Funding will not be provided for conferences you have already attended.


The first day you will attend the conference is between:


Your application must be submitted after the previous deadline and before:

August 1 - September 30 July 15
October 1 - November 30 September 15
December 1 - January 31 November 15
February 1 - March 31 January 15
April 1 - May 31 March 15
June 1 - July 31 May 15


* There is one exception to these deadlines, if students can provide proof that they received acceptance to present their research at a conference after the applicable deadline. Please email this proof to the GSTF. The decision regarding what is considered “acceptable proof” will be determined by the GSTF.

Applications will be reviewed by the GSTF after the submission deadline. You will receive an email notification if your funding was approved or not.

    Funding Amount

    The GSTF only provides financial support for conference-related travel (related expenses include only: registration fees, lodging, transportation) in the form of reimbursements after the conference is over. GSTF funds will not be awarded for dissertation support, job interview travel, food or any other expenses outside of the conference-related travel expenses outlined in this paragraph.

    The GSTF will determine the amount of funding allocated to students based upon their level of participation, the scope of the conference, and the amount expected to be spent on travel. If the GSTF approves the student for an amount greater than the amount the student’s original receipts total, the balance will remain with the GSTF, and will not be distributed to the student. (Example: If the student is approved for $450.00 of GSTF funding, but only spends $300.00 at the conference, only $300.00 will be reimbursed to the student.)

    If awarded GSTF funding, the amount granted to the student for his/her conference travel will vary between $150.00 to $450.00 per student per fiscal year. The breakdown is as follows:

    • Students presenting in conferences held in DC, Maryland or Virginia (DMV): up to $150
    • Students presenting outside of the DMV: up to $350 for poster presentations, or up to $450 for oral presentations
    • Students presenting in an international conference: up to $1000 

    Please note that funding is limited, especially for international conferences. International travel must be approved of by both your faculty advisor and your department chair. Students should also visit for additional information regarding travel alerts, warnings, and guidance for traveling to hazardous areas.

    In addition, active members of GAPSA are eligible for an additional $50 of funding. For more information about GAPSA, visit their website or contact

    How to Apply


    • First, log in to the Graduate Student Travel Fund (GSTF) website ( using your Mason credentials. Select "Login as Student."
    • Make sure that your Student Profile is up to date and accurate.
    • Select "Create New Application" on the left-hand sidebar.
    • Provide all requested information, such as details on the conference dates, the abstract of what you are presenting, and 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. You can track an application's progress by clicking on "View Existing Applications."
    • 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 application deadline. This decision is final, and it will not be changed or reconsidered.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that your advisor and department chair (if applicable) approves or denies your application before the application deadline.

    Faculty Advisors and Department Chairs:

    Faculty and department chairs will receive an email notifying them to approve of a student's request for funding. Faculty and department chairs can also log in to the Graduate Student Travel Fund (GSTF) website ( using your Mason credentials, then select "Login as Advisor" or "Login as Department Chair."

    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. Download and sign a copy of this form.
    • Email a copy of this signed form, along with all receipts, to the GSTF (see below).
    • GSTF must receive the signed reimbursement form and original receipts within two weeks of the last day of the conference. GSTF will not process reimbursements received past that deadline.

    Documents that you must 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, you should receive reimbursement within four to five weeks. There may be some delays in processing requests during the scheduled holiday breaks. 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.