Graduate School Travel Assistance Goes Online

Manuel Solis

Manuel Solis works on the new Graduate Travel App.

The Graduate School has recently updated the process for applying for the Graduate Student Travel Assistance Award (GSTAA). Beginning August 14, 2017, graduate students, and their departments can complete applications for the GSTAA online using the newly developed Travel App. The app also provides online services for postdocs applying for Postdoctoral Travel Assistance.

The GSTAA was developed to help graduate students defray some of the costs of travel to conferences and other professional development activities. Students who receive the award are given up to $500 in matched funds to the money contributed by departments or other University funds for student travel. The GSTAA covers such expenses as plane tickets, car rentals, conference registration, and other incidentals associated with academic travel.

Prior to August 14, GSTAA applications were paper-based, and had to physically travel to many different offices to acquire the four signatures to complete the application. The new system will reduce bottlenecking and help create a more transparent process. “Mainly, the move to online was made to expedite applications and make them more streamlined,” says Manuel Solis, Travel Coordinator for the Graduate School, who worked on the app development team. “The app is developed to allow students to get their applications processed and approved more efficiently and in less time than paper applications took.”

Students interested in applying for the GSTAA online should visit the app’s webpage at gradschool.utah.edu/graduate-student-travel-assistance-award-application. There, they can register their information and send their application to their department and the Graduate School for approval without needing to visit the various offices to ensure that the application has been delivered. If an application is rejected or waitlisted, student information remains in the database to make the next application easier.

Although the Travel App is only is only two weeks old, it already is proving its appeal to students. “So far, the online application process has had a positive response from students,” says Solis of the response he has received. “Students are applying through the Grad Travel Portal online more now than paper applications.”

Questions about the Travel App or GSTAA can be directed to manuel.solis@gradschool.utah.edu.