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Virtual Conference Award

Students are only allowed one travel award per year. This award is available to Master’s, Ph.D., and Postdocs. The VCA can only be awarded to those registered in a graduate program or are a verified postdoc at the University of Utah. If you are applying for a virtual professional development opportunity, please see the Early Career Professional Development Program (ECPDP) option.


Application Process

  1. The applicant will submit their application through the Grad School Travel Awards Portal and provide any other information needed; this depends on the application type.
  2. After submitting an application, the department travel coordinator will need to review and approve the application, as well as provide any information needed (travel number, department match, chartfield, etc.).
  3. After the department coordinator has approved, the application will be sent to the department chair for their approval.
  4. Lastly, the application will go to the Graduate School for final approval.

Every application will need to be approved by all three parties prior to the conference date before the student is awarded any funds.

Virtual Conference Award Policy

The Virtual Conference Award is a new opportunity for grad students and postdocs to present their research at a conference or professional meeting that has switched to a virtual platform where there is no physical travel and registration is the only expense needed.


Applicants must be postdoctoral fellows or currently enrolled University of Utah graduate students whose research or creative project has been accepted for presentation at a professional meeting or conference. This assistance is contingent upon the applicant presenting at the meeting/conference.

Applications must be submitted to The Graduate School prior to the conference date. This award is for up to a maximum of $200. This award does not require a dollar-for-dollar match from university funds.

The Virtual Conference Award online application must include the following:

  1. A completed online application including the certification of eligibility to receive funding as a U.S. citizen or a citizen of another country who is lawfully present in the U.S.; certification is done on the application.
  2. A copy of the abstract or project description submitted for the meeting; copy and paste to the application.
  3. An estimate for eligible expenses; done on the application.
  4. A single-page statement about the value of the meeting and presentation to your professional development as well as to the mission of your department or research lab; type or copy and paste to the application.
  5. A copy of the acceptance letter or email showing you have been accepted to present at the conference or meeting needs to be forwarded to the verifications email shown at the end of the application process. Any applications received that do not have an acceptance confirmation on file will not be processed until The Graduate School receives it, this could cause a delay in your application being processed.



VCA funding can reimburse:

  • conference registration fees
  • abstract fees


VCA does not reimburse:

  • society memberships/membership fees
  • poster preparation fees


Receipts can be sent to Sabrina Smith |

Reimbursements will be processed after the student has attended the approved conference.


Student reimbursement:

If the student requires reimbursement directly, the Grad School will process an ePR. This reimbursement will go through Accounts Payable; if the student has a direct deposit set up, the reimbursement will appear via direct deposit. Otherwise, the reimbursement will appear via paper check and will be sent to the campus address on file associated with the student. To set up direct deposit or check/change campus address, please reach out to:

Accounts Payable at | (801) 581-6976.


Department reimbursement:

If the department requires reimbursement, the Grad School will process an eJournal. The department coordinator should have included a Chartfield in the online application. The Grad School will confirm the Chartfield and process the eJournal once the student has attended their conference and we have received a copy of the receipt/invoice.

Forfeiture of Award: Funds awarded may only be used to pay for expenses directly related to the graduate student’s registration. The Graduate School has the right to rescind the award if the graduate student cancels, does not attend, or fails to meet VCA qualifications. Refer to the award letter for the terms of the award.

Please note that any awards not claimed within 60 days of the event will be forfeited.

Travel Awards Web Portal

Once you have applied, you can follow the progress of your current and future applications at any time on the Portal.

Travel Portal Login

Questions? Contact Sabrina Smith at | (801) 581-7642

Last Updated: 2/28/22