Postgraduate (Research)

Postgraduate (Research)

Scholarships & Grants » SoMS PG Travel Grant

Please note due to current circumstances the student travel award is currently on hold until further notice

SOMS Postgraduate Student Travel Awards - Guideline

These grants are funded by the School of Medical Sciences (SoMS). The School recognises that presenting research results at National and International conferences, attending workshops, courses, and/or doing research secondments in other Australian or overseas’ laboratories is an important part of development as research scientists.  This scheme provides eligible SoMS postgraduate research students with the opportunity to apply for funding to assist with expenses for these types of research-related activities. The funds allocated towards this scheme are not enough to support all student travel and are hence allocated competitively based on the guidelines and criteria described below. However, the RSC strives to support research-related travel of as many PG students as possible.  There are two application rounds per calendar year.


Funding will support research travel-related expenses including registration, airfares and/or other travel expenses, and accommodation only, but not society memberships etc. Eligible candidates may apply for a maximum amount of $1,800 for international travel and $700 for domestic (outside Sydney) travel. The actual amounts awarded is subject to the number of eligible applications received each travel round, the destination, and careful consideration of the budget submitted. Scientia scholars are typically not eligible for SoMS PG travel award funding, as they have annual Scientia support packages to fund their conference travel.


PG students will have to present evidence in the application form that they have actively sought funding from alternative sources to support their travel (e.g. PRSS, TCRN, Australian Neuroscience Society student travel award, or travel grants available through other Societies, etc), and application for these is mandatory. The SoMS travel awards will supplement funds obtained from these other sources to cover the actual conference costs. In case there is any surplus SoMS travel award funds, this will have to be returned to the RSC.


The policy is that students will be required to submit their claims and reimbursement requests within one month after return from their conference travel.


Late or ‘out-of-round’ applications will not be considered.



Timetable 2020 - Please note, dates are subject to change

Dates of Travel




Award Announced

1 Feb - 30 June

Round 1

27 Jan

20 April

Week starting 4 May

1 July - 31 Dec

Round 2

8 Jun

10 Aug

Week starting 24 Aug



Eligibility Criteria

  1. PhD or Masters by Research candidates who are currently enrolled in the School of Medical Sciences, provided their candidature is on track for completion (total EFTSL no greater than 3.5 for a PhD and no greater than 2 for a Masters by Research at time of application).
  2. Scientia scholars are not eligible for SoMS PG travel award except under exceptional, well-justified circumstances. This decision to award to a Scientia scholar will be made on a case-to-case basis and is at the discretion of the RSC chair.
  3. Candidates presenting at international conferences, workshops or other research activities must apply for funding through:
  • Postgraduate Research Student Support (PRSS) Scheme, which provides funding to assist in presenting at conferences outside of Australia.
  • Other funding sources such as through Professional Societies or travel awards provided by the target conferences if available. Students will have to present evidence in the application form that they sought and applied for alternative travel funding.
  • The SoMS Travel award will supplement the difference between travel costs (registration, accommodation, travel) and the costs covered by the PRSS scheme and/or other travel awards. A travel budget will need to be provided, and in case there is surplus SoMS travel award funds, this will need to be returned to the RSC.
  1. Applicants will only be considered if the candidate has demonstrated satisfactory progress at their latest Annual Progress Review and have attended all mandatory seminars (seminar attendance records will be checked).
  2. Funding will only be awarded where the primary purpose of the travel is to attend a conference or major scientific meeting and present a paper, poster or exhibition on the candidate’s research work, to attend a research workshop, to complete a research secondment elsewhere, or to do another research-related activity deemed eligible by the RSC Chair. Students who attend a conference without presenting or presenting a paper or poster of which the student is not the author, are not eligible to apply. The number of personal days should not exceed 40% of the total days away. Note that if you do not know whether your conference paper has been accepted prior to the SOMS travel grant application deadline you may submit an application, but funding will be conditional on evidence of acceptance of your abstract.
  3. Students may receive a maximum of one grant per annum and a maximum of two SoMS Travel Grants over the period of his/her postgraduate degree candidacy.  A student may receive up to 1 International award during their candidature, and this is typically in 2nd half of their degree*
  4. SoMS Travel Grants will only supplement funds obtained from other sources (e.g. PRSS, TCRN, Australian Neuroscience Society student travel award) if justified by the submitted budget. Funds will only be allocated to meet budgeted expenses beyond those supported by other schemes. Students will have to present evidence in the application form that they sought and applied for alternative travel funding, and such applications are mandatoryAny surplus SoMS travel funds will have to be returned to the RSC after travel, so that the RSC can support conference attendance of as many SoMS students as possible.
  5. The start and end dates of the conference must be between 1st of Feb and 30th of June for Round 1 applications and 1st of July and 31st of December for Round 2 applications. For January conferences, candidates may apply for funds retrospectively in Round 1 of the same year or in advance in Round 2 of the preceding year.  Candidates cannot apply for funds to attend a conference or workshop or similar that is being held while they are on leave, which takes place after they have submitted their thesis, or which takes place outside of the calendar year of the relevant funding round. The conference must occur while the student is enrolled.
  6. Awardees will have to finalize claims and reimbursement of their conference costs up to 1 month after their return at UNSW. Any reimbursement requests submitted later than that will not be considered by the RSC.


Application Process and Selection Criteria

      1. Fill out the online application form
      2. Applications will be assessed by the Research Support Committee and award recommendations made to Head of School.
      3. Successful applicants will be notified by email with the details of how to claim payment of the grant (which is within a month of their return via an ER1 expense re-imbursement form or a journal transfer to the grant account of the applicant’s supervisor if they paid for the conference).
      4. The Research Support Committee will consider the following when adjudicating on awards.
      • Preference for senior students, particularly for International travel awards
      • Preference to support students to attend a National conference in their 2nd year and then an International conference in their final year.
      • Preference for PhD students when applying for a 2nd travel award
      • Evidence of receipt of funds from external sources to support the current or previous conference will be positively considered
      • Previous National and International travel. The scheme aims to give opportunities for all students to gain exposure to the research community
      • Opportunities for research support available through the laboratory / research group and component covered by personnel expenses
      • Evidence of research progress and excellence as judged by awards, abstracts & publications, prizes and postgraduate review comments
      • Fair distribution of awards to applicants from different Schools & Institutes to aligning broadly to the proportion of SOMS students from these different research clusters.
      • Other circumstances may be taken into account by the Research Support Committee.


1. Student travel must comply, or have complied, with UNSW’s Travel Policy and Travel Procedures. Note that this includes completing the Pre-Trip approval via MyTravel and using MyTravel to book your travel & accommodation. For guidance using MyTravel click here.

2. The conference presentation must comply, or have complied, with UNSW branding guideline templates – see myUNSW - for any posters or PowerPoint presentations and must include the School of Medical Sciences affiliation. Any enquiries regarding branding guidelines can be directed to  An A4 pdf colour copy of the poster presentation or the title slide for an oral presentation must be submitted to the RSC either at the time of application, or before the travel funds can be claimed.

3. Travel awards can be used towards costs of transport, conference registration fees, and accommodation. The funds cannot be used to pay for Society memberships, etc.

4. Payments must be claimed and expended one month after the awardees’ return to UNSW after travel latest. The RSC will not consider any claims or reimbursement requests submitted later than 1 month after the awardees return from conference travel.

Enquiries should be directed to your Research Support Committee postgraduate student representative, or to the RSC.