BSD Dean's Council

Conference Support Fund Bylaws (2022.9.16 version)

The Conference support fund committee meets twice a year (May and September) to rank conference support grants submitted by fellow students. OGPA staff uses the rankings to fund a number of conference support grants. This number varies from application cycle to application cycle. 


Graduate students of the Biological Sciences Division who are presenting their own work (oral or poster presentation) are eligible to apply for the BSD Conference support fund. The award consists of up to $500 for conference related expenses. Funding for the Conference support award was generously granted by the Division of the Biological Sciences to support BSD student interests. 


Students are free to apply for both BSD and Grad Council (GC) funds for the same conference. Should a student receive funding from both sources, and assuming there are available funds for all grants approved by the BSD travel grant review committee, the student is free to use both awards for the same conference, subject to the current rules of the Graduate Student Council.  A question has been added to the travel fund application form for the student to indicate if (s)he has applied for GC funding as well. 




Applicants can receive the award more than once (up to $500 per conference). However, priority will be given to students applying for the first time, those presenting their own work (oral or poster presentation), and senior students. 


As part of the application process, applicants must supply the following information to the BSD Office of Graduate Affairs. Please follow the instructions closely and submit ALL the required information before the application deadline. The call for application is twice per academic year:

  • Cycle 1: Application opens May 1 closes about the 22nd for conferences that occur between May 1st and August 31st
  • Cycle 2: Applications open August 15th and close September 4th for conferences September 1st through April 30th


Typically applicants are notified of a decision 2-3 weeks after applications are received. 




Required sections (you are responsible for submitting EVERY item, including recommendation letter):


  1. Completed application form
    1. Bind all the documents mentioned below into one PDF file to upload when asked to do so in the application form. (Lastname_Firstname_CSF.pdf)


  1. Meeting information: Describe the importance of the meeting and why it is relevant to your research interests. Please provide the reviewers with information on the meeting. Highlight the relevance for your academic progress. 250 words maximum


  1. Statement of purpose – please describe the project with these guidelines:  Limit one page single space 12 font.
    1. Why is this question important?
    2. What is the significance of your research?
    3. How will your findings relate to larger scientific issues?
    4. The statement must be different than the abstract and targeted to be reviewed by a group of general biologists
    5. Highlight your participation in the meeting. Are you presenting or planning on presenting a talk or poster? If so, how competitive is it to get a talk?


  1. Abstract (Max 350 words).


  1. Letter of recommendation from a faculty member. Please provide them with the following guidelines: 
    1. List the quality of the student and the meeting
    2. Statement about extra funding that is available.
    3. Please explain why this meeting is important for the student’s academic progress.
    4. ** This is an important part of the review process


  1. Meeting documentation (e.g. invitation letter or e-mail) of abstract acceptance.


  1. Signed letter from advisor stating that, if granted, all funds will be used for the meeting for which funds are being requested.




  • BSD funds can be used towards travel expenses (hotel, transportation) or (virtual or in-person) meeting fees and not for alcohol or restaurant bills!
  • Only one application is permitted per person per round.


Please upload completed form and supplemental materials as a single pdf (including recommendation letter) Lastname_Firstname_Csf.pdf


(Note: Your application MUST be uploaded as a single .pdf to the link provided to be considered.)


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long does it take for applications to be reviewed?

We will do our best to send decisions out 2-3 weeks after the application deadline.

I have not heard back from my conference yet with documentation about giving a talk or poster, but I should be hearing back any day. Can I still apply?

Yes, you can still apply. In your application, include verification of submission (for example, you can provide original correspondence from the conference organizers or a screenshot from the conference website confirming your abstract was received).