Faculty Travel FAQ's

1. I’ve heard that faculty can get travel funding from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs — how do I apply?

Download the Faculty Travel Guidelines and Application Form — READ the guidelines and instructions to see if you and your trip fit the purpose and priorities of the program. If appropriate, fill out the form, attach justification and budget, obtain required signatures and other funding commitments, and send it to the ORSP no later than the 15th of the month prior to the month in which your travel begins.

2. Who gets funded by the ORSP travel program?

Highest priority for funding is given to Assistant Professors. For more senior faculty, supplemental funds may be available in well-justified cases when the travel is also supported by other institutional sources. Assistant Professors are funded about three times as often as Associate Professors and four times as often as full Professors, carrying out the program's focus on support for junior faculty. Due to limited funding available, most requests cannot be fully supported.

3. What is the ORSP looking for in a travel application?

As currently structured, the program seeks to promote the development of new or extended research, scholarly or creative work. With that purpose in mind, funds are directed to development activities that will likely lead to achieving those goals.

NOTE: The program typically does not support travel to a conference for presentation of completed work unless the request includes specific development activities (see below and #5) beyond the conference itself.

A few examples of high-priority activities are:

Individual Visits:

  • Visit funding agency/meet with program officer to learn about funding opportunities or discuss proposal in development
  • Visit research collection, library, or other research site to examine sources or collect data
  • Conduct interviews with primary sources

Organized Events:

  • Attend grant-writing workshop or other continuing education opportunity
  • Meet with (specific) collaborators to work on joint project or proposal development
  • Attend seminar to learn new technique or application

4. What is the competition like — is it worth my time to apply?

Competition for funding can vary from month to month. January, for example, is often a slow month; but in February, many faculty members apply for trips during the coming spring and summer months. Funds are limited, so the ORSP is usually not able to provide the full cost of a trip.

5. I want to go to an upcoming conference and present a paper — can I get support for that?

Attendance and presentations at professional meetings and conferences are by far the most frequent objectives of travel support requests, but the ORSP program looks for active professional development efforts by the faculty applicant.

A strong application is one that details specific training opportunities, identifies (by name) current or potential collaborators the applicant will meet with, or mentions specific projects under development for proposals to external funding agencies. Well-written applications that address these priorities are more likely to receive some funding.

The review committee is also inclined to help support travel for primary research (such as conducting interviews, collecting data or documentation, or examining original sources and special collections), especially for those areas of the university where external funding support is less available.

6. My application was turned down, but I have been funded by the ORSP before — what did I do wrong this time?

Chances are you were up against some stiff competition. If your application did not strongly address the program's priorities (see #3 and #5 above) as well as others did, it may have fallen below the funding line for that particular committee review and budget allocation.