PhD Conference Travel

PhD Conference Travel *updated 9-27-2013

PhD students in the Department of English are eligible for reimbursement of up to $1000 for expenses incurred by traveling to conferences, institutes, or other academic activities during their time in residence at Northeastern.  The purpose of travel must be to present or pursue research germane to the student’s dissertation work or professionalization.  Chairing a session does not make one eligible unless s/he proposed that session and is playing a significant role in it.

Eligibility begins with the second year of doctoral study and continues for as long as a student is in residence, paying continuation or dissertation fees, and teaching for the program, either as a teaching assistant or part-time lecturer.  Highest preference will be given to students at work on their dissertations.  Some preference will be given to students who have finished their course work and are preparing for or taking their PhD Comprehensive Examinations.

Funding is not automatic.

Application Process

Students must first apply for funding through the Graduate Student Government (GSG). More information can be found online at  Please note that the maximum annual amount currently offered by the GSG is $375.  Students may apply to the department for funds beyond this amount if the GSG grant is awarded or if it is turned down.  Note, too, that the GSG has four annual deadlines for funding: currently early May (for events in June, July, or August), early August (for events in Sept., Oct., or Nov.), early November (for events in Dec., Jan., or Feb.) and early February (for events in Mar., Apr., or May).  Please check on these dates and make sure to apply in time.

As soon as the student receives a response from the Graduate Student Government, the student may apply for funding from the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC). The GSC will consider requests for funding on a rolling basis, although the funding available will be placed in semiannual pools (January 1-June 30; July 1-December 31). The GSC strongly advises students to apply prior to attending the event. Please note that the maximum amount currently offered by the GSC is $400 per event.

In order to be considered, an application must contain the following materials:

  • Travel Reimbursement Form_revised 9-25-2013
  • a communication of acceptance from the conference convener(s) or the institute;
  • a copy of the paper to be presented, or a one-page, single-spaced abstract of it;
  • a brief statement of how the proposed paper or institute fits into the dissertation or other major intellectual project;
  • a report of the outcomes, such as publications resulting from prior presentations, if any.

Submitting the application materials electronically will help to expedite review.

Review Process

Resources are limited, and not every application will be approved for funding.  If the number of funded highest-priority proposals is large, the maximum amount of the awards may have to be reduced.

In making its decisions, the GSC will take into account the professional significance of the conference or institute; the fit between the conference/institute and the student’s intellectual program, especially the dissertation; and the publication of versions of the student’s prior conference presentations, if there have been any.  If the application can be circulated electronically, the GSC would hope to be able to respond within two weeks.

Applying for Reimbursement

There will be no travel advances issued, and reimbursement will be only for the amount of the award, not for the full cost of the trip.  To recover her/his expenses, a student must retain expense receipts, including airline ticket stubs or e-ticket confirmations.  Travel reimbursement forms are available in the main office and must be filled in fully and accurately.  Completed forms should be submitted to Jean Duddy.  Reimbursement checks are typically issued within seven to ten business days, quickly enough to pay the next credit card statement if a reimbursement claim is filed soon after returning.