Travel Grant Application Instructions
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Step 1: Pre-Application Preparation
Carefully review the program guidelines to determine if you are eligible to apply for the Travel Grant. Then begin researching the costs of your trip, if you have not done so already.
Note Regarding One-Way Fares: If you decide to purchase two one-way airfares instead of a roundtrip fare, you will need to print a quote of a roundtrip fare at the time your one-way fares were booked, in order to demonstrate to the ASU Travel Department that the roundtrip fare is in fact more expensive.
Step 2: Travel Authorization Form
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In addition to the online Travel Grant application in GPSA’s Nimble-Net™ site (described below), you must submit an ASU Travel Authorization (TA) Form at the time you apply.
If you already have a TA Form completed for this trip (to use with another funding source), do not complete a new form; you will simply add GPSA’s information to the existing form.
Use a paper TA Form if:
• You are traveling to Alaska, Hawaii, or an international destination, and/or
• You are requesting funds from an additional academic unit that requires paper forms
On the electronic TA Form, you must designate a Manager for your trip. This is the person who will process your paperwork reimbursement. If GPSA is your sole or primary source of funding, designate Stacy Porche (ID: sporche) as your ‘Manager’. If another department is your main funding source and you would like them to manage your receipts/reimbursement, designate Stacy Porche (ID: sporche) as a ‘Contact’ in the appropriate field on the electronic TA Form. (Contacts do not need to be listed on the paper form.)
The TA Form will also ask you to designate an Authorized Travel Officer (ATO). Each academic unit has an official ATO who will verify that you are a student and are traveling to the conference or event you specify. ATOs only verify that you are traveling; their approval does not obligate your academic unit to provide any financial support for your trip. You may find your department’s ATO by clicking here. If you are unable to get an ATO signature from your home department, you may use the ATO designated GPSA.
The cost of your meals will be calculated on your ASU Travel Authorization (TA) Form using the daily rate (per diem) for your destination. If you are submitting an electronic TA Form, this will be calculated automatically. If you are submitting a paper TA form, this will be done by hand.
Lodging is reimbursable at a per diem rate, unless you are staying at an official conference hotel, which may be reimbursed in full. In order to be reimbursed for a conference hotel’s higher rate, travelers must provide documentation (from the event website or program) indicating that their hotel was an officially designated conference hotel.
Step 3: GPSA’s Nimble-Net™ Application System
Once you have completed a TA Form (electronic or paper), you may start your GPSA Travel Grant application. To do so, you will need a user profile in GPSA’s Nimble-Net™ site, which handles applications for all of our grant programs. If you do not already have one, click here to create a new user profile in Nimble-Net™. You can use the same user profile for applying to any GPSA grant program.
If you have a Nimble-Net judge profile from reviewing for a competition, but have never created a regular user profile, you will need to create a separate user/applicant profile with a unique email address in order to apply for a grant.
If you already have a user profile from previous years or from applying for a different grant, click here to log in. To start a new application, select the Travel Grant from the drop-down menu of programs and then select ‘Start a new application’.
NOTE: Please DO NOT submit applications more than two (2) months in advance (e.g. If you submit by March 7th 20xx, you must be traveling in April or May of 20xx). Effective September 2010, GPSA will review applications for travel no earlier than two (2) review cycles (months) prior to departure. For assistance, see the program guidelines.
Step 4: Travel Grant Application
Once you have started a new Travel Grant application in Nimble-Net™, you will be asked to provide general information about yourself and the event you are planning to attend, information about the primary purpose of your travel (whether to participate in an academic conference or another professional development opportunity), and the costs of your trip. Be sure to complete the entire application; applications missing information will not be selected for funding.
The application will ask for your TA Form number (See Step 2 above). Applications that do not include a valid TA Form number will not be selected for funding.
The application will ask you to designate the primary purpose of your travel and answer questions related to that purpose. Please only answer the questions related to your primary purpose, as those are the only questions that will be reviewed by the judges. The two tracks of the application exist only in order to give the applicant a better opportunity to describe the purpose of his or her travel. One track is not regarded as more or less meritorious than the other, as applications are reviewed together in one pool.
Select ‘Academic Conference Travel’ as your primary purpose of travel if you are presenting a paper or a poster; sitting on a panel; or serving any other leadership role at an academic conference (such as committee chair, facilitator, etc.).
Select ‘Other Professional Development Opportunity’ as your primary purpose of travel if you are attending a conference for networking purposes; attending a workshop or training; giving a recital or performance not within the context of an academic conference; delivering an invited address that is not better described as an academic conference presentation; participating in a competition related to your program of study; or attending any other event or activity related to your program of study. Applications for professional development opportunities rely strongly on one’s argument for the significance/importance of the activity. Attending a conference for networking purposes is not generally considered to be of lesser merit than presenting at a conference; rather, reviewers will take into account the significance of the travel to the applicant’s program of study, as described by the applicant within the application, relative to the competing applications submitted in a given funding cycle (i.e., month).
You may save your application and return to it later in the Nimble-Net™ system. Once you have completed the entire application form and reviewed it for errors, make sure you have agreed to the grant rules and submit the application. Applications that have not been fully submitted by the deadline will not be considered for funding, under any circumstances.
Step 5: Notification & Next Steps
A notification will be sent (to the email address you provided at the time of application) no later than the 30th of the month in which the deadline falls. If you do not receive a notification, it is your responsibility to contact the GPSA Vice President of Internal Affairs in order to inquire about the status of your application.
If you are awarded a Travel Grant
If you are using a paper TA Form and have a department ATO signature on it, you may either email, fax or bring a copy of the paper TA to the Graduate Student Center (CFS Building – Tempe campus). If you are using an electronic TA Form, be sure that Stacy Porche (ID: sporche) is listed as either the ‘Manager’ or a ‘Contact’. Your TA Form (paper or electronic) must be approved by your ATO before you depart.
It is imperative that you follow all instructions in the award letter in order to be reimbursed. Your TA Form must be approved prior to departure. Keep all original receipts for travel and lodging, including conference program documentation if staying at a conference hotel whose rate is higher than the lodging per diem (see Step 2 above). Hotel receipts must be itemized. If you are sharing a room, you will need proof of hotel occupancy/proof of payment for your share of the hotel bill. Also keep a copy of any event registration forms or other proof of registration payment.
Upon returning from your trip, enter your final expenses on your TA form. If using an electronic TA form, be sure to enter your reimbursable expenses (up to your total award amount) under “actual expenses.” You may need to reduce the amounts so that they do not exceed the total reimbursable (awarded) amount. make copies of all receipts for your records. Submit all original documentation (e.g., airline receipts, hotel bills, ground transportation receipts, conference registration forms, bank/credit card statements) to the Graduate Student Center (CFS Building – Tempe campus) no later than 5 business days after your return. If you do not receive reimbursement within 30 days, contact the Office Manager.
In addition to reimbursement paperwork, GPSA requires all grant recipients to submit a testimonial describing how the travel grant contributed to their academic/professional development for use on the GPSA website and promotional materials. Not submitting this can delay or rescind your travel grant. The testimonial must be submitted to the travel grant log within 5 days after your return.
If you are not selected for a Travel Grant
You may choose to apply again if the final deadline has not passed for your trip. Remember, applications are due by the 7th of the month prior to the month of departure. Once your application status has been updated in the Nimble-Net™ system, you may start a new application. Refer to the program guidelines for strategies to increase the quality of your application to reviewers.
If you believe a mistake was made in the review process, you may appeal the rejection within 3 days of the notification date. The following procedure shall be followed for all appeals:
- Submit a written complaint specifying in a tangible and concrete way the error of the decision to deny your award to the GPSA Vice President of Internal Affairs.
- Denials of funding based on negligence or ineligibility (e.g., incomplete applications, falsified applications, requests for funding outside the scope of the grant) will not be reconsidered.
- All decisions by the VP of Internal Affairs or the VP of Professional Development are final and may not be re-appealed.
- Decisions will be made within 5 business days following submission of appeal.