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Travel, Research, and Service Awards

         The Graduate Student Congress (GSC) provides awards to University of Kentucky graduate and professional students to travel, conduct research, or engage in a service project. We do not place specific restrictions on the types of research, travel, or service that we will fund. Successful applicants should be able to make a strong case for how their proposed research, service, or travel will contribute to their educational and/or professional development. Due to the competitive nature of the awards, and our desire to fund as many students as possible, applicants are only eligible for funding once for each type of award per academic year.

Overview of Available GSC Awards:

  1. Travel Awards: this GSC Award will fund up to $10,800 for travel to conferences and workshops occurring within 90 (+/-) days of the cycle deadline. A total of 36 individual awards worth $300 each will be given throughout the academic year. Successful applicants make a strong case for the importance of attending the specific conference or workshop, demonstrate financial need and efforts to secure additional funding, and clearly describe the work to be presented. Although it is not required that applicants present their work, priority will be given to those that do. Applicants will also be required to provide an itemized budget for the requested funds. Read more about GSC Travel Awards.

  2. Research Awards: this GSC Award will fund up to $3,500 for expenses related to research projects. A total of 7 individual awards worth $500 each will be given throughout the academic year. While we do not restrict research funding to dissertation projects, successful research proposals reflect a carefully crafted and feasible research plan. Applicants will be required to provide an itemized budget for the requested funds, as well as list any other sources of funding for the project in question. Recipients of awards for research have six months to use the awarded funds; therefore, this grant cannot be used to retroactively pay for past purchases. Read more about GSC Research Awards. 

  3. Service Awards: this GSC Award will fund up to $1,500 for expenses related to a service project. A total of 6 individual awards worth $250 will be given throughout the academic year. While only graduate and professional students may apply for and receive GSC Award funds, applicants may partner with other students to complete their service project. Priority will be given to projects that can demonstrate a direct impact on the University of Kentucky community. Successful applicants will demonstrate the importance of their service project and its connection with the UK community, as well as their own personal and professional development. Recipients of service awards have up to six months to use awarded funds; therefore, this award cannot be used to retroactively pay for past purchases. Read more about GSC Service Awards.


2019 – 2020 Award Deadlines:

          To provide for timely review of applications, the GSC has set the following award review cycles for the 2019 – 2020 academic year (Note: these deadlines are subject to change at any time.): 

Cycle

Deadline (11:59 PM)

GSC Awards Committee Funding Vote

Awards Available

1

Monday, September 30, 2019

Thursday, October 17, 2019

6 Travel

1 Research

1 Service

2

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Thursday, November 21, 2019

6 Travel

1 Research

1 Service

3

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Thursday, December 19, 2019

6 Travel

1 Research

1 Service

4

Friday, January 31, 2020

Thursday, February 20, 2020

6 Travel

1 Research

1 Service

5

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Thursday, March 26, 2020

6 Travel

1 Research

1 Service

6

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Thursday, April 16, 2020

6 Travel

2 Research

1 Service

 

Application Procedure and Review Process:

          The GSC supports the sustainability initiative at the University of Kentucky to eliminate paper applications. Please complete the electronic applications below. Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on the deadline date to be considered. All subsequent communication with applicants will be conducted via email. No physical copies of any material will be accepted.

          Following each cycle’s deadline, the GSC Awards Committee Chair reviews and prepares all applications. S/he then provides them to the GSC Awards Committee for review. The committee reviews the applications and scores each application based on whether they meet specific criteria (mentioned below). Each application is scored by at least two members of the committee for an average score. After the committee members submit their evaluation scores, a cutoff score is generated based on the number of applications and the amount of funds available. The GSC Awards Committee Chair then assigns each application meeting the cutoff score a random number, and uses a random number generator to select the allowed number of recipients for that round. Next, the GSC Awards Committee Chair presents the selections to the GSC Awards Committee at the next monthly meeting for their approval. A simple majority of the Awards Committee is needed to confirm the recipients.

          Funding decisions are then communicated to the applicants by the GSC Awards Committee Chair. Depending on the date of receipt of the application and the total number of applications submitted that cycle, it may take up to six (6) weeks to receive a funding decision. Students that do not receive funding may reapply during a later award cycle. 

Travel Awards

Range of Support

          Awards are contingent upon the availability of funds and the number of applications received. As of the 2019 – 2020 fiscal/academic year, the GSC will award up to a maximum of $300 per applicant, even though the cost of attending the conference may exceed that amount. Students are highly encouraged to provide detailed explanations for the amount requested, and demonstrate efforts to find the cheapest alternative (e.g., room sharing, carpooling, etc.). The GSC Travel Award is not a guaranteed source of funding. Travel award winners are not guaranteed to receive funding before their travel begins. We encourage students to submit the required application materials by the earliest eligible travel award deadline.

Eligibility 

  • The applicant must be enrolled as a student in a graduate or professional degree program at the University of Kentucky (i.e. must pay student service fees), and be in good academic standing.

  • The applicant must have a GSC Representative “in good standing” as of the application deadline.

  • Travel must be completed prior to graduation: Applicants who plan to graduate during that same semester must submit their travel expense report prior to the end of the semester. If your travel has already taken place at the time that your application is due, you must submit your expense report along with your application. For instance, if you apply during the March round and your travel took place in February, you must submit your expense report along with your application.

  • Applicants are eligible to receive one (1) GSC award per academic/fiscal year; the fiscal year begins on July 1. For the purposes of implementing the 'one award per year' policy, all awards are treated as given on the application deadline. A student may apply as many times as desired per year until they win an award, if they follow all necessary guidelines.

Note: Group applications are not allowed. If several students are attending the same event, each student must apply separately for funding, and each student must be responsible for creating their own application.

          The GSC observes a standard fiscal year that runs from July 1 to the following June 30. Travel award recipients must claim reimbursement during the same fiscal year the award was received. Therefore, students traveling between July 1 and the start of the fall semester should wait to apply for travel funds until the fall semester after they return. 

Travel Funding Application

          Please complete the Travel Award Application here.

Travel Funding Evaluation Criteria and Process

          For more information regarding the criteria used by the travel award judges to evaluate the travel award applications, please refer to the Travel Awards Evaluation Rubric (see Files below).

Travel Expense Report

          GSC Travel Award recipients are required to submit a Travel Expense Report (see Files below). Please include all items of expense incurred during your trip. Submit your Travel Expense Report electronically by attaching it to your grant application.

Note: Failure to submit the required travel expense documentation may result in the withdrawal of your GSC travel award and make you ineligible for future GSC travel award funding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am trying to apply for the GSC travel award, but Qualtrics indicates that all applications are closed. How do I apply?

A: All GSC Award applications will open three-weeks (21 days) before the award deadline.

Q: Is there any way for me to get a confirmation email saying that I applied for this award? I need to submit proof that I applied for funding.  

A: If you need a copy of your application, please email the current Awards Committee Chair, Amanda Slone, at amanda.slone@uky.edu.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of awards a student can receive?

A: Applicants can only win one of each type of award per academic year. We try to award funding to as many different individuals as possible.

Q: I have been granted a travel award. How will I receive my award?

A: Awards will be dispersed by the University of Kentucky’s Accounts Payable via check. Please allow time for processing all paperwork before inquiring about your award. Reimbursements should be expected in the mail within 60 to 90 days

Research Awards

            The Graduate Student Congress (GSC) recognizes that graduate and professional student education is advanced through academic research. Therefore, the GSC strives to support quality graduate and professional student research to continue the University of Kentucky’s reputation as a leading research institution. Current graduate and professional students, with GSC Representatives “in good standing,” and who have a project proposal and a principal investigator (PI) or project advisor may apply for Research Award. The maximum that can be awarded for Research Funding is $500 per project to be used within six months of being awarded. Please read ALL the sections on this webpage, particularly the funding guidelines below, before you submit your application. Questions regarding any part of the application process may be directed to the GSC Awards Committee Chair, Amanda Slone, at amanda.slone@uky.edu.

Eligibility

  • The applicant must be enrolled as a student in a graduate or professional degree program at the University of Kentucky (i.e. must pay student service fees), and be in good academic standing.

  • The applicant must have a GSC Representative that is “in good standing" as of the application deadline.

  • Research must be completed prior to graduation. 

Research Funding Application

          Once you have completed the Research Award Application, please have your advisor/PI submit a letter of recommendation to amanda.slone@uky.edu with the subject line as Research Award Letter – (Your Name). This letter should include a description of your characteristics and achievements that are relevant to your academic and professional performance, and emphasize the merit and significance of the proposed research project. 

Research Funding Guidelines

          All applicants are responsible for reading all the information on this website before applying, and will be held to the following guidelines (subject to change):

  1. There is a maximum award of $500 allowed per project.

  2. Allocated funds may only be used for the purposes for which they were approved by the GSC.

  3. Activities that could otherwise be funded through GSC Travel or Service Awards will not be considered for Research Award funding.

  4. Reimbursement for items purchased before the award was received will not be allowed.

  5. If the final cost of an approved item is more than the remaining balance of the awarded amount, the GSC will not pay the difference.

  6. The activity or potential activities must align with the mission of the University of Kentucky and the GSC. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the individual or the organization to ensure that allocated funds are spent in accordance with the University of Kentucky and the Board of Trustees policies, and any other policies the recipient is expected to comply with.

  7. Acknowledgment of the GSC’s support is expected on all publicity, presentations, posters, and/or publications resulting from the research project. The GSC logo will be provided for use if funding is awarded.

  8. Awarded applicants must provide a final report on the outcome of the project upon request (within 12 months of the award date or before applying for any future award). 

Research Funding Evaluation Criteria and Process

          For more information regarding the criteria used by the research award judges to evaluate the research award applications, please refer to the Research Award Evaluation Rubric (see Files below).

Research Funding Prohibited Items 

          The GSC will not fund expenses that are not directly related to the research being conducted. Prohibited funding items include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Tuition or remuneration of the applicant’s time spent on the research project

  • Dissertation fees - including but not limited to Graduate School and/or graduation fees and dissertation printing expenses

  • Membership dues

  • Office or laboratory furniture

  • Office equipment or supplies

  • Rental of office or laboratory space

  • Salaries and wages for research assistants, University of Kentucky affiliates, or employees

  • Food and refreshments

  • Philanthropic events

  • Entertainment

  • Childcare

Item approval is left to the discretion of the committee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can the award cover travel visas, passport photos, or visa mailing fees?

A: No.

Q: Can I apply for a research award for research that I have already conducted?

A: No. All research applications should be specific to research that will be conducted in the future.

Q: Does the award cover software?

A: Yes, so long as it is not already provided by the University of Kentucky or otherwise freely available. If the software is provided at a reduced fee, you may include this fee in your grant application.

Q: Does the award cover books?

A: Only in the case where they are not available through the UK Library and their research purpose is well-justified.

Q: How long does a decision take?

A: We try to make decisions within 6 weeks of the application deadline, but cannot guarantee this. All decisions must be approved by the GSC Awards Committee, which meets approximately once per month.

Q: Does the ward cover shipping charges or taxes?

A: Shipping charges and taxes are covered, but they must be included in the award application with the budget. They cannot be covered after the fact.

Q: What happens to any equipment purchased with the award after it has been used?

A: The equipment will belong to your department

Q: I am trying to apply for the GSC travel award, but Qualtrics indicates that all applications are closed. How do I apply?

A: All GSC Award applications will open three-weeks (21-days) before the awards deadline.

Q: Is there any way for me to get a confirmation email saying that I applied for this award? I need to submit proof that I applied for funding. 

A: If you need a copy of your application, please email the current Awards Committee Chair, Amanda Slone, at amanda.slone@uky.edu.

Q: How are the awards reviewed and who decides which awards are funded?

A: All awards are reviewed and given a score by at least two members of the awards committee. That averaged score is used to determine which applications are recommended for funding to the Graduate Student Congress. The GSC Awards Committee then votes on the recommendations that their monthly meetings.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of awards a student can receive?

A: Applicants can only be awarded one of each type of award per academic year. We try to award funding to as many different individuals as possible.

Service Awards

          The Graduate Student Congress (GSC) recognizes that graduate and professional student education is advanced through service projects. The maximum that can be awarded for Service Award Funding is $250 per project to be used within the academic year. Please read ALL the sections on this webpage before you submit your application. Questions regarding any part of the application process may be directed to the GSC Awards Committee Chair, Amanda Slone, at amanda.slone@uky.edu.

Eligibility 

  • The applicant must be enrolled as a student in a graduate or professional degree program at the University of Kentucky (i.e. must pay student service fees), and be in good academic standing.

  • The applicant must have a GSC Representative that is “in good standing” as of the application deadline.

  • Service project must be completed prior to graduation. 

Service Funding Application

          Please complete the Service Award Application here.

Service Award Funding Guidelines

          All applicants are responsible for reading all the information on this website before applying, and will be held to the following guidelines (subject to change):

  1. There is a maximum award of $250 allowed per project.

  2. Allocated funds may only be used for the purposes for which they were approved by the GSC.

  3. Activities that could otherwise be funded through our Travel or Research Awards will not be considered for Service Award funding.

  4. Reimbursement for items purchased before the award was received will not be allowed.

  5. If the final cost of an approved item is more than the remaining balance of the awarded amount, the GSC will not pay the difference.

  6. Applicants are responsible for bringing the project to completion within the academic year of receiving funding (exceptions may be allowed).

  7. The activity or potential activities must reflect the mission of the University of Kentucky and GSC. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the individual or the organization to ensure that allocated funds are spent in accordance with the University of Kentucky and the Board of Trustees policies, and any other policies the recipient is expected to comply with.

  8. Acknowledgment of GSC’s support is expected on all publicity, presentations, posters, and publications regarding the service project. The GSC logo will be provided for use if funding is awarded.

  9. Awarded applicants must provide a final report on the outcome of the project (within 12 months of the award date or before applying for another award during the next academic year).

Service Award Funding Evaluation Criteria and Process

          For more information regarding the criteria used by the service award judges to evaluate the service award applications, please refer to the Service Award Evaluation Rubric (see Files below).

Files