Conference Grants FAQ

Q: Is my department/program eligible for conference grants (formerly known as “travel grants”)?
A: An up-to-date list of eligible departments/programs can be found at

Q: I am enrolled in one of the eligible programs/departments. However, I do my research at the medical campus. Am I still eligible?
A: Yes, you are eligible as long as you are enrolled in a Homewood graduate program.

Q: I am enrolled in the medical school, but I spend all my time in a Homewood department/I hang out with Homewood students/I’m as much a Homewood grad student as anyone else. Am I eligible?
A: No, unfortunately GRO conference grants are exclusively for KSAS and WSE enrolled graduate students.

Q: My advisor is affiliated with an eligible department, but I am in an Advanced Academic Program (AAP). Am I eligible?
A: Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) are not represented in GRO. Regardless of your advisor’s affiliation, your SIS registration must show that you got admitted to and are presently registered in one of the eligible programs that we have listed for this round of applications.

Q: I am enrolled in an interdisciplinary program. While one of them is eligible, another is not. What about my eligibility?
A: You can apply if your home department/program is eligible.

Q: Why do you disqualify our department every now and then?
A: As part of our effort to represent the majority of Homewood grads, the GRO encourages all departments to send their representatives to General Council (GC) meetings. To incentivize and promote participation we have decided on this policy: if at least one of your departmental representatives was present in at least 50% of the GC meetings in the semester prior to the lottery period, your department should be eligible.

Q: I was sick and could not complete my application. Can you please extend the deadline for me?
A: To be fair to all applicants, we cannot extend the application deadlines arbitrarily. Please e-mail funding.gro@jhu.edufor special circumstances.

Q: I submitted my application, but I did not receive any acknowledgement nor confirmation. How do I know the status of my application?
A: If possible, print/save a copy of your application material before submitting. If you do not receive a confirmation/lottery placement notification within a month, please email .

Q: I’m a first-year student. Am I eligible for a GRO conference grant?
A: Yes. Awards are distributed based on a random lottery for all eligible Homewood graduate students.

Q: How many awards are given out?
A: It depends on the funds allotted to our budget from the grants GRO receives from Dean of Student Life. We usually give ~15-25 awards every year.

Q: Can I apply for a conference grant if I’m not presenting at the conference?
A: Yes, you can apply even if you are not presenting at the conference. However, those presenting will be given preference. In addition, more preference is given first to students giving talks, as apposed to poster presentations. Please see our PDF Document: Conference Grants Policy (Updated 10/24/2023)

Q: Can I use conference grants towards a workshop?
A: That depends on what you mean by a workshop. In some fields, workshops are mini conferences where academic and/or professional work is presented and/or published. In that case, yes. Otherwise, academic and/or professional work is not being presented, then unfortunately no.

Q: I received a GRO conference grant last semester. Am I eligible for a conference grant this semester?
A: No graduate student may receive more than one conference grant per academic year. If you received a conference grant in the spring semester, you ARE eligible to apply for a conference grant for the following fall semester, provided your department remains eligible for conference grants.

Q: How does the review process work?
A: Check out our policy document for details at

Q: How much funding can I get through a GRO conference grant?
A: The amount is $500 per award, payable as a reimbursement for eligible expenses with receipts.

Q: What expenses are eligible through a GRO conference grant?
A: Eligible expenses are transportation, lodging, registration fees, and production expenses (photocopies, posters).

Q: I have once-in-a-lifetime interview opportunity across the country. Can I use a GRO conference grant to cover my expenses?
A: Unfortunately, conference grants can only be used to cover eligible expenses as a contributor or attendee at an academic/professional conference.

Q: I am presenting at a conference on research I conducted prior to arriving at Johns Hopkins. Is my talk eligible for a conference grant?
A: Unfortunately, any previous work at a previous institution or any work not related to the applicant’s graduate work at Hopkins is ineligible for funding.

Q: I gave a presentation at a conference last semester, but I only found out about it after the application deadline for that semester. Can I apply retroactively for a conference grant award?
A: You cannot apply for a conference grant award after you have attended the conference.

Q: I need assurance of funding before I decide whether or not to attend the conference. Can I apply?
A: Yes, you can apply. However, we will notify you if you were awarded the conference grant when the lottery following your application is conducted. You should expect to know the lottery you are assigned to within a month from your application.

Q: I have received funding for the conference from elsewhere. Can I still print out a copy of the receipts and make use of conference grant award?
A: No. GRO conference grants are not meant to be the primary source of funding. They are meant to supplement in covering your expenses beyond your primary source. Just as any university reimbursement, a conference grant award cannot immediately assure you of funding until the GRO treasurer thoroughly verifies your documentation to make sure there is no misuse. If you already have received funds from elsewhere to cover the costs that you are seeking reimbursement for from the GRO, not only will your award be nulled, but you can’t apply in future and appropriate university authorities may be notified of such malpractice. Not worth the risk!

Q: My conference trip was fully funded by my advisor and the department. I want the award because it will look good on my CV.
A: This award is to help out graduate students that do not have sufficient funds to cover their expenses for the conference. It is not one for the CV. We will decline your application howsoever meritorious it is.

Q: I’m not sure if I’m going to this conference. I just want to apply and see if I get the grant and then decide.
A: If you are awarded and you don’t use the award provided that you have been accepted to the conference, you risk us making it unavailable to someone who would have desperately needed it. The GRO funds are limited and we would rather give it to someone that’s sure to use it. We will penalize you for such an offense to a fellow graduate student, by making you ineligible for any future grant applications during the rest of your stay at Hopkins.

Q: I’m the co-author in the paper that I’m presenting. Not the first. Am I eligible?
A: Yes, as long as it’s your research contribution from Hopkins and you are presenting. However, if the first author is also presenting the same work at the same conference, you are unlikely to get awarded, as this could count as a misuse of the award.