Travel Grants FAQ

Q: Is my department/program eligible for travel grants?
A: The GRO website maintains an up-to-date list of eligible departments/programs at http://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/gro/funding/travel-grants/

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 the Biology department’s laboratories. I hang out with Homewood students; I’m as much a Homewood grad student as anyone else. Am I eligible?
A: No, GRO travel grants are exclusively for KSAS and WSE enrolled graduate students.

Q: My advisor is affiliated with an eligible dept. I am in Biotech program and I work for her.
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 is eligible.

Q: Why do you disqualify our department every now and then?
A: It is not our decision. GRO tries to get every department to send in their graduate representatives to their General Council meetings. If at least one of your departmental representatives is not present in at least 50% of the past 10 GRO biweekly meetings with free pizzas, your department didn’t present enough representation and hence became ineligible.

Q: I have nothing to do with the GRO reps from my department that didn’t care to attend the council meetings. Why should I be not eligible for travel grants application, if they didn’t attend 50% of General Council meetings? Students from other eligible departments did nothing more for the GRO than I did!
A: That is the policy of GRO. As a representative organization, they seek active representation from departments. It’s in the interest of graduate students of your department to represent your concerns. You should consider asking your GRO reps about their attendance and persuade them to attend in future.

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.

Q: I submitted my application but I did not receive any acknowledgement. I printed a copy once I submitted but there is no confirmation number or even a summary of what I wrote in my application.
A: Unfortunately, google forms don’t have that feature. Print your application material before submitting. There is a warning to this effect on the application page. The travel grants committee uses google forms to collect applications. We will send you an acknowledgement within two days after the application deadline. If you didn’t, please write to us at funding.gro@gmail.com.
Q: I like my mail delivered to my home address. Why do you need my departmental address?
A: We send our communiquè to applicants only at their departmental address by campus mail.

Q: I’m a first-year student. Am I eligible for a GRO travel grant?
A: Preference is given to graduate students in their advanced years of doctoral programs over those in their initial years of their doctoral program and those enrolled in masters programs. Since GRO Travel Grants are limited, it is unlikely that there will be remaining funds for first-year students. That said, you can take your chances. We welcome a compelling case.

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. For Fall 2011, for example, we expected to give away up to 12 awards.

Q: Can I apply for a travel grant if I’m not presenting at the conference?
A: No. Travel grants are intended for graduate students who will be contributors at the conference. Priority is given first to students giving talks, followed by poster presentations.

Q: Can I use travel grants towards a workshop?
A: That depends on what you mean by a workshop. In some fields, workshops are mini conferences where work is presented and published. In that case, probably. Otherwise, the main purpose of travel grants is to help graduate students present their work. So, no, you can’t.

Q: I received a GRO travel grant last semester. Am I eligible for a travel grant this semester?
A: No graduate student may receive more than one travel grant per academic year. If you received a travel grant in the spring semester, you ARE eligible to apply for a travel grant for the following fall semester, provided your department remains eligible for travel grants. However, it’s very unlikely that you will be awarded for back-to-back application periods, given the limited nature of the awards and the number of eligible applicants and our desire to make it accessible to different students.

Q: How does the review process work?
A: Check out our policy document for details at http://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/gro/funding/travel-grants/

Q: How much funding can I get through a GRO travel grant?
A: The amount is $300 per award, payable as a reimbursement for eligible expenses with receipts.

Q: What expenses are eligible through a GRO travel 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 travel grant to cover my expenses?
A: Unfortunately, travel grants can only be used to cover eligible expenses as a contributor at a conference.

Q: I am presenting at a conference on research I conducted prior to arriving at Johns Hopkins. Is my talk eligible for a travel grant?
A: Sorry, any previous work by a graduate student at another university, 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 travel grant award?
A: The committee will consider your application if you can provide documentation that you received the invitation after the travel grant application deadline.

Q: Then, what’s this retroactive application all about?
A: We define retroactive a little differently. Check out the last section of our policy document for clarification. For example, you have this situation, where a conference invitation was sent on Nov. 20th and you attended the conference on Dec. 20th. You couldn’t apply for travel grants because you didn’t have the invitation before Nov. 15th but you can’t apply for travel grants for May because the period for the deadline starts from January 1st. In such a case, we make an exception. Your application will be considered for May round of applications, if you are able to prove that the invitation was sent after Nov. 15th. We think that such short notice for a conference is rare.

Q: I need assurance of funding before I decide whether or not to attend the conference. I cannot wait until the next round. Can I apply?
A: No. You will have to apply for the next round. Travel Grants committee has only a few application periods in a given academic year. Unfortunately, only those who are going to conferences after the notification date will know our decision beforehand. The rest will have to apply retroactively.

Q: I have received funding for the conference from elsewhere. Can I still print out a copy of the receipts and make use of travel grant award?
A: No. GRO travel grants are not meant to be the primary source of funding. They are only a modest supplement to assist you in covering your expenses beyond your primary source. Travel grant award doesn’t immediately assure you of the award money until the GRO treasurer thoroughly verifies your receipts to make sure there is no misuse. Remember that travel grants are awarded in eligible reimbursements. 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 falls across a application period boundary, in which period do I apply?
A: When conference dates spread over two periods, applicants should apply for the earlier period.

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, you make 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. It counts sort of as a misuse of the award.