GSAS Conference Matching Travel Fund

The GSAS Conference Matching Travel Fund helps GSAS students in Arts and Sciences programs to present a paper or poster at national and international conferences and, in the case of DMA candidates, to attend first performances of original musical compositions. Awards from the Conference Matching Travel Fund may be used to defray the cost of registration, travel, and lodging.

In order for a student to receive an award from the Conference Matching Travel Fund, the department or program must first approve a student's application and provide funds to defray expenses. GSAS will then match the funds provided by the department, up to a maximum of $300.

There is a limit of one travel award per academic year, and a maximum of two awards during a student's career at Columbia. The award is not guaranteed, and requests are considered on a first-come, first-served basis. If applications exceed available funds, students who have not received an award in previous years will have priority.


  • MA, PhD, and DMA students in an Arts and Sciences program are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must be in good standing.
  • Doctoral applicants must be in years two through seven (six if granted advanced standing) since their date of first registration in GSAS.
  • The student must be presenting at the conference.
  • The conference may be of an academic or professional nature.
  • Conferences organized by graduate students are ordinarily not eligible, but may be considered if the student's department or program provides written consent that the conference in question is worthy of travel support.

How to Apply

In order to receive funds, students must submit documentation both before traveling to the conference and after returning. Please note: before applying for funds students should check the University's Travel Restrictions.

Before The Conference

  1. Before the date of the conference and in advance of the deadline stated below, students must submit the following documents to their department or program:
  2. After reviewing the worthiness of the proposal submitted and the significance of the conference in which the presentation will be delivered, to approve the application the DGS must sign the application and indicate the amount of funds the department or program is willing to provide. (GSAS will match funds provided by the department, up to a maximum of $300.)
  3. The completed form should then be delivered to the Office of Student Affairs in 107 Low Library or emailed to [email protected].

Application Deadlines

  • July 3 — for conferences held May through August
  • November 3 — for conferences held September through December
  • March 3 — for conferences held January through April

Columbia students travelling abroad to attend conferences also must register with International SOS, an emergency services program that helps with unexpected medical or security issues, prior to departure.

After The Conference

Within ten days of concluding travel or receiving the award letter (whichever is later), students should complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the Non-Profiled Payee Travel and Business Expense Worksheet located here. In the "Expense Header" section, under "Report Name" fill in "Matching Travel Reimbursement - Graduate Student".
  2. Include a complete explanation of the business purpose for the trip (for example, "travel to deliver paper at Name of Conference in City from date to date") in the "Detailed Business Purpose" box under “Expense Header”.
  3. Enter expenses in the “Expense Line” header. Each expense should be entered as it is charged on your documentation. For example, if the cost to and from a destination are separate transactions, list them as separate line items for expenses.
  4. Submitting documents electronically is preferred. If submitting manually, all original receipts not on an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper must be taped to one so that the entirety of each receipt is visible. Multiple receipts can be taped to one sheet if possible.
  5. Provide evidence of participation in the conference (e.g., a copy of the program showing the student's name and title of the paper delivered).
  6. Submit the Non-Profiled Payee Travel and Business Expense Worksheet, along with all supporting materials, to your department's ADA or business officer.

For Departments

After receiving the Travel and Business Expense Report from the student, the DAAF or business officer should enter the Non-Profiled Payee Travel and Business Expense Worksheet into Concur using the chartstring indicated in the confirmation email from GSAS Student Affairs.