Information on applying for HQP travel funding

OTN has established a student travel fund to assist HQP with travel in support of their research beyond the annual symposium and field work. Such travel could be to conferences, workshops, and other major meetings, to take training, or to work for short periods with researchers in other labs or the field.

All travel funds granted must bring benefit to both the applicant and OTN; it is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate the benefit to both parties in the application. Applicants who have in the past demonstrated a good knowledge of OTN and an ability to represent OTN effectively through networking and formal presentations will be given preference.

As the OTN Canada travel fund is limited, HQP should not expect to be granted more than one instance of travel assistance and therefore should choose an event carefully in consultation with their supervisor. Although second grants are possible if well justified, preference will be given to those who have not yet received a travel grant.

Applicants should consider all anticipated expenses regardless of the amount being requested from OTN Canada and other sources. Cost saving measures, such as the use of student discounts, public transportation, and shared or private accommodation will strengthen the application. The maximum grant allowed is $1,500. OTN Canada funding should be used as leverage to obtain additional funds from other sources and such efforts should be indicated in the application. Applicants should aim for 25% of their needed funding from other sources.

For conference travel, a description of the event must be included. Preference will be given to those who have been accepted to present orally or by poster. In such case, please include an abstract of the presentation. OTN must be acknowledged in all presentations.

Applications must include a supporting e-mail from the applicant’s supervisor with a PDF of the application attached. In the case of a lab visit, the host supervisor should also provide a short letter of support, indicating not only a willingness to host the applicant but whether or not the visit will be of benefit to the host lab.

Acceptance of travel funds obligates the HQP to complete a post-travel report, detailing the benefits obtained by both the traveller and OTN. This includes a public-level synopsis of the experience to be posted on the OTN web site, including photos and videos if appropriate. An electronic copy of any presentation given (PowerPoint or poster) must be also submitted to OTN Headquarters.

All travel must be compliant with Dalhousie University and OTN travel policies. Per diem rates for meals, automobile transportation, and private accommodation, if claimed, must be according to Dalhousie University rates. Receipts are not required for per diems but are for all other expenses. For air travel boarding passes must be submitted. NSERC policy states “Air travel must be claimed at the lowest rate available, not to exceed full economy fare.”

The evaluating committee will meet on an ad-hoc basis to review applications as they are received. OTN will accept applications until the travel fund is exhausted for the calendar year. As the committee generally requires at least two weeks to evaluate the application, applicants should submit well in advance of the deadline to commit to the travel.

Questions about the application procedure may be directed to Nikki Beauchamp at n.beauchamp@dal.ca. To initiate your application, fill out the application form. The form uses a survey hosted by FluidSurveys.com (Alt). Although it is not necessary to create an account with FluidSurveys, you may wish to save your unfinished form and complete it later. To do so, simply save the page you are working on as a bookmark and return to that page later. You may even go back several pages to change previous answers.

Once you are finished editing the form and have received the ‘completion’ message, save a PDF of the completed form, forward it to your supervisor and host (if relevant), and ask them to forward it to Nikki Beauchamp with letter(s) of endorsement of your application. The HQP Travel Funds Committee (Nikki Beauchamp, Glenn Crossin, Scott Hinch, Sara Iverson, Matt Litvak, and Svein Vagle) will review applications as they are received and respond to applicants promptly.

Once the travel is complete, fill out and submit an expense claim form and a travel report. Expenses will not be reimbursed without the signed expense claim form, original receipts and boarding passes, and complete travel report.