Conference Grant


The GSC Conference Grant is designed to support conference-related expenses of MIT graduate students in all Schools throughout the Institute. Specifically, this fund is allocated to conference expenses (including registration, travel and lodging) that are not currently funded by the student’s advisor or other MIT-related funding. To be eligible for the GSC Conference Grant, the student must present original research or serve as a panelist at a conference. For other purposes, students may apply for the GSC Professional Development Exploration Grant.


The Conference Grant is provided for virtual, domestic or international conference-related expenses for the following purposes:

A recommendation letter is mandatory for the application. It should be submitted by a staff member (and ideally a faculty) from MIT or other universities/institutes. By submitting the Conference Grant application, you are waiving your right to view the recommendation letter.

If you are a recipient of a Conference Grant, you will receive an email asking you to sign the conference grant contract, together with reimbursement instructions. Advances will not be granted. Food expenses during the conference period are reimbursable up to $30 per day for in-person conferences only if meals are not included as part of the conference package. Original receipts and a copy of the conference proceeding must be submitted. If you are unsure if certain expenses can be reimbursed, please contact the conference grant team at in advance.

Proposals are reviewed on the basis of the following criteria:

Cycle Deadlines

Conference grant proposals are evaluated in four cycles each year. Application will begin when announced in GSC Anno. Please apply to the correct cycle according to the dates of intended conference attendance.

Grant Period

Application Deadline


Conference Period Covered


May 15

May 31

July 1 – September 30


August 15

August 31

October 1 – December 31


November 15

November 30

January 1 – March 31


February 15

February 28/29

April 1 – June 30

The deadline for the recommendation letter is same as the application deadline. The deadline for submitting reimbursement request is 30 days after your conference. However, the reimbursement deadline for Spring cycle is June 15 due to fiscal year closing, unless prior arrangement has been made with the Conference Grant team.

If the application deadline for the conference you intended to attend has passed, you may be able to apply off-cycle depending on the availability of funds. If you are applying off-cycle, it is your responsibility to email so that your application is moved to the appropriate cycle.

Common Questions

How are the conference grant applications evaluated?

Proposals are evaluated by several graders, who were themselves previous conference grant recipients, on the basis of the following criteria:

The allocation is based on funding availability in the priority off high-to-low score. Many applications are partially funded, or not funded.

How will I know when my application is complete?

You will receive a confirmation email informing you when your reference letter writer has submitted their recommendation. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure their recommender submits their letter by the application deadline.

Will I receive the full amount of financial support I requested?

The conference grant award depends on the number and score of each application during each cycle. Many applications receive only partial or no support.

Do submitted conference grant applications receive feedback?

The conference grant receives many more applications than can be awarded, and due to the size and volume of applications, we are unable to comment on individual applications.

My conference dates fall outside of the current application cycle. Can I still apply?

Maybe. You may be apply for conference not covered by the current cycle, depending on the availability of funds. If you are applying off-cycle, it is your responsibility to email to ensure that your application is sorted correctly. Note that applications cannot be accepted across fiscal years (July - next June). For example, you cannot apply for a June conference in July.

How many times can I apply for a conference grant?

Graduate students may apply for a conference grant during multiple application cycles but can only receive one conference grant per fiscal year (July 1st – June 30th).

Can I use my grant for multiple conferences?

No. Conference grant funds one conference per student per fiscal year. The grant is awarded for a specific conference and cannot be rolled over.

Can I use a GSC conference grant to present work done with external collaborators?

Yes, MIT graduate students may apply for a conference grant to present work done with external collaborators. Preference is given to work done while the student is enrolled at MIT.

My reference letter writer is not available to write a recommendation until after the application deadline. Can I receive an extension?

If you contact the Conference Grant Chair ( in advance, we may be able to provide a grace period of 1-2 days for reference writers to submit their letters.

Does my recommendation letter writer have to be from MIT?

No, the recommendation letter can come from an external collaborator. However, it should come from a staff member (or ideally a faculty).

What happens if I receive an external travel allowance after I receive the GSC conference grant?

If you receive an external conference allowance after receiving a conference grant, you must inform the Conference Grant Team ( If total amount of support does not exceed conference-related costs, you may still use the GSC conference grant.

Can I still apply for a conference grant if my graduation date is before the conference date?

No, you must be a student enrolled at MIT in order to receive reimbursement.

What happens if I am awarded a conference grant?

You will be asked to sign a conference grant acceptance contract, which stipulates that awardees will grade future conference grant applications, report additional sources of funding acquired since the GSC conference grant application was submitted, report any changes to the conference (especially date changes), submit a brief post-conference report, and submit receipts pertaining to conference attendance by the reimbursement deadline.

My conference is cancelled, can I use my grant for a different conference?

No. You will need to submit a new application.

Other questions about the conference grant?

Email the Conference Grant Chair,

Apply now!