Funding to Present at a Conference

The Office for Undergraduate Research (OUR) offers travel awards of up to $500 to UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate students to defray the cost of travel to present results of their research or creative performance at a professional conference in their field. The travel awards are made possible by a generous gift from the McGee Family Undergraduate Research Fund. Travel Awards funds may be used for registration and travel expenses, but not hotel or food expenses.


All currently enrolled undergraduate students who are in good academic standing and who completed their research under the mentorship of a UNC faculty advisor are eligible to apply. The travel must occur while the student is still enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill. The research must be conducted under the advisement of an UNC faculty research advisor. Priority will be given to students who also present their work at the annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research symposium organized by the Office for Undergraduate Research and who have not previously received a travel award. The conference to be attended must be considered a “professional conference” according to OUR’s guidelines for professional conference classification. Due to limited funds, only one student presenter can receive an award for any given conference. Each student presenter can receive a maximum of $500 from the travel award program in each academic year (July 1st through June 30th).

Application Process

Students must submit an online application (click “Apply Now”) which includes a request for a letter of support from the UNC faculty advisor who mentored the student’s research project. Requests for funding must be made prior to the conference date. In the detailed budget provide your best estimate of the cost of your transportation and registration fees. Applications received by the 15th of each month will be reviewed prior to the end of the month. Please note: Applications received in December will be reviewed with the January applicant pool.

Letter of Support

A letter of support from the faculty research advisor who mentored the student’s research project is required. We seek to support scholarship by undergraduates at UNC-Chapel Hill mentored by faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill. We cannot support student conference presentations that are based on research conducted at other universities or with a mentor who is not a UNC faculty member. The student will request the letter of support in the application system which will then email the faculty prompting them to upload the letter into the application portal.

This letter should include: name, location, and date of conference; confirmation that this is a professional conference or meeting; a brief statement confirming the faculty member’s mentorship and supervision of the student’s research; a brief statement about the student and their work; a short assessment of the potential significance of the student being invited to the conference; and whether or not this research is supported by a grant (if so, include the funder’s name).


While financial need is a consideration for selection, it is not the only criterion. We welcome applications that reflect presentations from diverse disciplines as represented in the arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and the professional schools. We also encourage applications from diverse student populations such as first-time and experienced presenters.


OUR can help with the costs of transportation to the conference and registration fees for the professional conference. OUR funds cannot be used to defray hotel or meal expenses. Successful applicants will be reimbursed for up to $500 of their travel and/or meeting registration expenses. ORIGINAL receipts, a conference program, and your completed Travel Award Evaluation form will be required for reimbursement. The travel must be completed and the request for reimbursement must be made while the student is still enrolled. The request for reimbursement must be submitted within 30 days after the conference. Please see our guidelines for acknowledging OUR support for information on formatting acknowledgments.