Travel, Funding, and Reimbursement Information

Travel Funding

Conference Travel & Expense Information

McNair scholars have access to funding for travel related to presenting their research and are expected to present at one external conference at a minimum. Scholars are strongly encouraged to present their research at additional external conferences that showcase undergraduate research or that are within their discipline. Faculty mentors should provide guidance on upcoming conferences and presentation opportunities within the scholar’s fields of study. Scholars will need the approval and support of their faculty mentor in order to receive funding.

Often departments will also have funding opportunities to assist with the costs of external presentations or conferences. They can be used as an additional resource to support travel. In addition, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship offers the Academic Conference Fund to support student travel to academic conferences.

In order to request funds from McNair, students must be in current good standing within the program, and complete the Dissemination Request Form and student acknowledgement at least 1 month prior to travel. Scholars are responsible for examining the total cost of the trip prior to being approved by the Director (a budget is requested within the form). McNair staff is available to facilitate travel arrangements if needed. If a scholar needs assistance with scheduling travel arrangements, an appointment must be scheduled with the office coordinator. In general, research abstracts must be submitted and accepted by conference organizers before travel may be arranged.

Awards of up to $600.00 will be provided for active program participants invited to present or perform at a conference. Participants must have had their research accepted for a poster or presentation at a professional conference, or whose creative work is accepted for an exhibition or performance at a state, regional, or national competitive, juried event. 

Things to Know Before Travelling:

  • ALL expense receipts must be in your name.
    • Contact us IMMEDIATELY if someone else is paying any portion of your travel expenses. We cannot pay you to pay back someone else.
    • Split lodging costs between roommates so your receipt is in your name.
  • Keep all of your receipts.
    • EXCEPT gas for your personal vehicle and meals. You may receive mileage for personal vehicle and per diem for meals (per diem can be calculated here: Gas receipts are required for rental vehicles.
    • Receipts must clearly show your name, the amount of the charge, and the method of payment in order to be considered a receipt.
  • Please note that check processing can take anywhere from 7 to 10 business days. Consider using direct deposit for Travel and Expense reimbursements. It is separate from the payroll direct deposit and requires completion of a separate form. (You will need to log in to the secure access page [with your network ID & password] for this form.)
    • Travel Direct Deposit forms must be on file at least two weeks prior to your travel in order to receive direct deposit.

 All University policies apply. 

Upon returning: 

After returning, scholars must file an expense claim including all required receipts within 10 days of the end of the conference. Typically, these consist of the following conference related expenses only: registration fee, transportation, food (calculated with per diem), and lodging. To file a travel expense claim for reimbursement, send an email to [email protected] with all required receipts attached. In addition, scholars are required to submit a report on all McNair sponsored travel in the form of an experiential reflection of at least two pages in length, due 1 week after the trip.

Graduate School Visitations

Scholars receive opportunities to travel to various graduate schools throughout the country to examine institutions and departments as possible graduate school destinations. Some of these institutions have structured visitation programs for McNair scholars. Junior and Senior scholars will be granted access to travel funds dependent upon adequate preparation for each visit and completion of program requirements to date. Priority consideration for graduate school visits will be given to seniors. Travel arrangements must be approved by the director prior to the actual visit, and a Conference Activity Form must be completed and turned in within 7 days of travel. Proper documentation of scheduled meetings and appointments with graduate faculty are also required to receive reimbursement. You will be required to demonstrate ample preparation in terms of having communicated with faculty/staff and established an itinerary for visits to potential graduate schools. Copies of such correspondence and a confirmed schedule (including meetings with at least 3 faculty members and at least 1 graduate student) are required prior to approval for travel. All receipts should be turned into the program upon your return.

Scholars will be granted access to travel funds dependent upon adequate preparation for each visit and completion of program requirements to date. Travel arrangements must be approved by the director prior to the actual visit and you must submit a Scholar Travel Form at least 1 month prior to the intended date of travel. Proper documentation of scheduled meetings and appointments with graduate faculty are also required to receive reimbursement. All receipts should be turned into the program office upon your return. Experiential reflections on the outcome or revelations from your travel will be due 1 week after your return and should be at least two-pages in length. 


The student must send via email to [email protected] within two weeks from the last day of the conference the following (ALL FORMS AND REPORTS MUST BE TYPED): 

Activities Summary and Reflection Essay: 

  • Activities Summary: Attach a summary of your activity during the conference. This should include, but not be limited to the sessions, seminars, or exhibits you attended during your time at the conference. Note: a copy of the conference brochure is not sufficient.
  • Reflection Essay: Attach an essay that addresses how this experience has impacted your understanding of your academic discipline and profession. Also, please address how the conference has enhanced your liberal education and how you intend to maximize the experience.


You will need receipts in PDF form in order to complete the T&E reimbursement form. 


T&E Reimbursement Form



To ensure compliance with our grant, funded students will be required to submit online an actual budget summary, an Activities Summary (email your pdf) and a Reflection Essay (email your pdf) within two weeks from the last day of the conference, in addition to reconciling the monies from the grant. There will be no reimbursement to the student until their submitted Report and Reflection has been approved as meeting the requirements. ALL FORMS MUST BE TYPED. 

Students must fill out a Travel & Expense form. Please allow 12-15 business days after report approval for reimbursement checks to arrive.

*Students are expected to adhere to GVSU's Student Code. Failure to meet these requirements may result in loss of funding by the McNair Program. 
*Grand Valley State University complies with the IRS regulations on reimbursements. Please be sure to review the GVSU Travel Policy and Procedures.

Research Supplies & Other Expenses

Each Scholar and Faculty Mentor team is able to allocate a budget for their project. This budget is determined by the research proposal process and varies depending on the needs of the research project. Scholars and their mentors are responsible for monitoring this budget and initiating any reimbursements. Project funds are distributed through departmental transfers or Travel and Expense reimbursement. We process reimbursements and department transfer requests, we do not order supplies. Any and all project expenses should be paid for by the faculty mentor's department whenever possible. GVSU's CONCUR system should allow faculty to make purchases via department P-Cards, etc., so that neither the mentor nor the scholar need to have out-of-pocket expenses. We will then reimburse the faculty mentor's department from the project's budget.

Department Transfer Request Process

Your project may require that a lab order supplies, your department purchase equipment, the faculty mentor have out-of-pocket expenses reimbursed, etc. The awarded faculty's department must request a fund transfer through OnBase to McNair. Have your department coordinator attach copies of processed receipts (i.e. invoices, department purchases, etc.) to the OnBase fund transfer request.  Per GVSU policy, any services performed (editing, page publication, transcription, etc.) MUST be paid directly by a GVSU department via an invoice or purchased using your department p-card. Purchase of services using personal credit cards will not be reimbursed. 

Poster Printing

The McNair Program covers the cost of printing your poster for Summer Scholars Showcase and Student Scholars Day. Further printing costs for outside conference presentations will come from your dissemination funds. Be sure to include the McNair Program Logo on your poster.

Please follow these steps:

  • Contact McNair for approval via email at [email protected]
  • McNair will give your name to the IT Help Desk to cover the cost
  • Bring your poster file to the Atrium Level (bottom floor) of the Mary Idema Pew Library
  • Ask the IT Help Desk employees for assistance with printing your poster on the plotter
  • The plotter is located on the Atrium Level (bottom floor) of the Mary Idema Pew Library and is available anytime the IT Help Desk is staffed (which should be all open hours of the Library)

The McNair office has 2 poster tubes for loan if needed. Please contact the office coordinator to check one out!

Page last modified June 30, 2022