Travel Awards

The GA recognizes that a graduate student’s education requires presenting at conferences and/or seminars, some of which take place in locations outside the Bay Area. Some departments may not provide full financial assistance to students presenting at conferences. Additionally, graduate student parents must often attend conferences and/or seminars while also filling the needs of their family and children. UC Berkeley campus currently does not offer funding support for graduate student parents to curb the additional costs associated with travel for dependents and/or a caregiver to conferences outside of the Bay Area or for childcare at such conferences. As a result, the GA has implemented the Travel Award and Graduate Student Parent Travel Award.

The Travel Award provides funding to graduate students presenting at conferences taking place outside of the San Francisco Bay Area. These conferences must benefit the student’s educational or research endeavors. To be eligible for the Travel Award, the student must be presenting at the conference. The application includes a section to be completed by the student’s Academic Advisor or program advisor, stating their support of the applicant’s attendance at the conference. This requirement can also be fulfilled by having the sponsoring professor email the GA Business Office (businessoffice@ga.berkeley.edu) from a berkeley.edu academic email address. Each Travel Award provides $300.

The Graduate Student Parent Travel Award is a new a grant which provides funding for graduate student parents or legal guardians who, out of necessity, must bring their child(ren)/minor dependant and/or a caregiver for their child(ren) to conferences outside of the San Francisco Bay Area. Funds from this award may be used for travel costs for children or a caregiver or other childcare needed for the student parent to attend a conference. There are no presentation requirements for the graduate student parent associated with this award, but priority will be given to graduate student parents who will be presenting. Additionally, this award does not require Academic Advisor or program advisor approval, to ensure student parents are not unfairly discriminated against. Graduate student parents may be eligible for both the main GA Travel Award and Graduate Student Parent Travel Award for each travel award round for which they are eligible. Each Graduate Student Travel Award provides $300.

The selection process for both travel awards is strictly based on lottery to avoid subjective determinations of which travel grant applications are deemed “better” than others.

Both travel award applications are hosted on CalLink. Log in with your CalNet ID and password and navigate to the “GA Funding” group page to access it and the other forms for GA Funding.

Travel Award and Graduate Student Parent Travel Award Policy

Students may only receive one Travel Award every two academic years, and there are three rounds that are funded: fall, spring, and summer. If an applicant does not receive funding, the applicant may reapply for funding in the following rounds. Note that student parents may apply for both the general Travel Award and the Graduate Student Parent Travel Award. Approved expenses for the Travel Award include:

  •       Conference registration fees.
  •       Food (only for the person traveling, in destination city).
  •       No alcoholic beverages. If alcohol is purchased, you must request the vendor to print separate receipts.
  •       Lodging (in the destination city).
  •       Travel costs (between destination city, airport, conference site/hotel).
  •       Airline tickets (retain your boarding passes, itinerary confirmation, and payment confirmation).
  •       Gas/mileage (must include map showing distance traveled).

Student parents may only receive one Graduate Student Parent Travel Award every two academic years, and there are three rounds that are funded: fall, spring, and summer. If an applicant does not receive funding, the applicant may reapply for funding in the following rounds. Graduate parents may apply for both the general GA Travel Award for themselves, and for the Graduate Student Parent Travel Award. Approved expenses for the Graduate Student Parent Travel Award include:

  •       Travel costs for children or caregiver (between destination city, airport, conference site/hotel).
  •       Childcare costs associated with graduate parents attending a conference.
  •       Food (only for the child or caregiver traveling, in destination city).
  •       Airline tickets for child or caregiver (retain their boarding passes, itinerary confirmation, and payment confirmation).
  •       Costs of renting a car seat/booster seat at the destination.

Travel Award and Graduate Student Parent Travel Award Deadlines

ATTENTION: There is currently a late application open for the Fall 2019 Graduate Student Parent Travel Award. Graduate student parents may apply for this award for conference-related caregiver/dependent travel and/or childcare costs incurred between September 1, 2019 and January 31, 2020. The deadline for this late application is October 24.

Round Deadline Dates Timelines Decision posted to GA Website Receipts Due
Start Date End Date
Fall 2019 August 20, 2019 Sep 1, 2019 Jan 31, 2020 Aug 27, 2019 30 days after travel date
Spring 2020 January 24, 2020 Feb 1, 2020 April 30, 2020 Jan 29, 2020 30 days after travel date
Summer 2020 April 18, 2020 May 1 , 2020 Aug 31, 2020 April 25, 2019 30 days after travel date


For more information, please refer to the Travel Award section of our 2019-2020 Funding Guide.

Funding support for GA Travel Awards is provided as part of the Peet’s Coffee for a Cause Program. A portion of every Peet’s Coffee purchase made at Cal Dining Peet’s locations helps support student programs and initiatives including graduate travel grants, student scholarships, campus sustainability programs, a basic needs skills course, and an on-campus farm and gardening program. Visit the Peet’s partner page to learn more.