Student Travel Award Full Instructions

Objective of the Award: The Travel Award provides funds to assist graduate students and postdoctoral fellows working in labs within the UAlbany system traveling to conferences and/or seminars to present a poster or give an oral presentation. The poster or presentation must address research on RNA metabolism and/or RNA binding proteins or use RNA as a tool (siRNA, shRNA, miRNA, RNAi, etc). The award cannot be used to attend courses at other schools, fund research, or general educational travel.
Eligibility: Graduate students and post-docs are eligible to receive a maximum of $600. This amount may be used towards one (1) conference. Applications will not be accepted for conferences attended prior to the award date. Preference will be given to applicants who are graduating and applicants who have not previously attended a scholarly conference or meetings. Only one (1) award will be awarded per fiscal year (July 1- June 30) per awardee.
Faculty Mentor Approval and Commitment: A letter of support from a faculty mentor is required to provide the remainder of the participation costs. (See Application Instruction no. 2 below for additional details.)
Award Parameters: The award for each cycle must be used prior to the next award cycle. For accounting purposes, reimbursement requests for the April 1st cycle must be received in the Accounting Office by July 31st. The RNA Institute should be recognized on the poster and/or during the presentation as a funding source (along with other funding sources), and an Institute decal will be provided to affix to your poster. You may request usage of the Institute logo. As part of the award, please plan to provide the Institute with follow-up content such as pictures of your poster/presentation, pictures of the conference venue or signage, link to your inclusion on the conference website, etc. link to research blog, or video channel to promote your participation and the Travel Award.
Covered Costs: The Travel Award covers only the following items: conference registration fees, transportation to/from the venue, lodging, food, and local/public transportation while attending the conference. Recipients are expected to find the most reasonable and economical lodging and transportation. Where possible and appropriate, please share rooms, partake in the meals provided as part of the conference, and share rental cars and taxis with other attendees. (Examples of non-covered expenses include: proposal submission and optional pre-conference fees, poster printing, mailing expenses, and internet access while traveling.) Do not include non-covered expenses in the application budget.
Travel Arrangements: Air and rail fares must be booked through a university approved travel agency after receiving your award letter. Air, rail and conference registration fees can be paid directly using The RNA Institute account by coordinating with Lisset Drislane after receiving an award letter. Cash advances will not be provided. Expenses for lodging, meals, taxis, etc., are to be paid with your personal funds and will be reimbursed upon completing the Travel Reimbursement form with original receipts. Please access the links to the State Accounting General Travel Procedures and Travel Reimbursement Procedures
Award Notification: Each awardee will an award letter via email once The RNA Institute selects the successful applications. The letter will note the amount awarded as well as instructions about using the award and seeking reimbursement. (The amount is based on the number of applicants and the availability of funds each cycle.)
Reimbursement: Reimbursement forms and original receipts should be submitted to Paul Gumpper (office no. LSRB 2033G). Funds are distributed to the recipient after traveling and the appropriate paperwork with receipts are received and processed by the Accounting Office. We are committed to expediting this process but it typically takes between 2 – 3 weeks before checks arrive. (Checks are mailed by the Accounting Office to the address you provide in your paperwork.)
Application Instructions:
1. The application must be submitted as a single PDF to
2. Each application must include the following:
Applicant Information: name, academic title, expected degree (MS/PhD) and anticipated year of graduation (for graduate students), department, campus address, campus phone number, faculty mentor.
Conference Information: Conference name and/or meeting title, location, date(s), sponsoring organization, itemized budget along with a brief justification of amount requested, type of professional organization (international, national, regional).
Category of Participation (oral presentation or poster), title, abstract (350 words maximum), statement of relevance to RNA science (150 words maximum).
Letter of Support: A signed letter of support from the faculty mentor endorsing your participation and offer to provide the remainder of the participation costs.
3. You will receive an email confirmation that your application was received – usually within 24 hours.

Contact The RNA Institute at with questions about the program and eligibility.

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