Travel Funding Information


Funding for student travel is divided into two categories:

  1. Non-Presentation Travel. Funding of up to $200 for an individual (or $500 for a group) to attend educational events where the student is not speaking or presenting research.

  2. Research Presentation Travel. Funding of up to 50% (maximum of $500) to attend events where the student is speaking or presenting research.

UW SMPH Student Travel Policy

The Student Travel Policy applies to all medical students who 1) will miss required learning activities, or 2) plan to request either SMPH funding to present research or MSA funding to participate in professional meetings or conferences. Every effort will be made to approve travel to present research at a conference or for students serving in a leadership role at a conference. Students requesting to attend a conference who DO NOT have a role as a presenter or a leader/delegate are invited to apply for funding but MAY NOT receive approval. All conferences must be sponsored or endorsed by a reputable organization.

Students must request and receive permission from the Associate Dean for Students (or their designee) and their course / clerkship / Integrative Case / Core Day directors to be absent from any part of required learning activities (small groups, labs, etc). Make-up work may be required.

Please consult the “Student Travel” section of the UW SMPH Student Handbook for information in addition to that presented below. Students requesting funding outside of MSA/Student Services may be required to adhere to all University of Wisconsin travel policies.

Rules Regarding MSA-Sponsored Travel

  1. Allowable travel expenses generally include airfare, personal vehicle mileage if driving, food, lodging, conference registration fees, parking, taxis, presentation preparation expenses, and other miscellaneous expenses. It is important that students keep a copy of the conference program, receipt of their registration fee, and airline ticket receipt.

  2. International Travel: Please note that international group or individual travel taken for academic credit or supported by UW-Madison or UW School of Medicine funds is subject to separate approval, additional insurance, and orientation requirements. Students should consult with the Office of Global Health at least two months prior to their anticipated international travel.

Travel Approval Process for Non-Presentation Related Travel

Travel reimbursement is provided on a first-come-first-served basis and is subject to all applicable University of Wisconsin guidelines. MSA reserves the right to deny a reimbursement request if MSA guidelines are not met. If MSA requirements are unfulfilled, there is no limit to the number of times a revised application may be submitted.

Medical students will be awarded travel reimbursement on a per-conference-attended basis. Students who are traveling as an individual and not part of a group (see “Definition of a Group”) may be awarded up to $200 per person per conference. A maximum of $500 will be awarded per group for a single conference (see “Definition of a Group”). The school administration may decide to set lower maximum awards based on availability of funding. No student shall receive MSA reimbursement for travel to more than one conference per academic year (July 1st-June 30th).

Eligibility for Travel Funds

In order to be eligible for travel funds, students must submit three forms to the MSA treasurer/Student Services Office (2130 HSLC). Two forms must be submitted prior to leaving for the conference and one upon returning.

1. Absence Request Form – Four Weeks Prior to Departure

    • Pre-clinical students: to receive MSA funding, you must fill out an Absence Request form (available on OASIS) and submit it to the Student Services Office at least four weeks prior to the conference regardless of whether or not you will be missing a required class or activity. When submitting the form to Student Services, please indicate that you are requesting MSA travel funds and whether or not you are missing required activities.

      1. If the requested travel occurs during a scheduled exam, preclinical students must also obtain the Request to Reschedule an Exam form and submit it to Student Services along with the Travel Pre-Approval form. If approved, students will take the make-up exam on the established rescheduled exam date.

    • Clinical students: you must fill out a Clerkship Absence Request form found on OASIS and submit it to the Student Services Office at least four weeks prior to the conference.

2. Travel Grant Request – Two Weeks Prior to Departure

    • All students seeking MSA travel funds must submit a Travel Grant Request form to the MSA treasurer at least two weeks prior to the conference. The form can be submitted through the MSA website. Students must upload their approved Absence Request Form and submit it with the Travel Funding Request.

    • Once the Travel Funding Request is processed, the MSA treasurer will send students a pre-approval email outlining the next steps.

3. Travel Reimbursement Request – Within One Week After Return

    • All students who received pre-approval from the MSA treasurer must submit a Travel Reimbursement Request to the MSA treasurer within one week of their return from the conference. This form must be submitted through the medical student website. Students must upload electronic copies of their conference schedule, registration receipt, and airfare. Alternatively, students may submit paper copies of these required reimbursement materials. These can be placed in the MSA mailbox in the Student Services Office or handed directly to the MSA treasurer. If placing materials in the MSA mailbox, please send the MSA treasurer an email indicating such. Note that the hard copy reimbursement materials will not be returned.

    • Once all documentation has been submitted and processed, students will be issued a check and notified that they should pick it up in the Student Services Office.

Definition of Group Travel

A group is defined as more than one SMPH student traveling to the same conference, regardless of whether the students have traveled as individuals or together. A group, as defined here, may be awarded up to a maximum of $500 per group per conference. Groups of two will be reimbursed as individuals with each student receiving up to a maximum of $200.

Travel Approval Process for Research Presentation Travel:

  1. Students who wish to request Dean’s office funds for meetings/conferences where they are presenting research must submit an application via the online portal at at least 4 weeks prior to their presentation. Paper applications are not accepted. Students who do not have an account on the site must first establish one and proceed to the Research Presentation Travel Funding Application. To ensure expense reimbursement, students should not make any travel arrangements until reading the information on the site and obtaining funding approval.

How to submit to the application portal

  • Complete the Travel Award Request Form on the application portal, providing details of the conference and estimated expenses

  • Upload approved/signed Year 1 and 2 Request for Absence Form (approved by student services) OR Year 3 and 4 Request for Absence from Clerkship Form (approved by clerkship administrator). Note that these forms require approval 4 weeks in advance of travel. Absence requests are approved or denied based on school absence policies. For research travel funding, you DO NOT need to submit the form if you are not missing any required activities. Links to the forms are on the portal.

    • Note: If the requested travel occurs during a scheduled exam, pre-clinical students must also obtain the Request to Reschedule an Exam form and submit it to Student Services. If approved, students will take the make-up exam on the established rescheduled exam date.

  • Upload abstract of the research to be presented.

  • Upload invitation or email/letter of acceptance from the sponsoring meeting/conference.

Approval within 3 business days

In order to be considered for funds, student research must have been conducted while in medical school under the supervision of a UW-Madison or School of Medicine and Public Health faculty member.

  1. The Dean’s office may reimburse approved applications for up to 50% of travel and conference expenses, not to exceed $500.00. Students are expected to request additional support from their research mentor’s department or grant funds, or self-fund the remainder of their expenses.

  1. Funding will be approved for travel to one meeting per student per academic year, contingent on the availability of funds. Funds will be disbursed after research is presented.

  2. Filing for travel reimbursement upon returning from trip: No later than four (4) weeks after traveling, students are responsible for submitting information and expense receipts to their sponsoring department travel coordinator or (if there is no department funding support) to Linda Karr, 4216 HSLC, 261-1033, Bring all original receipts (except meals as those are included in the per diem rate) for your reimbursement. The e-reimbursement request and receipts will be reviewed for compliance with University travel expense policies and then approved for reimbursement. Checks will be mailed directly to students who are not employed by the UW. Reimbursements to students with current UW employment will be direct deposited to their bank accounts.

Points of Contact

General Questions

Non-Presentation Related Travel

Research Presentation Travel