Academic Conference Fund

Now taking applications for July 1 - September 30 travel.

About ACF Grant Reimbursement Process
Application Process Review Process
Awards ACF FAQs
Eligibility Abstracts from ACF Funded Presentations
Grant Requirements  

About ACF
The Student Senate, the Provost's Office, and the Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence have established a fund to support student travel to academic conferences. The Academic Conference Fund (ACF) is available to all undergraduate students who may be looking for one time funding to present/perform at an academic conference that is related to their major, minor, and/or professional goals.

PLEASE NOTE: Beginning with the July 1, 2014 cycle, graduate students seeking ACF funding now apply through the Graduate Studies office. See their webpage for details.

Presenting an academic project, a creative exhibit, and/or a performance at an academic conference can be a valuable experience which enriches a student’s understanding of a discipline and subsequent professions. ACF is intended to assist students in presenting/performing such projects.

Undergraduate students are able to apply for travel grants that range up to $500 for conference presenters (up to $750 for international travel). The purpose of these grants is to encourage student presentations at academic conferences by offsetting the cost of attendance.

The ACF grants are divided into 4 allotments which are distributed equally over the fiscal year (July-September, October-December, January-March, April-June). Proposals that meet established guidelines and quality will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis each quarter until funds are exhausted for the quarter. Although grants are non-competitive, each application will be reviewed by the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship.

Students who are making oral presentations, poster presentations, exhibiting their work, or performing may apply for a grant up to $500 (up to $750 for international travel). Students are eligible for funding only once per fiscal year. Please note: the ACF grant and the APEF grant is mutually exclusive. A student may only receive one grant per fiscal year.

Questions? See our ACF FAQs

Application Process
Applications will be accepted on a per quarter basis for the July 1-June 30 fiscal year until funds are depleted. Funding awards will be on a first come, first served basis. Applications may be submitted 30 days prior to the beginning of each period and no later than 30 days prior to the end of each period (please see the table below).

The student applicant needs to complete the online application form. Be sure to go through each screen of the application process. There will be space to upload your resume and proof of acceptance to present at the conference. The application system will also ask you to identify a faculty mentor who can provide a recommendation on your behalf. The application system will generate an automatic email to your identified faculty mentor where s/he will login to provide your recommendation.

Applications are due to the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship no later than 30 days before the intended travel.

If travel is between: You should apply:
July 1 - September 30 June 1 - August 31
October 1 - December 31 September 1 - November 30
January 1 - March 31 December 1 - February 28
April 1 - June 30 March 1 - May 31

Apply Online

Awards of up to $500.00 (up to $750.00 for international travel) will be given to those invited to present or perform at a conference/meeting.

It is common practice to acknowledge those who have helped you present your work. Logos for the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship can be found here.

OURS also offers the use of poster tubes for seven days to assist in transporting your poster. They can be checked out in 230 LIB.

Funding eligibility is open to all students who meet the following:

  • Are at least a halftime student of Grand Valley State University at time of travel (6 credits for undergraduates)
  • Have the written support from a faculty member who can attest to the quality for the student’s work or the academic benefit of attending the conference/meeting
  • Are in good financial and judiciary standing with the University
  • Are in good academic standing with the University
  • 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.

Students may be awarded only one conference grant per fiscal year.

Grant Requirements
To ensure each grant follows the purpose stated in this proposal, funded students will be required to submit the typed ACF Conference Report and Reflection to the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship within 10 business days 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 REPORTS AND FORMS MUST BE TYPED.  ACF Conference Report and Reflection examples can be found here.

Students with the reimbursement option must fill out a Travel & Expense form.  Please allow 12-15 business days for reimbursement checks to arrive.

Students who are eligible for the Stored Value Debit Card (SVDC) option must fill out a reconciliation form and print a statement from the National City website.  Students who do not complete the required forms will be required to reimburse the total cost of the grant.

Students are expected to adhere to GVSU's Student Code.  Failure to meet these requirements may result in loss of funding by ACF.

Grant Reimbursement Process
The student must submit to OURS (230 LIB) within 10 business days from the last day of the conference the following (ALL FORMS AND REPORTS MUST BE TYPED):

  1. ACF Report and Reflection Form, Activities Summary, and Reflection Essay - PLEASE NOTE: this is a Word document. You must be using Microsoft Word or MAC Word for compatibility. MAC Pages is not fully supported.
  2. Reimbursement Form:
    • Follow the Travel Form Instructions and the Travel & Expense Guidelines
    • Complete the appropriate Travel and Expense Form found on GVSU's Business and Finance webpage (the FIRST "Excel file to fill out and print" listed on the page) - PLEASE NOTE: this is an Excel document. You must be using Microsoft Excel or MAC Excel for compatibility. Anything else is not fully supported.
    • Review the T&E EXAMPLE for more instructions on how to complete the form

Grand Valley State University complies with the IRS regulations on reimbursements. Please be sure to review the GVSU Travel Policy and Procedures.

Watch the ACF Grant Reimbursement Process instructional video.

Students who may have a hardship in waiting for a reimbursement may contact us at with an explanation of your circumstances.

Review process
Although this is a non-competitive grant, applications will be reviewed by the Director of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship for eligibility, quality, and alignment with the intent of the Academic Conference Fund. Please allow 10 business days for grant application review. See the ACF FAQs Step-By-Step Instructions for a better sense of the entire process.

Page last modified June 18, 2014