BGSA Travel Award

The Biology Graduate Student Association (BGSA) Travel Award Spring 2023 - Call for Proposals

Depending on their needs, students can opt to apply for a small (up to $500) or large (up to $1000) award. Awarded funds must be used within one year of receiving the travel award.

Award recipients will be notified in early May 2023.

Applications must be submitted to the form by 11:59 PM, 14 April 2023.

Submit your application here

Funding Sources

Funds for this award come from BGSA fundraising events, including annual plant sales, silent auctions, and t-shirt/coffee mug sales.

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants for the BGSA Award must be graduate students in good standing in the Utah State University Department of Biology. Applicants cannot have received the Travel Award within the last year.

Fundable Expenses

Recipients of the BGSA Research Award may use funds to pay for research-related travel, including fieldwork, conferences, workshops, professional development events, or visits to other labs.

Selection Process

The selection committee consists of two Biology graduate students and one faculty member. The committee members will sign agreements to recuse themselves in the case of conflicts of interest and are barred from applying for the award while they are on the committee. Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria.

  1. Statement of future research and/or career goals
  2. Nature of the proposed travel
  3. Relevance of the travel to future goals
  4. The importance or urgency of the travel
  5. Aims to communicate or implement the outcomes of the travel
  6. The financial need of the applicant
  7. The proposed budget

Application Components

  1. Description of your research and career goals and explain how these travel funds will benefit your research and academic, scientific, and/or professional development. (500 words max)
  2. Describe how you will communicate the outcomes of this travel through outreach. Examples include: BGSA outreach events, conference presentations, community presentations, Biology Seminars, informational pamphlets, workshops, graduate student luncheon, etc. (500 words max)
  3. Provide an itemized budget of how travel funds will be used. Include transportation costs, lodging, workshop fees, etc. Include information on the level of your financial need for this award (e.g. how much of your expenses is your advisor able to cover). (1 page max)
  4. List your education, professional experience, publications, and relevant skills (1 page max). Alternatively, you may attach your CV with your name redacted, along with any PIs or identifying information.
  5. Provide a link to an official event website or PDF describing travel if available.

Applications must be submitted in PDF format, with 1-inch margins in 12-point, Times New Roman font. The application file should be titled “Your A# , BGSA Award Application Spring 2023”.
Submit your proposal

*** To maintain applicants’ anonymity during the selection process, do not include your name on any documents. Instead, provide your A-number only. (Use the Find and Replace feature to replace all versions of your name). Remove the name of PI and other identifying information as much as possible. Upon receipt, applications will be randomized prior to being opened. After selections are made, the names of recipients will be matched up to their A-numbers. A rubric is located at the end of this document for your reference that will be used by the committee. Successful applicants will have to email/meet with Mike Long prior to accepting their funds.

Questions about the application process can be sent to Emily Burgess via email at

Good luck, we look forward to hearing from you!

Evaluation Rubric & Award Criteria

Take each score and multiply it by the weight, then total


Criteria 3 2 1 0 Weight for Travel-Related Need Weight for Research-Related Needs

Future research and/or career goals

complete, includes clear, specific description, and support for how they will achieve said goals 

(e.g. indicate research objectives, desire to work for a non-profit to achieve xxx, intention to be an active science communicator by doing xxx, etc.)f 

complete but not clear and/or specific, may or may not include how they will achieve these goals (e.g. “I want to work in academic” or “I want to work in the private sector”)

partially present, just describes current research, does not clearly or specifically state future goals




Nature of Travel

explained in detail, includes purpose, location, and timeline

explains travel but lacks detail and/or does not include one of the following: purpose, location, or timeline

does not include 2 of the following: purpose, location, or timeline

does not include or describe purpose, location or timeline of travel



Relevance of travel to goals

Applicant clearly explains how this travel will benefit their research and/or professional development, connecting it to their future goals (e.g. describes importance of networking at the event for future collaborations, the skills acquired in a workshop & how they will be useful, etc.)

Applicant clearly describes how they will benefit from the travel but does not clearly connect it to their future goals (e.g. indicate skills acquired at a workshop but it is not clear how these are connected to the future goals they described)


Applicant does not clearly describe benefit of travel or relevance to future goals



Importance of travel

The applicant demonstrates the importance and/or urgency of their participation in the travel (e.g. they are presenting at a conference, their research requires the skills or training offered by a workshop, etc) 

The applicant demonstrates the benefits they would receive from the travel and its relevance to their goals but not the importance/urgency of those benefits (e.g. skills that could be used down the line but that are not immediately necessary)


The applicant fails to clearly demonstrate the importance or urgency of their travel 




The applicant provides at least one specific example of how they will communicate the outcomes of their travel and demonstrates a commitment to do so (e.g. specifies a date on or by which it will occur or a partnership they’ve formed to carry it out)

The applicant provides a specific example of how they will communicate the outcome of their travel but does not demonstrate their commitment to do so (e.g. does not include a date, occasion, or partnership)

The applicant indicates the intention to communicate their outcomes but provide no specific examples

The applicant does not indicate an intention to communicate outcomes of their travel




The budget is clear, reasonable, and the applicant provides brief details for the amounts requested. 

The budget is reasonable and clear but lacks justifications. OR

The budget is reasonable but unclear and lacks justification. 

The budget is clear but does not reflect efforts to find the cheapest alternatives (e.g. hotel prices are over $200/night). 

The budget is not clear nor reasonable.




The applicant clearly demonstrated their financial need for receiving the award, and their need is substantial: they would likely not be able to carry out this travel without financial assistance.

The applicant clearly demonstrated their financial need for receiving the award, but their need is not substantial: they would likely be able to carry out this travel with assistance from their faculty advisor.

The applicant mentions their need, but does not articulate it clearly. They state that their need is great and that they would not be able to conduct the travel without this award.

There is no mention of need, or it is clear that they applicant does not have financial need.





Regardless of the application quality, the proposed event would clearly have the potential to help the student professionally.

The proposed travel is clearly outside the scope of what can be considered professional development. (e.g. “ice cream tasting retreat”, “snowboarding trip”, “trip to see grandmother”)




TOTAL (out of 75)