Travel grants provided by the Veterinary Graduate Student Association (VGSA) will be in the form of up to $600 per application, disbursed as a reimbursement upon return of receipts and completion of all requirements. This amount is intended to cover expenses (transportation, lodging, food, etc.) incurred during the attendance of a conference or professional development opportunity. Please keep all receipts for expenses and submit them within two weeks of your return to confirm travel has occurred. Falsifying this information may result in (1) indefinite ineligibility for VGSA monetary awards and (2) notification of fraudulence provided to your department and the Student Honor Court, which may result in expulsion from the University of Florida. Applicants are limited to one VGSA travel grant per academic year.
Travel grant awardees will be required to give a five-minute presentation about their research and conference experience at a VGSA General Body meeting before being reimbursed for travel expenses. The awardee will be responsible for scheduling this presentation with the VGSA officers, and will be expected to be proactive in requesting a time to present. This presentation is a requirement for the award.
As the amount of money the VGSA has available for student travel is limited, we encourage our graduate students to pursue other sources of funding in addition to applying through the VGSA. The UF Graduate Student Council (GSC) and the UF Office of Research and Graduate Programs (RGP) both offer travel funds for graduate students, and most departments within the College of Veterinary Medicine have funds available for graduate student travel. Applicants for the VGSA grant may be required to certify that they are either concurrently applying for a GSC travel grant or have already exhausted this funding source for the academic year.
Similarly, because VGSA travel grant funding is limited, an application may be denied funding, even if it follows all instructions and deadlines provided.
To be eligible for a VGSA travel grant, you must be a graduate student in the UF College of Veterinary Medicine that is currently an active participant in the VGSA. Applications will be prioritized in the following manner:
- Because these grants are intended to support our members and encourage professional development within our organization, active membership in the UF VGSA is mandatory, and priority will be given to those who are actively involved. Participation is measured by attendance at our monthly meetings, as well as at our planned activities and socials. Individual students are responsible for signing-in on the attendance roster at each event to account for their participation. Table I outlines a variety of activities that are put on by VGSA which will count towards your participation.
Table I. Participation rubric.
- Attending meetings (At least 4 General Body Meetings)
- Attending social events (At least 1 Social/Event)
- Volunteering as an officer
- Volunteering as a GSC liaison
- Volunteering to assist with events
- Liking the Facebook page, Collegiate Link page, and joining the Linked in Group
- Update Facebook profile with VGSA-related news or event
- Getting your photo taken for our composite photo
- Conference attendance for the purpose of giving an oral presentation will be of higher priority than presenting a poster, which will in turn be of higher priority than travel for professional development alone.
- Students able to demonstrate a more substantial need for funding (based upon available funding and travel requirements) will receive priority. A description of need should be included in your application under the “Need-based Explanation,” and should highlight any significant financial impediment to your travel (i.e. a lack of advisor-provided travel funding, other external grants applied for/denied/exhausted).
- Students traveling internationally, to farther distances, or to more expensive destinations will be given priority.
Please submit your application at least one month in advance to allow for the processing of your request. Student supervisors may be contacted for confirmation of travel details, so we ask those applying to please advise supervisors of this. Submission of this form certifies that all information provided herein is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge; inaccurate representation is a violation of the honor code.
The application should be submitted electronically to the VGSA email account (firstname.lastname@example.org). Applications will be reviewed by a committee comprised of the current VGSA Treasurer and two other officers. Award decisions will then be submitted for approval to the VGSA faculty advisor and the UF CVM Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies.
Questions regarding applications can be forwarded to the VGSA treasurer: email@example.com