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Postdoc Travel Awards

Postdoc Travel Awards

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is piloting travel funds to support postdocs who wish to:

  • Travel to a conference in their discipline and recruit while attending
  • Share their work or develop networks and knowledge at a conference focused on diversity & inclusion
  • Pay for dependent care while at a conference

These awards recognize the important role of conferences for professional development, networking, and developing independence.

Applicants are encouraged to request matching funds from other sources (e.g. professional organizations, conference organizers, faculty sponsor, department, etc.). In most cases, funding is paid as reimbursement up to the awarded amount. All travel must comply with university travel policy.

Many students, post-doctoral scholars, faculty and staff travel on behalf of Stanford. To be reimbursed for this travel, travelers and travel arrangers must follow university policy; in most cases airfare for university-sponsored travel must be booked through a Stanford Travel booking channel.

These are pilot programs. Please consult with OPA for questions about funding levels and requirements.


  • Postdoctoral scholars appointed through OPA are eligible. Visiting postdocs, instructors, staff scientists, and those with similar designations are not eligible for these funds.
  • The postdoctoral appointment must remain active for at least 2 months after travel to allow adequate time for reimbursement.
  • Scholars are eligible to receive only one award each academic year (Sept-Aug).
  • All travel must be approved by the scholar’s faculty sponsor.

Travel Award Types:

Recruitment Travel (Application Temporarily Closed)

Goal: To enable postdocs to attend additional large disciplinary research conferences and recruit graduate students to postdoctoral training at Stanford.
Mechanism: OPA will award up to $500 for travel to a conference in the postdoctoral scholar’s disciplinary area.
Focus: Large professional conferences with substantial graduate student attendance.*
Priority: Postdoctoral scholars who have engaged in outreach or other activities on behalf of OPA.
Expectations: Awardee will attend OPA recruiter training; attend conference; talk with graduate students; collect information on interactions; provide flyers or other materials; and provide a brief report to OPA upon return.

*In general, conferences limited to clinical focus, small conferences (e.g. Gordon conferences), and other similarly sized or focused conferences are not eligible for this mechanism. If you are not sure whether your intended conference would be eligible, please consult with OPA before applying.

Recruitment Travel Award: more info and apply here.

Diversity & Inclusion Conferences (Application Temporarily Closed)

Goal: To acknowledge and enhance efforts of postdoctoral scholars who are actively engaged in DEI work by supporting travel to conferences to develop skills, knowledge and networks in the DEI space.
Mechanism: OPA will provide funding for postdocs to attend DEI-focused conferences with the expectation that they will contribute to the conference, and/or recruit if appropriate. Funding for this award is available in two tiers: up to $500 for professional development purposes only, and up to $1000 for combined professional development and focused graduate student recruitment.
Focus: Conferences that support professional development in the DEI space. Recommended conferences include, but are not limited to, NCORE, NADOHE, and DiverseScholar. Other DEI-focused conferences may be considered.
Priority: Scholars who have been actively engaged in DEI work at Stanford.
Expectations: Awardee will provide a brief report on learnings to OPA and/or SURPAS upon return. If also recruiting, awardee will attend OPA recruiter training; talk with graduate students; collect information on interactions; and provide flyers or other materials; and provide a brief recruitment report to OPA upon return.

Diversity & Inclusion Conferences Award: more info and apply here.

Dependent Care for Conferences

Goal: To provide support for postdoctoral scholars with dependents to attend conferences
Mechanism: Up to $500 is awarded as either a reimbursement or an advance stipend grant, depending on allowable expense type(s), examples of which are outlined below:

  • Care at an alternate location (including at home) for after-hours care while you are away
  • Reasonable dependent care expenses over and above the costs, if any, that you would normally incur for care at home, if your dependent must travel with you
  • Duplicate care, i.e., dependent care at a conference or research site if you must continue to pay to preserve dependent care space or coverage here
  • Travel expenses for a caregiver
  • Cost of storing and shipping of breastmilk

Dependent Care for Conferences: more info and apply here.

Recruitment as Service (Application Temporarily Closed)

Goal: To enable postdocs to represent Stanford, network, and recruit at specified conferences, e.g., ABRCMS, SACNAS, AISES.
Mechanism: OPA will reimburse full cost of travel and provide recruitment training.
Focus: Conferences that are geared toward underrepresented minority students and have graduate student attendees.
Priority: Postdocs who have been active in OPA programs or have a track record of service in the postdoc community