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Funding for attending a conference

  1. Jan 5, 2016 #1
    I have been asked by my supervisor to submit an abstract to a conference with a view to making a poster for the event.

    But, I need a source of funding i.e. travel expenses etc is anyone on here aware on how I would find a source? I am in the UK.

    Thanks for any advice / suggestions.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2016 #2


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    Your supervisor should be able to help you.
    The IoP has a conference fund for students that you could try applying to. However, this will usually only cover part of the cost (unless you are going to a very cheap conference).

    Some universities also has money set aside for students. Again, ask your supervisor.
  4. Jan 5, 2016 #3
    Thanks for the info. My supervisor asked me to look into it. I will start with the university suggestion, thanks again!
  5. Jan 5, 2016 #4
    Mention of students / university confuses me, are you employed or are you a student? If employed, the employer should be paying the expenses. If budgets are tight, they may not pay for your time (you'd attend using "vacation" time while at the conference). Sometimes you can "partner" with a customer, so the presentation is by a "team" (you and the customer) and you convince the customer to pay the expenses.
  6. Jan 5, 2016 #5
    Im a PhD student. I believe I can get some funding from the department but it will not cover all expenses, I need to find an outside agency to provide partial funding.
  7. Jan 5, 2016 #6


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    PhD students in the UK are technically students, not employees (unless they are doing a PhD as part of a regular job).
    That said, the norm is that the supervisor finds the money to cover the costs for conferences (from the project budget), but it is not at all unusual for students to have to apply for some money (from e..g the IoP) in order to go to conferences. The student should -obviously- never have to use their own money to pay for travel or fees.

    Part of the reason for this systems is "cultural". The system in the UK does not really encourage supervisors to send their PhD students to conferences or workshops and there is often no obvious way to pay for their travel expenses, many students will only ever go to one international conference which -in my view- is not really enough.
  8. Jan 5, 2016 #7
    Thanks both for the clarifications! I work in industry and even here it is hard to get funding for conference attendance. Especially when company finances are in a down cycle. When cash flow is very healthy there are fewer problems. Unfortunately, the connection between conferences / networking and bringing in new business isn't always direct enough to satisfy the bean counters.
  9. Jan 5, 2016 #8


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    Depending on the particular conference, you might be able to contact the organizers and see if they have any money to support students attending - although usually that money is reserved for students from under-developed nations. Sometimes, if you agree to volunteer to help out at the conference, they can waive part or all of the fees too. You can also look into ways to cut costs such as sharing accommodations - while this does come with some risk, it can also be a great networking opportunity.

    Unfortunately I don't know much about the UK system, but sometimes grant agencies will also provide travel money, particularly for students.
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