Student Travel Award for Research (STAR)

Student Travel Awards for Research Application and Program Guidelines - Spring 2020

Program Overview

The USD Department of Psychological Sciences is pleased to announce the call for proposals for the Student Travel Awards for Research program (STAR). This program has been made possible through the generous donation to our department given by the late Kevin Cadden and Kim Nelson in support of student research initiatives in the psychological sciences. STAR grants are designed to support student travel to professional conferences to present original research findings. These travel awards are intended to supplement rather than replace other sources of student travel support at USD.


Each applicant must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible to apply for a STAR grant.

  • Formally declared major in Psychology or Behavioral Neuroscience.
  • Provide formal verification (email or document verification) that your proposal/abstract has been accepted for presentation at a professional conference/convention. Students may submit proposals before formal acceptance has been received but verification of acceptance must be provided before awards will be disbursed.
  • Provide verification of submission or acceptance to all sources of available student travel support at USD for which the project is eligible, including Associated Students, Office of Undergraduate Research, Honors Program, McNair Program. If appropriate, faculty sponsors should also apply for Enhanced Faculty Student Interaction (EFSI) funds.
  • Eligible projects must be student-conducted original research, typically under the supervision or mentorship of a faculty mentor from USD or other academic institution (adjunct faculty are also eligible).
  • Although multiple authors can submit for a STAR grant if they wish to share an award, only one submission per project will be accepted for review.
  • Applicants must be in good academic standing (e.g., not on academic probation).

Funding Priorities

STAR grant funding priorities are as follows:

  1. Students presenting at conferences that are professional rather than undergraduate.
  2. Students presenting at international or national conferences versus regional meetings.
  3. First authors versus secondary authors on the research paper.

Proposal Submission Procedures

Please follow the guidelines and information found in the following website link for submitting your proposals.

Student Travel Awards for Research Application

Deadlines and Future Calls

Calls for proposals are made once per semester. Thus, travel should be timed to occur within 6 months of the application date. The deadline for submitting proposals for the Spring 2020 call for a STAR grant is April 24, 2020. The next call for STAR proposals will be in Fall 2020.

Review Procedures

The STAR review committee is composed of four faculty members from the Department of Psychological Sciences. Proposals will be evaluated based on quality of writing, scientific merit, original contribution of the student to the research, quality of the proposed conference, appropriateness of the estimated budget and the funding priorities noted above. Every effort will be made to support as many meritorious proposals as possible within the constraints of the STAR budget for a given call.

Funding Limits

The maximum award for a STAR grant is $500. As noted above, STAR grants are intended as supplementary funding. Thus, students should NOT apply for a STAR grant until they have already applied for travel funding from other sources of travel support at USD for which they are eligible. Students who have received funds or have applications pending from these other sources may apply for a STAR grant but and will be eligible to receive up to $500 total of additional funding from STAR.  Students who either do not receive funding from other sources or are ineligible for funding from these other sources may apply for up to $500 total from the STAR program.

Proposal Integrity

Students are expected to compose their own proposals. It is appropriate, however, for faculty members to provide feedback to the student on their proposals

Distribution of STAR Grants

STAR grant recipients should retain all original, itemized receipts for expenses relating to conference travel such as those described in the travel budget (itemized receipts for meals should also be retained). Students will submit receipts along with a student payment request form . Please refer to this document for information on what kinds of expenses are eligible for reimbursement by USD. Receipts should be submitted within one week of completed travel. No advance funding is available.

Acknowledgement of Funding Support

STAR grant recipients should include acknowledgement of STAR support on their poster or presentation.


The authors of this study acknowledge the support of a Student Travel Award for Research grant from the Department of Psychological Sciences at USD made possible through the contributions of the late Kevin Cadden and Kim Nelson.