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Graduate
Travel Awards

Travel Award Overview

BMMB travel grants of up to $1500 to attend a meeting will be provided to current BMMB students twice during their tenure at Penn State. The amount is subject to change and all awards are based on the availability of departmental funds.

This award must be used prior to fall semester of the student’s third year. The student is not required to present a poster or talk as this initial award is intended to provide the student with broad exposure to the science and scientists pertinent to the student’s area of research. The student is required to be accompanied to the meeting by a senior researcher, preferably the student’s mentor. Alternatively, one BMMB faculty member can escort a minimum of four students to a meeting and both the faculty and each student will be eligible for travel awards of up to $1500.

This award must be used prior to graduation (Graduate School Date). Students must be attending a meeting where they are giving a talk or presenting a poster on which they are the first author.

To apply for funding, students must provide the Director of Graduate Affairs with the following:

  • An email from the student in which they provide the exact title, dates and location for the meeting they want to attend. In that email, they should provide the below spreadsheet outlining the estimated expenditures for attending the meeting (transportation, registration, lodging, meals). For Travel Award 1, students should also indicate who will be escorting them to the meeting.

  • An email from their adviser indicating support for the student’s attendance at the meeting.

  • For Travel award 2, a copy of some documentation from the organizers of the meeting that indicate acceptance of their first-author talk or poster.

After the Director of Graduate Affairs reviews the submitted materials and the listing of prior travel awards to confirm that all award criteria have been met, they send a letter authorizing the expenditure of funds to the BMB Business Office manager. The letter specifies the meeting for which travel funds have been approved, the maximum dollar amount that can be used to defray the student’s travel expenses, and the source of the funds to be used for that reimbursement (see below) when the student files a claim at the BMB Business Office. The letter also contains an informational paragraph about the fund being utilized and the person in whose name it has been established. Copies of the award letter are also sent to the student and the adviser, and a copy is placed in the student’s official graduate program file.

Students are responsible for keeping all required receipts, filling our a travel reimbursement form, and working with the business office staff to complete all paperwork within a month following travel.

Berg Graduate Travel Fund – The purpose of the Paul and Mildred Berg fund is to supplement departmental support for graduate students in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Eberly College of Science, The Pennsylvania State University. Expenditures shall be made to support the travel of graduate students to scientific conferences and meetings. Paul Berg graduated in 1948 with a degree in Biochemistry from Penn State. He earned the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his study of the biochemistry of nucleic acids. Known as the "father of recombinant DNA technology," Berg was the first to splice together DNA from different species and, as a result, helped start a new field - genetic engineering.

Chakravarti Graduate Student Travel Fund – Malabika Chakravarti, a student in the BMMB graduate program, was killed in a tragic car accident on August 31, 2001. Malabika was raised and educated in Calcutta, India, where she completed her B.Sc. in Chemistry and M.Sc. in Biochemistry. In 1996, she entered the BMMB graduate program, joining the laboratory of Dr. Susan M. Abmayr to study embryonic muscle development in the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster. She was a major contributor to the identification of SNS, a protein that is essential for the formation of muscle fibers. She also developed a tissue culture system in which the mechanism of action of SNS could be examined in greater detail. The Malabika Chakravarti Graduate Student Travel Fund has been established in her memory to support the travel of BMMB graduate students to scientific conferences.

Dutcher Memorial Award – The R. Adams Dutcher Memorial Scholarship Fund was established to honor Dr. Dutcher for his leadership in the development of a strong graduate program in the department by conferring recognition on outstanding graduate students in the department by supporting their travel to scientific conferences. Professor Dutcher exerted a tremendous influence on all who studied and worked with him. He was a unique combination of dedicated teacher, scientist, and close personal friend. These travel awards go to BMMB graduate students who have completed a minimum of one year of graduate studies in the department. The awards are based on the student's promise of a productive graduate career as evidenced by research accomplishment, scholarship and professional attitude.

BMMB Graduate Program Travel Fund - These funds are supplied by BMMB to support student travel to scientific conferences.