Accessing External Examiner & Travel Funding
Updated June 2019
In alignment with its mission to support the education, training, and career development of graduate students, the Office of Graduate Studies will cover up to $1200 for the purpose of conference travel, professional development, and/or external examiner costs for doctoral students. Students may only access these funds once during their graduate career.
Eligibility and Limitations
The student should be in the later years of their doctoral program, have passed their Qualifying Exam, be in good academic/conduct standing, and be on track for defense. Graduate Program Directors may approve requests under $1200. The Graduate Programs Executive Committee must approve all requests that exceed the limits mentioned above. In rare cases, the Executive Committee may consider requests to fund a student’s travel more than once.
Total funds are subject to change based upon availability of financial resources. If there is a change, OGS will notify the Graduate Program Directors and update the policy.
Financial Aid Implications
Pursuant to UM’s policy on Payments to Students (approved June 1, 2017), travel awards for conferences and professional development are considered financial aid and must be reported through the university’s Canelink system. This aid may reduce eligibility on any loans the student may have borrowed, dollar-for-dollar. Students should contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for clarification on how the travel award may impact their individual student finances.
Students should first discuss the possible uses of the travel funds with their mentor and seek the mentor’s approval. After receiving mentor approval, students should submit the Student Travel Request Form to the GPD for their approval.
After receiving mentor and GPD approval, the student should return an electronic copy of the signed form to their Program’s Coordinator/Manager. The Graduate Program Coordinator/Manager will submit a request (via Dynamic Forms) to the Office of Student Financial Assistance to post the travel award to the student’s account.
The student should return an electronic copy of the signed approval form back to their Program’s Coordinator/Manager. Airfare and lodging may be booked using a UM travel card. In these cases, OGS will request a journal entry (not to exceed the above-mentioned limit) to reimburse the departmental/program account that covered the expense.
If the external examiner chooses to pay their own expenses, he/she should turn in receipts to the Graduate Program Coordinator/Manager who can process an ad-hoc reimbursement (not to exceed the above-mentioned amount) through Workday.
In the event of an irreconcilable dispute between the student and the mentor about how to use the funds, the student may request the GPD to render a decision. Students retain the option to make a final appeal to the Executive Committee for Graduate Education if neither the mentor nor the GPD approve their request.