I want to attend a conference – what funding is available to me?
- Student Council: MD & MD/PhD students are eligible to receive a maximum of $900 per year (9/1 – 8/31) to attend conferences. You do not need to be presenting to receive this funding. However, Student Council funding should be a last resort for folks after applying for MSRO funding (if available) and mentor/department funding. This funding comes from the Department of Medical Education so it is only available to MD & MD/PhD students. MD/PhD students are only eligible during their PhD years if the conference is unrelated to their PhD research. Students with Scholarly Year status, but not Extended Scholarly status, are eligible for this funding.
- Medical Student Research Office (MSRO): MD & MD/PhD students who are presenting first-author work are also eligible for up to $500, or 50 percent of eligible expenses, per year. This does not require matching funds from a mentor, only a letter stating they cannot support you. Again, this funding is only available to MD & MD/PhD students. MD/PhD students are only eligible to receive funding for projects begun or completed during their MD years that is unrelated to their PhD.
- Mentors: All students, regardless of their program, should speak with their mentors, advisors, and departments to see if funding is available to help cover conference costs.
Funding will only be considered for conferences or meetings that support students’ growth and professional development. Funding will not support conferences produced or hosted by ConferenceSeries, OMICs, or any other potentially predatory organization. While no longer updated, Beall’s is a list of potentially predatory organizations. If you are concerned about whether a conference is engaging in deceptive and predatory behavior, please check to see if the conference is listed as a legitimate conference on PubsHub and, if not, use the resources from “Think Check Attend” to evaluate the conference. Student Council will do the same for any unfamiliar conferences. Conferences must be in the United States.
Please be aware that all conference funding is subject to final approval by Medical Education and that approval from Student Council does not guarantee receipt of funds. Funding is only guaranteed after receipt of an email from Medical Education asking you to approve your travel request in Sinai Central.
Before Your Conference:
Ok, how do I actually get this funding?
- Apply Early. To maximize your reimbursement, you should apply for MSRO and Student Council as far in advance as possible. While it is still possible to receive funds for requests submitted at least two weeks before the conference, you might receive less funding than if you had applied earlier. This is particularly important for the Student Council funding as only $9,000 can be spent on each conference .
- Before doing anything, email Student Affairs to confirm you are in good academic standing.
- If you are presenting your own research, apply for MSRO funding prior to Student Council funding.
- Fill out the Student Council Application.
- Letter of Support. All requests for funding must be accompanied by a letter from a mentor who is a Mount Sinai faculty member affirming that attending the conference of interest will further the student’s professional development. The letter cannot come from a family member. The faculty member should email firstname.lastname@example.org with their letter of support. This must also be submitted at least two weeks prior to the conference and at least four weeks prior, if applying for advance funding.
This is a large charge – can Medical Education front some of the money?
Yes! It is possible for Medical Education to advance funding for various conference related expenses such as hotel rooms or air travel. However, Medical Education cannot pay directly for items related to conferences other than conference registration fees, if payable by check or wire transfer. This applies to all travel related funding – from Student Council and Medical Student Research Office. If you wish to receive a travel advance, you must reach out at least four weeks in advance to email@example.com and within 24 hours of submitting your travel request.
To receive advance funding, email the following to firstname.lastname@example.org, at least four weeks in advance and within 24 hours of submitting your travel request:
- Travel dates – include airline quotes.
- Estimated expenses – food, ground transportation, misc.
- Travel Itemization Form.
- If you have already made purchases toward your travel expenses – a copy of the credit card statement with expenses circled. Your name and the last four digits of the card should appear on the statement (all information on the statement can be blocked out).
- Items charged to someone else’s credit card (parents or spouse) must be accompanied by a letter of explanation.
How do we submit information about hotels and other large split costs?
If you plan to share a hotel room or other large expense, please note this in the appropriate area in the Student Council Application and include both your individual share of the expense as well as the total expense. Unfortunately, Medical Education cannot process Venmo receipts so you should either ask if the hotel/vendor can officially split the charge between every individual or, if not, one individual must front the entire charge. Please note in the application what you plan to do so your reimbursement can be processed appropriately.
If one individual plans to front the entire charge, they will be approved for more than $900 and the other individuals splitting the cost will have their portion of the total deducted from their approved amount. As these can be large expenses for one individual, please remember that you can also have Medical Education front the funding though you need to apply more than four weeks in advance of the conference.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
After Your Conference:
I had a great time – now what do I need to do?
Regardless of funding source, you must fill out the Travel Itemization Form and submit receipts to firstname.lastname@example.org in Annenberg 13-30 within two weeks of returning from the conference. Importantly, this applies to all receipts, regardless of what funding source is paying for them. It will take about three-four weeks for receipts to be processed. In addition to the reimbursement form, please submit:
- Travel tickets (including boarding passes, if relevant).
- Original receipts for hotel, food, taxi, and registration.
- For items charged to a credit card, submit a copy of the credit card statement with those expenses circled. Your name should appear on the credit card statement (all information on the statement other than name and last 4 digits of card number can be blocked out).
- Items charged to someone else’s credit card (parents or spouse), a letter of explanation must accompany the credit card statement.
Can I just talk to someone?
Yes – email email@example.com with any and all questions. It is always better to address questions before money has been spent than afterwards.
Is it possible to use conference funding for other professional development activities/fees?
Yes — email firstname.lastname@example.org with specific questions/situations.