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Travel Awards Application Guidelines

Travel Award Guidelines for travel after August 1, 2017.

Update February 2018: Due to budget constraints this year, the Research Council has decided that 30% of its annual RTRF allocation (returned grant overhead funds which are the sole source for Faculty Travel Awards) will be allocated for Travel Awards. After this amount has been spent, the website will be updated to state that applications will be longer accepted for the current academic year. We encourage faculty to apply for Travel Awards as early in the academic year as possible.

Note to Faculty Travel Fund Applicants

Travel Awards are funded using returned overhead from extramural grants (RTRF) at UH Hilo and are dependent on availability of funds. Travel Awards are intended enhance the professional standing of UH Hilo and it's faculty, and to increase the research enterprise at UH Hilo. Funding is awarded to faculty and professional staff for travel to meetings to present results of research, scholarly activities, and creative efforts.

Due to limited RTRF funds, the Research Council Travel Awards only support travel to meetings sponsored by well recognized professional societies or professional institutions. Funding will not be provided for travel to conferences sponsored by for profit organizations or other organizations deemed suspect by the Travel Committee. It is very important in section VII of the application you carefully document the credentials and importance of the professional society sponsoring the meeting. Any exceptions to this policy will require a justification signed by your Department Chair and Dean for review by the Travel Committee.

Important Changes beginning August 2017

International travel will be supported for important professional meetings. International travel must be accompanied by a letter from your Department Chair or Dean that establishes the credentials of the organizing society and certifies the significance of the meeting.

Travel awards are limited to one award every fiscal year (July to June) for untenured faculty during their first 4 years. Generally, untenured faculty will not be eligible for an award during their tenure application year if they had an award during the prior year. Tenured faculty, instructors under contract, and specialists are eligible for one award in a two year period.

Please read the Guidelines carefully for the Application. Adherence to these guidelines determines whether an applicant is eligible to apply, not whether the funds will be granted. Applications are reviewed by a faculty committee selected from the membership of the UH Hilo Research Council. Applications that do not meet the guidelines or are incomplete or not correctly filled out will be rejected.

Faculty travel funds are limited and not all eligible requests can be funded. The selection process is very competitive. The review committee may also elect to partially fund an application.

Department chairs and deans have the final say over approval of travel awards. An email should be sent to Dawn Namahoe at if the travel request is not approved.

Appeals of denied applications will not be considered.

The criteria used to evaluate Travel Awards are:

  1. Travel awards will be made only for presentations that report on original new research or scholarly activity that contains a substantial amount of new data or documented work.  Travel awards generally will not be granted for the purpose of presenting review papers, presenting work that is in the proposal stage, or participation in roundtables, discussion groups or other panels.  In general, presentations about academic programs, teaching or teaching pedagogy are not supported by Research Council Travel Awards. RTRF funds can only be used to support research and scholarly activities. The exceptions to this are for presentations by applicants whose primary field of research is teaching pedagogy (documented by journal publications, books, grants etc.) and/or studies directly supported by extramural grants.
  2. Primary contribution to the work. Applicants generally need to be the primary contributor to the research/scholarly activity. Generally this means the first or second author on papers, though exceptions may be considered if adequate documentation is provided. For example, a lower authorship position is fine if your students are the primary authors on a research project that you supervised.
  3. The quality and significance or importance of the presentation both to you and the scholarly community. For example, what contribution does this make to the knowledge base in a field and how does it advance or change thought about a subject? It is incumbent on the applicant to make this clear to the reviewers in section VI.
  4. The importance of the conference. The meeting venue greatly influences the impact of the work and the stature of our institution. A priori, meetings of the national/international association or society in the applicant's discipline are considered to be the most significant. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide a honest assessment of the importance of the meeting in their field and to clearly document this in section VII.
  5. The standing of the professional society sponsoring the meeting. In general, meetings sponsored by local societies are appropriate for travel within Hawaii. National travel should be to meetings sponsored by nationally important professional societies within your field, and international travel should be restricted to meetings sponsored by highly regarded international professional societies. It is incumbent on the applicant to document the standing of the sponsoring organization in section VII. International meetings will now require a letter from your Department Chair or Dean that certifies the importance of the meeting. This must be a detailed letter establishing the significance of the meeting. Exceptions to this policy may be considered if the application is accompanied by a well written justification signed by your Department Chair and Dean.
  6. Applicant's record of extramural funding during the previous five years. Travel fund support comes from the return of indirect overhead funds generated by extramural grants. Applicants that have applied for and/or been awarded extramural funding during the prior 5 years may be given preference.
  7. Applicant's record of professional productivity as evidenced by the refereed publications and other equivalent scholarly activity during the past five years.
  8. Establish connections with other researchers and grant agencies. The opportunity to network with other researchers in your field and potentially establish collaborations. Ability to showcase your research to representatives of funding agencies and to discuss potential grant opportunities with representatives of grant agencies. These criteria should be documented in section VIII.

  9. Application provides the necessary documentation for human, animal, or hazardous materials research. Please include a copy of the IRB/IACUC/IBC protocol letter or exemption letter with your application.

    1. The clarity of the application. The Research Council will not fund applications that do not provide well-written documentation that clearly addresses the points listed in the guidelines. Be sure to draft your explanation using language and terms understandable to faculty in unrelated fields.
    2. Handwritten applications, improperly filled out applications, applications with disorganized attachments will be rejected. Make sure to place required information only into the application. Do not attach additional separate documents such as a CV that were not requested. Only supply the requested abstract and acceptance letter. Each of these should be 1 page and sent in pdf format. Submissions without all of the requested information will be returned.

The general guidelines for eligibility are:

  1. Awards are made only to full-time faculty/staff members for presentation of papers or other scholarly works. Presentations or participation in workshops and field trips accompanying a meeting cannot be funded. When papers are co-authored, support will be available only for one author. Funding will not be provided to attend a meeting solely to chair a session or to be a member of panel without a defined presentation.
  2. Travel awards are limited to one award every fiscal year (July to June) for untenured faculty during their first 4 years. Generally,untenured faculty will not be eligible for a Travel Award if they have had an award during the previous year. Tenured faculty, instructors under contract, and specialists are eligible for one award in a two-year period. Tenure begins as soon as the tenure award letter is issued. Faculty that received an award during their last year prior to tenure will no longer be eligible for a travel award during the first year of tenure.
  3. Faculty/staff members on leave without pay are ineligible as they are considered to be separated from the financial responsibility of the University.
  4. Faculty/staff members on sabbatical leave or on detached service, but still on the University payroll, are eligible. Travel is only supported from the place of the sabbatical to the place of the professional meeting and not meant to provide transportation from Hawaii to the place where the sabbatical leave will be spent. There should be a clear understanding that the sabbatical plan discloses the travel and that it is thereby approved.
  5. Visiting / temporary faculty and students are ineligible.

Travel awards are limited to round-trip economy air transportation based on the minimum rates available and the conference fee, plus ground transportation and per diem; the total award must not exceed $2200. Receipts are required for charges other than per diem. Also, the UH Hilo Research Council does not pay per diem for air travel time.

Applications should be submitted to the UH Hilo Research Council via Dawn Namahoe, at the UH Hilo Research Office (PB-14-6), two to three months before anticipated travel. Applications submitted less than 8 weeks before anticipated departure will not normally be accepted.