Support for Conference Participation by Graduate Students

(effective for the 2013-14 academic year)

The Department encourages its graduate students to participate in professional political science conferences. This is important to the development of graduate students as professionally engaged political scientists.

Presented below is the Department of Political Science’s policy for providing funding to reimburse graduate students for approved travel expenses from attending an academic conference or the cost of other acceptable research activities. This policy will remain in effect until amended by the Department Chair.(last amended 9/17/13)


  1. The maximum amount available is $250 per student per academic year (August 1st to July 31st). In order to receive reimbursement, the student must follow all University at Buffalo (UB) regulations governing the processing of reimbursements (e.g., booking flights through UB’s travel agency, providing original receipts). Contact Mary O’Brien or Ann McLellan if you have questions about these regulations.
  2.  The total amount of departmental funding is limited so active PhD students will receive priority. MA students must obtain approval in advance and should not assume that reimbursement requests will be approved.
  3. Students are strongly encouraged to seek research funding from other sources (e.g., UB’s Graduate Student Association, various graduate student travel grants sponsored by sections of the American Political Science Association). Students who obtain such funding will receive preference in the allocation of departmental funds.
  4. The Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) will review reimbursement requests. These requests should be submitted to the DGS and Ann.
  5. Requests from former students who recently completed their PhD will only be approved if the graduate is actively seeking an academic position at a college or university in the United States.
  6. Continuing PhD students who are in academic good standing and making expected progress toward degree completion will receive automatic approval for reimbursement of travel expenses to present a paper at an academic conference or for acceptable costs associated with completing the dissertation or publishing their research. The DGS will consult with the Department Chair as necessary to determine whether an atypical research cost is acceptable.
  7. Requests from all other graduate students will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. This evaluation will take into account the student’s future academic and career plans, the feasibility of the proposed research activities, and the value of those activities in furthering the academic reputation of the Department.

Support for conference participation extends only to approved political science meetings. These include the annual meetings of the American Political Science Association, the Midwest Political Science Association, the Northeastern Political Science Association, the Southern Political Science Association, the Southwestern Political Science Association, the Western Political Science Association, the International Studies Association, the annual meeting of the Peace Science Society, and the annual meeting of the New York State Political Science Association. Other political science meetings are also covered, but graduate students should obtain approval of the funding from either the Director of Graduate Studies or the Department Chair prior to attending the meeting.

Graduate students should also be aware that the Graduate Student Association offers funds to assist graduate students in presenting and attending research work at conferences. Information and applications are available at the GSA Conference Funding webpage: