4S administers travel funds to support the participation of graduate students and other low-income scholars in its annual meetings. Three sources of funding are used for this purpose. The first two sources are exclusively available to support graduate student travel. They include the base funding, and a special fund created from proceeds from the 2010 meeting. This “Tokyo Fund” supports Asian, African, and Latin American graduate students who have a paper accepted to present at the 4S meetings. The third source of funding comes from the additional revenue generated from sustaining members and is used to support meeting participation by both students and other low-income scholars.

Awards are available for travel expenses only, not for food or lodging. However, applicants who receive grants will also receive complimentary conference registration. The amount of each award will be determined once all applications have been received. In previous years, individual awards were in the range of $150-400, but can be up to $1000 in some circumstances, subject to the total amount of 4S travel funds available.

Note that the limited funds available do not allow us to award travel grants to all applicants. The funding decision will be based on the following criteria:

  • Quality: Is the abstract of appropriate quality for presentation at 4S?
  • Conference participation beyond paper presentation: Are you organizing a panel or additional meeting, volunteering for additional work, etc.?
  • Relevance: If a graduate student, is the student enrolled in a graduate program? Is 4S the right place for this paper?
  • Completeness: Is the application complete?
  • Availability of alternative funds: Does your home institution provide travel funds, etc.?
  • Prior travel grants received: Did you receive 4S funding in the previous year?
  • Diversity: 4s is committed to inclusion and participation of under-represented groups and seeks each year to provide funding to these students.


Apply Here

To qualify for a travel award, an applicant must be a graduate student or other low-income scholar presenting a paper at the 4S Annual Meeting and a member of 4S.

In cases of co-authorship, no more than one award will be granted for each paper presented.

The application portal closes May 1st. 

Applicants can expect to hear the outcome in June–in time to make the early registration deadline. If announcements run late, we will extend the early registration deadline for applicants upon request.

Travel Restrictions

For graduate students receiving support from the base funding, because funds for these awards are provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation, 4S must comply with U.S. federal rules for reimbursable travel. The awardee is responsible for following the terms specified in NSF document 761, Travel to Foreign Countries. In particular, see Article 13, sections C and D of that document.  By submitting the application form the applicant agrees to abide by these terms. Reimbursement will not be provided unless these terms are followed.

Note that all air travel must occur on a U.S. carrier or in a U.S. airline designated seat on a foreign airline. Original receipts carrying the airline’s designator code and flight number must be provided (if you have an e-ticket, you must get a receipt at the time of check-in). Under certain circumstances, described in the NSF guidelines, travel on a foreign carrier may be allowed. Documentation of the unsuitability of U.S. carrier itineraries is required.

The mileage reimbursement rate for use of a privately owned vehicle is 56.5 cents per mile, per U.S. Internal Revenue Service guidelines. Receipts for gas must be provided!

For more information, please contact Prof. . In the subject line, put “4S Travel Grant Application: [name].”