Student Travel Grants

Student Travel Grants

The SFPE Foundation proudly announces the official launch of our Student Travel Grant program to support undergraduate and graduate student participation in SFPE and/or SFPE Foundation-affiliated conferences and related in-person events. 

Successful grantees may receive up to $3,000 USD toward travel costs associated with attending a specific SFPE or SFPE Foundation-affiliated conference or event wherever it may be held. For more information and to learn how to apply, please carefully review all details provided below and detailed in the SFPE Foundation’s Student Travel Grant Policy

Purpose

The goal of this program is to provide assistance to undergraduate and graduate students globally who would like to travel to participate in SFPE or SFPE Foundation-affiliated conferences and events wherever they may be held. This program is supported by donations to the SFPE Foundation Student Travel Fund. This fund allows donors to direct their gifts to supporting students in attending SFPE and SFPE Foundation-affiliated conferences and events, as well as the operational costs involved in administering the program. 

The SFPE Foundation's policy is to provide travel grants up to $3,000 USD for students and award winners globally who can demonstrate a need. 

Allowable Costs

Grants are subject to the availability of funds. The amount of grant funding provided to an applicant is determined at the discretion of the SFPE Foundation. Selected recipients are not guaranteed to receive the full amount requested. 

Travel grants may be used for the following:

  • Travel Expenses: Economy class fares for bus, train, and plane tickets are covered by the travel grant. Taxi fares, parking fees, tolls, and mileage costs, if you are driving to the site of the convention/conference, are also acceptable.
  • Accommodations: Hotel, hostel, or other expenses towards lodging incurred during the convention/conference (unless pre-arranged by SFPE Foundation or SFPE staff on behalf of the grant recipient).
  • Mileage: ‎‎Mileage to the conference is reimbursable with a document showing the distance of your trip, should you travel to the conference by car‎. Mileage is reimbursable at the current U.S. IRS standard mileage reimbursement. SFPE Foundation accepts printed directions from sites like Google Maps as documentation. 
  • Meals: The costs of meals (excluding alcohol) incurred during travel. 

Please refer to the Student Travel Grant Policy for a list of examples of expenses that are not allowable.

Eligibility

Applicants must:

  • Be a student enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a post-secondary institution or be a recent graduate of an undergraduate or graduate program (where recent is defined as graduating within the 12 months preceding the date of the conference or event for which funding is requested).
  • Be attending an SFPE or SFPE Foundation-affiliated event, or other event as may be approved by the SFPE Foundation on a case-by-case basis.
  • Register for the conference or event noted in the application; proof of registration may be required.
  • Apply by the deadline noted below. (See Application Timeline.)
  • Complete all required components of the application, including a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form (linked below).
  • Be a member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE). (SFPE membership is free to students.)
  • Have a valid form of identification (e.g., driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued identification acceptable to the SFPE Foundation).

If selected for award, recipients must:

  • Complete a grant acceptance form and any required tax documents requested by SFPE Foundation.
  • Agree to accept or decline the grant within 10 business days of notification of the award.
  • Agree to be named on the SFPE Foundation website and/or in other Foundation-affiliated communications outlets, including providing a picture with usage permission and description of the applicant’s work as it pertains to the SFPE Foundation’s mission.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated by SFPE Foundation staff with oversight and involvement from the SFPE Foundation Awards Committee. In making these awards, the SFPE Foundation will take under consideration a range of factors, including:

  • Whether the applicant is speaking or presenting at the event. (50%)
  • Whether the applicant can demonstrate a need for funding. (30%)
  • Whether the applicant can demonstrate that they would derive particular benefit from attending that specific conference or event. (20%)

In addition to the criteria listed above, the SFPE Foundation will consider a range of other factors when making the final selection, such as: any real or perceived conflicts of interest, the number of applicants, the availability of student travel funds, the proximity of applicants to the event location, and/or any other factors deemed relevant to meeting the goals of the Student Travel Grant program and consistent with the SFPE Foundation’s mission and strategic goals.  

How to Apply

To be considered for the award, applicants must submit their materials through the application portal online. Applicants are expected to complete their own application form. As part of the application form, you will be required to upload your full application as a PDF. 

The following materials are required to be included in your PDF upload:

  1. Cover page (one page) containing:
    1. Name and date of the conference for which you are seeking travel support, e.g., SFPE Annual Conference & Expo on October 6 – 8, 2024. 
    2. Full name, email address, phone number, and mailing address of the applicant. 
    3. The location (city/town, state/province, and country) that you would be traveling from to attend the conference. 
    4. Academic program type (undergraduate, graduate, or recent graduate with graduation date) and university name/affiliation of the applicant.
    5. Full name, email address, job title, and university affiliation of the applicant’s academic supervisor.
    6. Written confirmation that, if selected, you are able to abide by all terms and conditions of the award as outlined in the Student Travel Grant Policy. 
  2. Conference Participation (200 words maximum) (50% of evaluation):
    1. Please describe whether you have already been accepted to speak or present at this event, including the title of your presentation and the presentation format (e.g., poster, breakout session). 
    2. If you have applied to speak at the event but not yet received confirmation of your proposal’s acceptance, please include those details here. 
  3. Travel Budget & Justification (500 words maximum) (30% of evaluation): 
    1. Please describe why you need this funding from the SFPE Foundation in order to attend this conference. This should include an explanation of whether you have tried to get funding from other sources. 
    2. This section must also include a description of any funding you are already receiving (including the name of the source) that may contribute to your ability to attend the conference. 
    3. You should also include a budget that describes in detail how you intend to use the funding requested, including the total amount as well as how it will be allocated according to the allowable costs detailed above (e.g., travel expenses, accommodations, meals, etc.). Where possible, include documentation to support the estimates provided in the budget (e.g., screenshot of a plane ticket, hotel costs, etc.). The budget may be provided in table format followed by a paragraph explaining and justifying the expenses.
  4. Award Impact (300 words maximum) (20% of evaluation):
    1. Explain how receiving this Travel Grant to attend this conference in particular would align with your professional goals and ambitions. 
    2. You may also include any other details in this section that you would like us to take under consideration in review of your application. 

You are also required to upload a completed Conflicts of Interest Disclosure Form. Download the form here, complete it, save as a PDF, and be prepared to upload it in the application form linked above. Your application will not be considered complete without this.

Any questions or issues encountered in utilizing the application portal should be directed via email to Amanda Tarbet, Research Manager, at ATarbet@sfpefoundation.org. No phone calls, please.

Other Terms

Please refer to the Student Travel Grant Policy for additional terms and conditions regarding this award.

Application Timeline

Applications are accepted via our online submission portal and reviewed according to the timeline provided below: 

  • For the SFPE Performance-Based Design Conference or SFPE European Conference (typically held in April in alternating years), applicants should submit by January 1 for priority consideration. Funding decisions are typically expected by the end of January.
  • For the SFPE Annual Conference & Expo (typically held in October), applicants should submit by July 1 for full consideration. Funding decisions are typically expected by the end of July. 

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