Fellowships and Awards – Microbiology Graduate Student Travel Fellowship

Microbiology Graduate Student Travel Fellowship

Application Instructions  2021

Description: The Microbiology Graduate Student Travel Fellowship was established by Dr. Maura Emerson in memory of Professor Charles to benefit MBS Graduate Students studying microbiology. It is intended to support travel that will benefit the education, research and career development of MS and PhD students. Awards of up to $1000 will be given for the 2021. Award criteria include 1) abstract quality (writing and quality of science), 2) seniority, 3) grade-point average and 4) previous receipt of the award.

  1. Submission

Applications must be submitted by e-mail by 5:00 p.m. on  August 27, 2021.  Also reimbursement applications for travel expenses incurred must be submitted with original receipts 

The application template is posted on the MBS Fellowships and Awards website: (http://umaine.edu/biomed/travel-fellowship-application-template/).

       2.   Eligibility

Any UMaine graduate student studying Microbiology in the Molecular & Biomedical Sciences Department at the University of Maine in good standing may submit an application. Eligible expenses are only those incurred in attendance of a conference.

            3. Funding Period

Grant applications will be considered for incurred or planned expenses for 2021-2022.

           4. Graduate Student Status

You must be studying Microbiology in the MBS department and enrolled in a graduate-level course for the semester you apply and the semester you plan to use the MBS funds.

          5.  Award amount

These awards are for amounts up to $1000.

  1. Application Instructions Overview

Deductions to your grant score are strictly applied for failure to follow instructions. Read directions carefully before submitting your application. Also recommended is to review the instructions and grading sheets given to grant readers. You are encouraged to seek advice and assistance from your advisor, graduate students in your department who received travel grants in the past, the Writing Center in Neville Hall, or Prof. Robert Wheeler (robert.wheeler@umit.maine.edu).

Draft and review your application before submitting it at: (http://www2.umaine.edu/gsg/?page_id=35).

Submit the following data:

  • Biographical information.
  • E-mail a single PDF that includes your abstract, budget, and budget explanation. Your PDF contains the only information reviewed by grant readers. Sample grant applications for a the slightly longer GSG grant are posted on the GSG Grants’ website at http://www2.umaine.edu/gsg/?page_id=35.

Follow these directions for your PDF exactly or there will be deductions to your score:

  • File name: “2021l_###” where ##### are your initials. This should be in the same font as the rest.
  • Submit a single PDF that includes your abstract, budget, and budget explanation
  • Include the appropriate header on ALL pages with the 2021, g and your first and last name.
  • Write in your own words. (Write for a general audience and do not copy other students’ grants, except the budgets may be similar if you are traveling together.).
  • Double spaced (except for the budget sheet, which should be a spreadsheet)
  • Use 12-point, Times New Roman font
  • One-inch margins on each side
  • Include an Abstract (maximum one page)
  • Include an itemized Budget Sheet (maximum one page)
  • Include a Budget Explanation (maximum one page)
  • Maximum three pages in total, each with a header and an appropriate section title

Further Information

If you are requesting reimbursement:

  • Send the original receipts and expense report to Mrs. Tammy Randall (tammy.gosselin@maine.edu) and Prof. Robert Gundersen (gundersn@maine.edu) 

Abstract: (one-page maximum, <500 words)

Grant readers are from a wide range of disciplines, so write to an educated general audience.

All abstracts should include a description of your research or area of concentration and its significance to your field. Be explicit; grant readers will not assume anything about your work or its importance. Their focus will depend on the category of the grant, so follow all relevant instructions.

  • Travel to Present: Describe the conference/meeting where you are presenting. Explain the importance of attending to your degree program, future career, and the University of Maine.
  • Degree-Related: Travel to workshops/seminars directly related to your ongoing research and professional development, but not to present, are included in this category. Explain how this travel will benefit your graduate education and/or research AND how it will help further the goals of the University of Maine.

Itemized Budget Deductions are strictly applied for failure to follow instructions. Your budget spreadsheet should be clear and easy to read. A sample budget is available on the GSG Grants’ website at (http://www2.umaine.edu/gsg/?page_id=35). Your total expenses may exceed the amount you can request from MBS, but you should include all expenses on the budget sheet.

Record the amount requested from MBS in the Amounts Requested column. Cite all sources for expenses, including mileage used to calculate road transportation costs (e.g., Google, MapQuest, etc.). MBS reserves the right to verify all costs. ***Please do not apply for mileage when renting a car, this is covered in the cost of rental.

Adhere to the University’s expense limitations, and do not request more than allowed:

  • Meals: $46 per diem rate. Multiple price quotes are not required. For partial days use $9.20 for breakfast (20%), $11.50 for lunch (25%), and $25.30 for dinner (55%) as per http://www.umaine.edu/obbs/OBBSTravel.htm.
  • Mileage: $0.44 per mile. Multiple price quotes are not required. Handicap-Equipped Vehicle Mileage Rate: $0.54 per mile.
  • Budget Explanation: (one-page maximum) Explain clearly and succinctly why each item on your itemized budget sheet is the best option within the context of your application. Provide grant readers with a clear understanding of how you will use any funds by presenting a detailed explanation for each item in your budget.

Reviewing and Scoring

Grant readers span all disciplines. Therefore, it’s best to write to an educated audience who may not be familiar with the jargon from your field of study. Grants are reviewed by faculty within the Molecular & Biomedical Sciences Department. Readers will read for abstract clarity, budget explanation, formatting, and professional benefits. Review the Grant Readers instructions and score sheet to get an idea.

Awards & Notification

Notices of awards will be sent via email within one week of the grant-reading sessions. Applicants awarded funds may pick up their checks at the front desk of the MBS Department shortly thereafter.

Unclaimed checks at the end of the 2019 will be deposited back into MBS accounts.


If you are awarded grant funding, note the following obligations and requirements:

  • Proof of presentation is required for travel-to-present. Proof of presentation can be a listing on a website or a copy of the page from the book of conference abstracts. A printed copy of your proof of presentation, along with your receipts, should be submitted after you receive notification that you were awarded funding.
  • Funds can only be used for the items specifically approved in the application budget. Occasionally small adjustments may be required, and considerations will be made on a case-by-case basis. Be sure to include the semester, funding category, and your ID# on all correspondence to facilitate a response.
  • The MBS department encourages grant applicants to seek simultaneous funding from a variety of sources. You are expected to return unused grant funds when other funding is received for the same expenses or when planned expenditures cost less than budgeted. To return unused funding, send a check payable to the “Molecular & Biomedical Sciences Department” with a letter of explanation to:

Prof. Wheeler via email (robert.wheeler@umit.maine.edu) and contact with any questions.

The University of Maine Molecular & Biomedical Sciences Department will not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, or veteran status.