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Postdoc Trave​​l Awards​ ​

The Postdoctoral Association (PDA) is excited to offer the PDA Travel Award for postdoctoral fellows at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. It is our hope that these awards will allow postdocs to present their original work at national and international conferences or attend workshops for training purposes. In particular, we hope to support postdocs who would otherwise not be able to attend these meetings without these awards. 

Due to increased funding, the PDA is proud to give 7 travel awards per cycle!

UPDATE June 14, 2020:
As all university travel remains suspended, the PDA Travel Awards Committee is currently working on supporting CU Denver | Anschutz Postdoctoral Fellows by providing funds for professional development activities such as virtual conferences, workshops, and online classes. Therefore, the previous application deadline ahs been delayed. In consideration of our new mission in supporting postdoctoral researchers, we have decided to renmae the award to the PDA Professional Development Award (PDA-PDA). We will announce a new application deadline for the PDA-PDA in the coming weeks. 

If you already received a travel award and your conference/travel plans were affected by the current travel restrictions, please contact the Travel Award Chair Maureen Banach ( or the PDA ( to determine the next steps for your travel award funds.

See below for additional details and eligibility rules.

Please read instructions carefully. Applications that do not meet eligibility requirements will be disqualified.

Application Instructions:


A new deadline will be announced in the coming weeks.1

 Award Amounts

The PDA Travel Award is for a maximum of $500 for conferences or workshops outside the Denver Metro Area. Conferences/workshops within the Denver Metro Area are still eligible for PDA Travel Awards but the awarded amount will be less, unless justification is provided for expenses totaling over $500 for the conference.2


1. In order to be eligible, you must:
  • Have received a PhD degree
  • Be a Postdoctoral Fellow (job code: 1438), AND
  • Be employed at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus or the University of Colorado Denver at the time of application AND at the time of collecting the PDA Travel Funds award

2. You have NOT received a PDA Travel Award in the past 2 years.

3. Travel to the conference must have occurred within the date range specified for the current cycle deadline. If you are applying for a conference that takes place outside the date range specified for that cycle, you must provide justification for why you are applying during that cycle.

4. You must make a public presentation or act of service. Your plan for this presentation/service will be scored. Some examples of possible presentations or acts of service include:

  • Presenting your work as a poster or oral presentation at Postdoc Research Day
  • ​Giving a seminar at the Postdoc Seminar Series about things you learned at the conference/workshop that may be useful in the career development of other postdocs
  • Giving a seminar on your work at a departmental seminar series
  • Writing an article about your conference/workshop experience in the PhD Post
  • Organizing or participating in a volunteering or outreach event​

5. Current members of the PDA Travel Awards committee are NOT eligible for Travel Awards.​​

Applications that are incomplete, incorrect, or not meeting the deadline requirements will be administratively disqualified.


 Application Tips and FAQ

Application Tips:

1.    The application website does NOT save your answers as you go, so we recommend that you prepare and save in the provided Application Word Document​​.

2.    If you are co-presenting with another applicant, please submit two separate applications independently and alert the PDA via email.

3.    Your application will be scored for proper grammar and punctuation. To make sure you get maximum points, contact The Writing Center on campus for assistance in editing your application.

4.    Supporting documentation must be submitted as a PDF file. For guidelines on how to save a webpage or email as a PDF, click here. 

5.    Fill out the application carefully and completely. Applications that are incomplete, incorrect, or not meeting the deadline requirements will be administratively disqualified.​

Common Reasons for Disqualification:

  • Applicant has already received a PDA Travel Grant this fiscal year or in the previous fiscal year
  • Failure to include the correct University of Colorado employee ID number as part of the online application
  • The application is written to fund research or scholarly production instead of attendance at a conference or similar scholarly event
  • No plan for presentation or service is provided
  • ​The application is for a conference/workshop starts within 2 months of the deadline, without any justification

Frequently Asked Questions:

​​​Q: I received my Ph.D more than five years ago, can I apply for the PDA Travel Award?
A: Yes. As of January 2016, we no longer have any restriction on the number of years since receiving your PhD. However, you must be classified as a Postdoctoral Fellow (Job Code: 1438).

Q: I want to go to a workshop on professional development. Can I apply for a PDA Travel Award?
A: Yes. As long as the relevance of the conference/workshop to your career development is fully addressed, we are open to support travel to any academic or non-academic conference/workshop. Please note, if you’re not presenting at the workshop, you must give a public presentation on what you learned from the workshop at UC Denver|Anschutz Medical Campus before receiving reimbursement.

Q: May I apply for the PDA Travel Award if I am attending a conference in the Denver Metro Area?
A: Yes, you may still apply, but you may only request funding for registration fees. Applying for reimbursement for food, lodging, parking, etc. is not appropriate.

Q: May I apply for the PDA Travel Award before I submit a conference abstract? I need the Award to attend the conference.
A: Yes, you may still apply for the PDA Travel Award before you apply to the conference/workshop. However, proof of abstract submission or workshop attendence is required before any reimbursement will be processed. 

 Reviewing and Scoring

Once an application has been submitted, it cannot be altered. If you have extenuating circumstances, please contact the PDA as soon as possible.

Reviewers are faculty members from diverse fields of study. Applications should be written so that a faculty member from any discipline can understand the importance of attending the conference/workshop. Each application is reviewed by at least two faculty reviewers who are not familiar with the applicant.

Each application is given a point value. Funding levels are determined by a combination of most points awarded and funds available for the current cycle.

The majority of points are awarded for answers to the questions "Significance to Postdoctoral Training and Field of Study" and "Plan for Public Service and/or Presentation at CU Denver/Anschutz". 
The most competitive answers to these questions clearly explain and justify how the conference/workshop will further professional development. Additional points may also be awarded if the applicant: 

  • Has not previously received a travel award
  • Has already submitted an abstract to the conference/workshop
  • Clearly explains their research in a way that is comprehensible to a wide-range of scientists, not just those in their discipline
  • ​Attempts to obtain funding from other sources (even if this funding is not obtained)
  • Adheres to instructions, including checking responses for proper spelling and grammar

Members of the PDA Travel Award Committee oversee the reviewing process and facilitate communication with applicants and faculty reviewers, but do not review applications. 

Please note that, at this time, the PDA Travel Award Committee members and chairs are strictly required to follow guidelines that they: 

  • will not provide copies of application materials.
  • will not accept late applications
  • will not allow an application to be edited after it is submitted
  • will not participate in the competition for PDA Travel Awards

If you are a faculty member at UC Denver/Anschutz and you would like to contribute to the review process, please contact the PDA at

BREAKDOWN OF SCORING: This is how PDA Travel Award reviewers will assign points to each application.

10 pts: Significance to Postdoctoral Training

5 pts: Public Service/Presentation Plan

5 pts: Impact to CU Anschutz Community

10 pts: Grammar and Organization

Objective points given with a complete application:

1 pt: for not having ever presented at a national conference

1 pt: if not able to attend without the PDA travel award

1 pt: Proof of having conference/workshop acceptance

1 pt: Proof of having applied for alternative sources of funding elsewhere

Maximum score of 34 points


 Notification of Decision

It takes approximately 4-6 weeks for applications to be reviewed and for funding decisions to be emailed. We thank you in advance for your patience. 

If your PDA Travel Funds application has been funded, you will be notified via your official University email address, and you will be sent detailed, step-by-step instructions in the notification for claiming reimbursement. You will complete your travel, paying for expenses either through the University’s Travel Card or using your own out-of-pocket funds, and then turn in receipts afterwards for reimbursement.​​

 Claiming Reimbursement

Once travel is completed, you will have 30 days after the last date of travel to submit for reimbursement. Use the step-by-step instructions, sent to you in the notification, to create a travel expense report in the University’s Concur system. Once the process has completed with all approvals, your reimbursement is electronically sent to your bank account (the same account where your payroll is distributed each month). Before submitting reimbursement, you must provide proof of abstract acceptance or workshop attendence.​​7

​​Please carefully read all instructions - especially those concerning eligibility - before submitting an application.​ 

Applications that do not meet eligibility requirements will be disqualified.


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