A competition for travel awards for MD undergraduate students is available to assist with expenses related to participation in:
- An official conference or symposium at which the student presents a paper or poster.
- An extracurricular research exchange occurring outside of British Columbia.
See complete eligibility below. Applicants must be a UBC MD undergraduate student at the time of travel and must currently be enrolled in the program. Note that graduating students (Yr 4) are eligible to apply in their graduation year even though the application deadline and award payment date will occur after they have graduated (see FAQ for details).
Please note that MD/PhD Students should not apply for this competition. The MD/PhD Program office oversees a travel award nomination process for MD/PhD students. For more information, contact the Program Office at md.phd [at] ubc.ca.
This competition is run on a reimbursement basis (i.e. travel must have already occurred).
The competition for MD 2022’s is to assist with eligible travel-related expenses from September 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022. Applications now open. Submissions due July 18, 2022.
The competition for MD 2023-25’s is to assist with eligible travel-related expenses from September 1, 2021 – August 31, 2022. Applications will open in August, 2022.
Awards of up to $500 will be granted to help cover the cost of travel, accommodation and conference registration fees. All travel expenses must conform to UBC travel policies. The number of awards available per competition is subject to the availability of funds as well as the number and quality of applications. Priority will be given to applicants who have not been prior recipients of a Faculty of Medicine MD Student Travel Award.
If the number of applicants is such that the total funding requested exceeds the funding available, applications will be evaluated for eligibility and awarded via a lottery system. For suggestions on other potential funding sources see the FAQ below.
- COVID-19: Applicants must have conducted travel in accordance to provincial and federal travel advisories. This includes refraining from traveling during an active advisory to avoid all non-essential travel.
- Applicants must be registered in the UBC MD Undergraduate Program at the time of the conference event and should be in good academic standing. Note that Yr 4 MD students are only eligible attend conference events until June 30th of their graduation year; conferences or research exchanges occurring after June 30th of the graduation year are not eligible for this award.
- Applicants applying for conference registration fee reimbursement must have presented their work at the conference (not just attended) and the presentation must be on research or other scholarly work performed during the applicant's time in the MD Undergraduate Program (i.e. not research undertaken in the student's prior degree programs).
- Applicants applying for research exchange travel must have completed their research exchange outside of British Columbia and the exchange must have lasted a minimum of 4 weeks of full-time work.
- All travel must be for extracurricular research purposes. Travel conducted to participate in electives, FLEX, or other curricular components is not eligible for this award.
- Registration fees to attend a conference/symposium to disseminate research, where the research was previously conducted during curricular time, is eligible as long as the conference/symposium itself is not a curricular activity.
The current competition is for MD 2022 students only. Applications due July 18, 2022.
**Applicants must submit receipts for ALL expenses**
Please read the Submission Instructions prior to starting your application.
- Virtual Conference fees: September 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022
MD 2023-25 Deadline: TBD: Competition will open in August. Virtual Conference fees: September 1, 2021 - August 31, 2022
Q: How can I submit my application?
A: Please submit an online application. Upload the signed Consent Form and receipts onto the online application when prompted.
Q: Can the online application be completed in multiple sittings?
A: Yes, as long as you do not clear your browser's history or cookies.
Q: If I uploaded my signed consent form and receipts (as requested) do I also need to drop off the originals?
A: No. We currently do not require the original receipts. However, please hold onto your original receipts until your award is finalized just in case they are required.
Q: Where else can I find travel funding?
A: We have compiled some tips on our website to help you find additional sources of funding (scroll to the bottom for the travel funding tips). In addition, the MUS usually runs a travel bursary program in March which operates on a reimbursement basis (i.e. for travel that has already occurred). The amounts awarded are usually quite small (limited funds, many applicants), but contact your class president or the MUS VP Academic for more info.
Q: I am graduating this year, can I apply for an award to cover my research travel expenses from Year 4?
A: Yes. Year 4 students can submit an application in June of their graduation year (or when applications for the applicable award cycle open) for travel undertaken up to June 30th of their graduation year. Year 4 students will no longer be enrolled in the MD undergraduate program at the time of payment but are still eligible to apply for an award under these circumstances. As payment may not occur until several months after graduation, applicants should take care to keep their contact information and mailing address up to date in the Student Services Centre (SSC).
Q: What expenses are eligible?
A: Conference registration fees, and abstract submission fees. Applicants can claim transportation expenses such as airfare (as per UBC travel policies extraneous costs such as advanced seat selection or upgrades will not be reimbursed), train fare, ferry fare, taxi fare, transit fare, rental car fees, mileage when using a personal vehicle, and gasoline costs when using a rental car, as well as accommodation expenses (no extraneous costs such as room service). All expenses must be directly related to the research exchange or attendance and presentation at the conference. Expenses for additional activities or personal outings are not eligible. Meal expenses, per diems, vaccinations, Visa fees and poster printing are not eligible for this award. If you have questions about expenses not mentioned above please email med.studentresearch [at] ubc.ca.
Q: I lost one of my receipts, can I submit a copy of my credit card statement instead?
A: No. As per UBC policies itemized receipts must be submitted for each expense (i.e. a receipt that lists each expense and the associated cost and taxes). If you have lost one of your receipts you can submit a signed missing receipt form in lieu of the receipt, if possible include other proof of expense with the missing receipt form such as a credit card statement (with unrelated changes and your other personal info blacked out is preferable).
Q: I took a taxi and they just gave me a business-type card with the total cost, is this acceptable as an itemized receipt?
A: Yes. This is an acceptable receipt for taxi fare. For taxi fare only, a printed credit card slip (not a credit card statement, the non-itemized credit card payment slip printed off by the driver) showing the taxi company, date and total cost would also be acceptable.
Q: What constitutes an acceptable "proof of attendance" document for a conference?
A: A copy of the conference program showing your name and presentation title is preferred. You may submit a scan/copy/PDF of the relevant pages from the conference program or include a link to an online version. A picture of your conference name tag or of you at the conference venue does not constitute proof of attendance as, among other deficiencies, it does not confirm your presentation.
Q: How are award funds disbursed?
A: Award funds are disbursed as an award (similarly to a scholarship or summer studentship). The funds will be first applied towards any outstanding tuition fees in the current term. If you have provided direct deposit information within SSC, you will typically receive a direct deposit once all outstanding tuition fees have been paid off. If you have not provided direct deposit information within SSC, please contact your Enrollment Services Advisor.
Q: I have travel expenses from dates prior to this competition because I forgot to submit an application to the last competition, can I submit to this one instead?
A: Please contact med.studentresearch [at] ubc.ca to discuss your situation.
Q: I have exceptional circumstances for travel outside of the travel eligibility period (e.g. approved travel during COVID-19 travel advisories).
A: Please contact med.studentresearch [at] ubc.ca to discuss your situation.
Q: My supervisor is not available to sign my consent form what do I do?
A: Please contact the med.studentresearch [at] ubc.ca to discuss potential alternatives for your specific situation.
Faculty of Medicine, Office of Research
med.studentresearch [at] ubc.ca