Andrew SzeriDear Graduate Students,

For many graduate students, traveling to conduct research is among the most rewarding aspects of their studies. But it can be anxiety-producing to fund the costs of travel.

Fortunately, our campus is always seeking to stretch dollars to ease our students’ financial burdens. Toward this goal, clever staff have founded a new program that redirects mileage points (earned from university-sponsored flights) to support travel for degree-related research activities.

Here’s the scoop: Each year Graduate Division will receive vouchers (quantities will vary) for round-trip airfare on United Airlines and Star Alliance partners. Graduate students may apply for assistance in defraying the cost of domestic or international traveling to conduct research. Our goal is to award all eligible applicants; however, if applications exceed vouchers, recipients will be selected via lottery.

Recipients will work directly with a designated travel agent to make their arrangements. Graduate Division will pay an additional $50 toward taxes and surcharges which are not covered by the voucher. Applicants must complete a short application form (PDF) and submit it to Graduate Services: Fellowships, 318 Sproul Hall. This year’s deadline is May 2, 2011. Students will be notified of results no later than May 31, 2011.

One more thing: As I’ve urged before (and as recent calamities in Japan, Chile, and Haiti underscore) always be sure your department knows your itinerary and ways to reach you. And when your travel takes you beyond California, don’t neglect to register — in advance, of course! — for UC’s travel insurance, which covers students for a wide variety of accidents and incidents while away from the campus or primary place of work — including medical care and evacuation, extraction for political and weather related reasons, and more, at no cost to you. Visit the UC TRIPSS website for details.

I hope your semester is going well.

Andrew J. Szeri
Dean of the Graduate Division