Conference and Travel Stipend

Cooke Undergraduate and Graduate Scholars may apply for funding to cover travel and conference fees to develop academic expertise and career readiness.

Due to an overwhelming number of submitted applications for the Cooke Conference and Travel Stipend this year, we have closed the application for the 2023-2024 academic year. The application will reopen in the fall for travel requests during the 2024-2025 academic year.

The Cooke Conference and Travel Stipend provides Scholars with financial support to develop their academic expertise and their professional networks. Scholars are eligible to receive the stipend once during their scholarship program to cover travel expenses and conference registration fees up to $1,800. Undergraduate Scholars may receive a second stipend during their scholarship program in a different academic year for an opportunity that is distinct from their first travel experience.

A strong application will demonstrate:

  • Benefits that can only be gained via travel experience: Does your proposed travel accomplish something that you cannot do at school? Examples include:
    1. Develop skills and knowledge through immersive learning experiences
    2. Access primary source materials or experts not available at your academic institution
    3. Network with other students and professionals in your chosen field of study
    4. Improve public speaking and presenting skills with industry-related audiences
    5. Deepen your understanding of a different culture, heritage, and/or environment
    6. Build language skills through everyday interaction with native speakers
  • Relevance to major/career: We are looking for well thought out applications with travel experiences that align with academic and career goals.
  • An organized, thoughtful plan: Explain what sessions you plan to attend, people you plan to meet, etc. to make the most of the travel experience.
  • A progression in your career development: Show how this experience will advance your career development and build upon prior experience. This is especially important if you are submitting a proposal to receive the stipend for a second time.*
  • A specific, well-researched budget: Research what flights, hotels, and registration fees will cost. Include precise numbers (not price ranges).
  • Complete and accurate information: Make sure your travel dates and budget are accurate and that you have included any web site links requested. Applications with inconsistent or missing information will not be approved.

*Only Undergraduate Scholars can apply to receive the Conference and Travel Stipend a second time.

Applications should be submitted six weeks prior to the travel start date.

 

Only Cooke Undergraduate and Graduate Scholars actively enrolled are eligible for this funding. 

  • Graduate Scholars may receive this stipend once during their scholarship program.
  • Undergraduate Scholars are eligible to receive the stipend twice during their scholarship program, if:
    1. the second experience shows a progression in their career development. (Example: The first experience was to attend a conference and the second experience was to present at a conference.)
    2. the second request is in a different academic year than the first request.

 

The stipend can only support travel to one event from September – May for Scholars who are actively enrolled in school at the time of their application and during the term when they intend to travel. 

 

Scholars must be in good standing with the Foundation to receive this stipend. Any outstanding grade reports, annual reports, or final reports for the Internship Stipend need to be submitted prior to submitting a request for this stipend.

 

Applicants must complete the Cooke Conference and Travel Stipend application which includes the submission of a proposed budget. Allowable expenses to include in your budget:

  • Transportation to/from your destination – Airfare, train, mileage for car travel
  • Ground transportation (Ubers, taxis, subways) while you are at your event
  • Lodging
  • Food (up to $65/day)
  • Registration fees to attend one conference
  • Additional fees for poster printing or other prepared materials for presentations

 

Funding cannot be used for:

  • personal travel unrelated to the Scholar’s career development
  • school trips where a Scholar will earn academic credit
  • travel companions
  • annual membership dues
  • cell phone charges or SIM cards
  • moving or relocating
  • graduate school visits
  • job interviews
  • house sitters or pet sitters
  • clothing or dry cleaning
  • Souvenirs
  • health clubs
  • pay television

 

The stipend can be used for expenses one travel day before and one travel day after the dates of the event. Expenses for any additional travel days will be at the Scholar’s own expense.

 

Funding for international travel is limited and will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Preference will be given to Scholars who are engaging in substantive research and field work, or who are leading presentations. We will not approve requests to attend international conferences or one-day events, unless the Scholar is presenting.

 

Stipends will be paid directly to the Scholar within three weeks after the approval of the application and proposed travel budget. 

 

Recipients are required to submit an Outcomes Report within two weeks of completing the travel. The report should summarize the experience and its impact on the Scholar’s academic and professional development. 

 

Recipients are required to submit receipts for all expenses. 

 

Any unused funds must be returned to the Cooke Foundation. 

Recipients of the stipend are required to submit an Outcomes Report within two weeks of completing their travel. The report should briefly summarize the experience and its impact on the Scholar’s academic and professional development. It also includes an expense report and a place for recipients to upload all of their itemized receipts, which are a required part of the Outcomes Report.

Application Information

The Cooke Conference and Travel Stipend provides Scholars with financial support to develop their academic expertise and their professional networks. Scholars are eligible to receive the stipend once during their scholarship program to cover travel expenses and conference registration fees up to $1,800. Undergraduate Scholars may receive a second stipend during their scholarship program in a different academic year for an opportunity that is distinct from their first travel experience.

A strong application will demonstrate:

  • Benefits that can only be gained via travel experience: Does your proposed travel accomplish something that you cannot do at school? Examples include:
    1. Develop skills and knowledge through immersive learning experiences
    2. Access primary source materials or experts not available at your academic institution
    3. Network with other students and professionals in your chosen field of study
    4. Improve public speaking and presenting skills with industry-related audiences
    5. Deepen your understanding of a different culture, heritage, and/or environment
    6. Build language skills through everyday interaction with native speakers
  • Relevance to major/career: We are looking for well thought out applications with travel experiences that align with academic and career goals.
  • An organized, thoughtful plan: Explain what sessions you plan to attend, people you plan to meet, etc. to make the most of the travel experience.
  • A progression in your career development: Show how this experience will advance your career development and build upon prior experience. This is especially important if you are submitting a proposal to receive the stipend for a second time.*
  • A specific, well-researched budget: Research what flights, hotels, and registration fees will cost. Include precise numbers (not price ranges).
  • Complete and accurate information: Make sure your travel dates and budget are accurate and that you have included any web site links requested. Applications with inconsistent or missing information will not be approved.

*Only Undergraduate Scholars can apply to receive the Conference and Travel Stipend a second time.

Requirements

Applications should be submitted six weeks prior to the travel start date.

 

Only Cooke Undergraduate and Graduate Scholars actively enrolled are eligible for this funding. 

  • Graduate Scholars may receive this stipend once during their scholarship program.
  • Undergraduate Scholars are eligible to receive the stipend twice during their scholarship program, if:
    1. the second experience shows a progression in their career development. (Example: The first experience was to attend a conference and the second experience was to present at a conference.)
    2. the second request is in a different academic year than the first request.

 

The stipend can only support travel to one event from September – May for Scholars who are actively enrolled in school at the time of their application and during the term when they intend to travel. 

 

Scholars must be in good standing with the Foundation to receive this stipend. Any outstanding grade reports, annual reports, or final reports for the Internship Stipend need to be submitted prior to submitting a request for this stipend.

 

Applicants must complete the Cooke Conference and Travel Stipend application which includes the submission of a proposed budget. Allowable expenses to include in your budget:

  • Transportation to/from your destination – Airfare, train, mileage for car travel
  • Ground transportation (Ubers, taxis, subways) while you are at your event
  • Lodging
  • Food (up to $65/day)
  • Registration fees to attend one conference
  • Additional fees for poster printing or other prepared materials for presentations

 

Funding cannot be used for:

  • personal travel unrelated to the Scholar’s career development
  • school trips where a Scholar will earn academic credit
  • travel companions
  • annual membership dues
  • cell phone charges or SIM cards
  • moving or relocating
  • graduate school visits
  • job interviews
  • house sitters or pet sitters
  • clothing or dry cleaning
  • Souvenirs
  • health clubs
  • pay television

 

The stipend can be used for expenses one travel day before and one travel day after the dates of the event. Expenses for any additional travel days will be at the Scholar’s own expense.

 

Funding for international travel is limited and will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Preference will be given to Scholars who are engaging in substantive research and field work, or who are leading presentations. We will not approve requests to attend international conferences or one-day events, unless the Scholar is presenting.

 

Stipends will be paid directly to the Scholar within three weeks after the approval of the application and proposed travel budget. 

 

Recipients are required to submit an Outcomes Report within two weeks of completing the travel. The report should summarize the experience and its impact on the Scholar’s academic and professional development. 

 

Recipients are required to submit receipts for all expenses. 

 

Any unused funds must be returned to the Cooke Foundation. 

Outcomes Report

Recipients of the stipend are required to submit an Outcomes Report within two weeks of completing their travel. The report should briefly summarize the experience and its impact on the Scholar’s academic and professional development. It also includes an expense report and a place for recipients to upload all of their itemized receipts, which are a required part of the Outcomes Report.

FAQs

General

What happens if I spend more than I proposed in my travel budget – over the stipend amount?

The Foundation will not reimburse Scholars for additional expenses over the requested stipend amount.

What happens if I spend less than I proposed in my travel budget and haven’t used the full stipend amount?

If you do not use the full stipend, you will be required to return any unused funds to JKCF.

How do I set up a direct deposit (ACH) to receive my stipend check?

Select the option for direct deposit on the application, and we will send you the Direct Deposit form.

How can I receive my stipend check most quickly?

Please select the option for direct deposit (ACH) to have funds transferred electronically to your bank account.

Can the Foundation pay the conference registration fee directly?

Stipends are paid only to the Scholar. The Foundation cannot pay registration fees directly to the conference provider.

Will the Foundation cover my expenses if I have to extend my stay due to COVID-19 exposure?

The Foundation is mindful of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and wishes to protect everyone’s health as best we can. We encourage Scholars to follow COVID-19 safety protocols as outlined by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of State, and/or state and local public health officials. Please do not travel if you are unwell. The Foundation will not cover expenses related to extended stays due to COVID-19 exposure.

What the Stipend Covers

In addition to the examples stated in the introduction, can the stipend be used for:

  • Short (1-2 week) study abroad programs, either through independent companies or schools, such as over winter or spring break? Yes, if you will not receive academic credit as part of the experience.
  • Independent travel that is not through an educational organization or study abroad program or with the purpose of accessing materials only available at the location? No.
  • Participation in medical/dental shadowing programs? Yes.
  • Short-term work opportunities, such as job shadowing, that are relevant to a Scholar’s educational purpose? Yes, if the experience is clearly relevant to their field of study.
  • Travel to visit prospective graduate schools and/or go for interviews? No.
  • Travel and lodging for job interviews? No.
  • Travel to visit cultural sites or engage in research in or near my hometown? No, it is preferred that you visit a new location.

Is there a limit to how much I can spend on hotel, food, travel, or other expenses?

The Foundation encourages Scholars to propose and submit receipts for reasonable expenses. Taxes, tips, and daily meal costs up to $65 may be included, but personal expenses such as souvenirs, health clubs, pay television in hotels, and meals for others may not be included.

Does the Foundation provide any type of support in planning travel?

No, Scholars are required to book their travel independently.

Can the stipend cover change fees for flight or train changes?

Yes, the stipend can cover fees for reasonable changes to travel plans.

Does the stipend cover passport fees and COVID-19 tests required for travel?

Yes, the stipend can be used for passport and visa fees and required COVID-19 testing.

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