Student Resources

Conference & Research Travel Support

All students are encouraged to attend the American Planning Association (APA) national conference, which occurs in March or April of each year. The Student Planning Organization (SPO) subsidizes student travel to the APA meeting and coordinates volunteer opportunities. SPO also facilitates attendance at quarterly Illinois APA meetings and the Illinois APA annual conference each June.

For all other conference travel, the best general source of funding is the Graduate College's Conference Travel Awards for Graduate Students program. Each semester, the Graduate College provides grants of up to $300 for students who will present papers at conferences. The Department submits its top three applicants to the Graduate College, which then makes the final decision. For each application accepted, the Department provides a match of up to $200, depending on available resources. Students must submit their applications to the main office by 17 September 2012 for the fall competition and 18 February 2013 for the spring competition.

Although funds are limited, the Department occasionally considers requests for other conference travel by students who are presenting papers or projects (a student must have a formal place on the conference program). Requests should be endorsed by your academic advisor and submitted to the Department Head. The Department expects that the student's advisor will match or exceed the Department's contribution.

Dissertation Travel Grants

The Graduate College has a Dissertation Travel Grants program to subsidize travel and costs associated with dissertation research (approximately 12 awards of up to $5,000 College-wide per year, depending on funding availability). These awards are not to be used for conference travel. The Department provides limited matching support, resources permittting. The Department is limited to three nominations each semester. Students interested in applying should follow the College application guidelines and submit all materials to the DURP PhD Program Director (Professor Faranak Miraftab). Applications for Spring 2013 awards are due to Professor Miraftab by March 1, 2013 (the Department will submit nominations by March 13, 2012). Spring 2012 travel grant recipients must use their funds by December 31, 2012.

Conference Travel Awards for PhD in Regional Planning

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning will provide Conference Travel Awards, normally not to exceed $200, for PhD students travelling to present at a research conference. Occasionally MUP students who aspire to do a PhD might apply and be considered for this travel award.  Priority however will be given to PhD students.  We expect to give about three to five travel awards each semester.  Please note that the award amount is based on the distance between the University of Illinois Urbana campus and the student's conference destination. The department’s Fall and Spring deadlines will be the same as those for the Graduate College conference Travel Awards listed at .  All applications must be submitted electronically to the departmental staff.

Eligibility Requirements

Following are the requirements for consideration of an application:

  • The student must be registered and in good academic standing during the term the award is received.
    A student is eligible to receive only one Conference Travel Award per academic year.
    A student is eligible to receive only one Conference Travel Award per conference.
    For fall awards, the student travel may have occurred during the previous summer, or occur during this fall, the following spring or the next summer. For spring awards, the student travel may occur that spring, the following summer or the next fall.
    The applicant's adviser must endorse and approve the student's participation in the conference.