PDF Travel Awards

The Postdoctoral Fellows Office (PDFO) offers a quarterly travel award competition for Postdoctoral Fellows currently appointed through UBC Vancouver. These awards are intended to assist UBC-appointed Postdoctoral Fellows with the costs associated with attending conferences to present research performed during their UBC Postdoctoral Fellowship.


All PDF Travel Award Competition applications are adjudicated by a committee at the end of each quarter. Applicants will be notified of the competition results by the last day of the month following the quarterly deadline.

The number of travel awards issued each quarter varies based on the number of applications received and the amount of funding available. A snapshot of past competition results is below:

2023-24 (Quarters 1-3; quarter 4 in progress) 35 13
2022-23 (Quarters 1-4) 40 24
2021-23 (Quarters 1-4) 14 9

Visit the Conference Reports tab below to read conference reports submitted by past travel award recipients.

Maximum Award Value

As of April 11, 2022:

  • Awards of up to $250 CAD are available to postdocs for virtual conferences,
  • Awards of up to $500 CAD are available to postdocs for travel within North America, and
  • Awards of up to $1000 CAD are available to postdocs for international travel outside of North America.
Allowable Costs
  • Transportation costs (eg. airfare, bus, ferry, car, taxi)
  • Conference registration fees
UBC Travel Guidelines

Please consult the UBC Travel Program before booking any UBC-related travel for the most up-to-date and accurate information about UBC requirements and restrictions.


Applications can be submitted up to 3 months in advance of the calendar quarter in which the conference will occur. Please note the following dates for the current year.

Quarter in which CONFERENCE will occur Dates applications are accepted Date by which all applicants will receive competition results
FY 2023/24 Q3 - October 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023 July 1, 2023 to September 30, 2023 October 31, 2023
FY 2023/24 Q4 - January 1, 2024 to March 31, 2024 October 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023 January 31, 2024
FY 2024/25 Q1 - April 1, 2024 to June 30, 2024 January 1, 2024 to March 31, 2024 April 30, 2024
FY 2024/25 Q2 - July 1, 2024 to September 30, 2024 April 1, 2024 to June 30, 2024 July 31, 2024
FY 2024/25 Q3 - October 1, 2024 to December 31, 2024 July 1, 2024 to September 30, 2024 October 31, 2024

Application Procedures

Prior to submitting an application to the PDF Travel Award Competition, be sure to carefully review the eligibility criteria below. As indicated in the Eligibility Summary, Postdoctoral Fellows from the Faculty of Science and from the Faculty of Medicine submit applications directly to their respective faculties and not to the PDFO.

Applications for the PDF Travel Award Competition are submitted online. You will be required to upload several supporting documents and it is not possible to edit your application after submission. This online application should be completed in one sitting.

2023 Q4 PDF Travel Award Application Form


The following supporting documents must be submitted as one continuous PDF file in the following order:

  • A copy of the applicant’s CV (4 page maximum)
  • An outline of the conference
    • This should include the date and location of the conference, as well as a conference agenda if available.
  • Proof of acceptance of conference presentation
    • This should include correspondence from event organizers showing acceptance of presentation, presenter name, date, type of presentation, and title of presentation.

If confirmation of acceptance for conference presentation has not been received before the travel award application date, please submit proof of submission. Should you be selected for a PDF Travel Award, the award will be conditional based on conference acceptance. Proof of conference acceptance must be submitted to the PDFO prior to the conference in order to confirm the award.

Please note that all supporting documents must be uploaded and photographs of supporting documents will not be accepted.

An application is completed through the following tasks:

Part A: Applicant Information

  • Applicant Name 
  • Email Address 
  • PDF Appointment Start Date
  • PDF Appointment End Date
  • Department/Unit
  • Supervisor/PI Name
  • Supervisor/PI Email Address

Part B: Funding Request 

  • Travel Award Amount Requested
  • Conference Name
  • Conference Location (including virtual conferences)
  • If virtual, Conference Platform (Zoom, GoToWebinar, etc.)
  • Conference Date(s)
  • Other Funding Sources
  • Presentation Type
  • Contributing Author(s)
  • Presentation Title
  • Presentation Abstract
  • Benefits of Conference Attendance

Part C: Application Submission

  • Application verification and confirmation
  • Upload of travel award application in one continuous PDF file.

Please note: Submissions must have all of the above-listed supporting documents attached as ONE PDF document, labelled "Lastname, Firstname – Travel Award Application" (eg. "Doe, John - Travel Award Application"). Photographs of applications or of any application components will not be accepted. 

If your application is successfully submitted through Qualtrics, you should receive an automated email confirmation shortly after submission.

Eligibility Requirements

The PDF Travel Award Competition is open to all Faculties and Units from UBC Vancouver with the exception of all departments/units contained within the Faculties of Science and Medicine. These faculties adjudicate the PDF Travel Award directly:

Postdocs from UBC Okanagan should refer to the College of Graduate Studies for information about funding that may be available for UBCO postdocs.


In order to qualify for a PDF Travel Award, the following criteria must be met:

  • The applicant must be accepted to present an oral presentation or poster at a conference and must be the first author of the accepted abstract
  • No previous UBC PDF Travel Awards have been received by the applicant
  • The research work being presented is new work that has been initiated and completed during the applicant’s postdoc tenure at UBC
    • If presenting work that is very close to one's dissertation topic, one must be presenting original and new data obtained during their postdoc tenure at UBC.
  • The applicant must be currently appointed through UBC Vancouver as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the time of application and at the time of the conference

Applicants must agree to submit a 200-word report of the activity to the PDFO via email within 3 weeks of the conference, granting the PDFO permission to post this report on its website.

Evaluation Criteria

It must be clear to the adjudication committee that the research work being presented is new work that has been initiated and completed during the applicant’s postdoc tenure at UBC. Those who are presenting work that is very close to their dissertation topic must be presenting original and new data obtained during their postdoc tenure at UBC.

Award applications will be evaluated by the Adjudication Committee with the following criteria:

  • Application package is complete with no missing components and is presented professionally.
  • How important might the conference be to the applicant's professional development?
  • Does the applicant already have conference funding? Please bear in mind that some postdoctoral fellow awards include discretionary research/travel funding, and this should be stated accordingly on their application.
  • Is the applicant doing an oral presentation or presenting a poster? Depending on the field, these two types of presentations might not be considered of equal rank.
  • Has the applicant presented on a similar topic recently?
  • How many conferences has the applicant had the opportunity to attend in the past year? Preference may be given to those who may not have had an opportunity to attend a conference.
  • How innovative does this research appear to be?
  • How strong is the applicant's publication record, in particular the number of publications and authorship?

Conference Reports

Thirteen recipients have received a travel award in 2023. Read more...
Thirty-eight recipients have received a travel award in 2022 Read more...
Fifteen recipients have received a travel award in 2021. Read more...
Three recipients received travel awards in 2020.
Twenty-eight recipients received travel awards in 2019.
Fourteen recipients received travel awards in 2018.
Fifteen recipients received travel awards in 2017.
Sixteen recipients received travel awards in 2016.
Eight recipients received travel awards in 2015.
Eleven Postdoctoral Fellows received travel awards in 2014.


Attachment Size
PDF Travel Award Conference Report 286.5 KB


Annual Value

Up to $1,000 CAD