PDF Travel Awards

The Postdoctoral Fellows Office (PDFO) is pleased to offer travel funding for postdocs currently appointed through UBC Vancouver. These awards are intended to assist PDFs with travel to conferences to present research performed while at UBC.

Maximum Award Value:

For FY 2021/22 Q3, support will be provided to attend virtual or in-person conferences up to a maximum of $250 per recipient.

Allowable Costs:

Conference registration fees


As in-person conferences are expected to resume in the near future, the PDFO continues to monitor the ongoing situation related to COVID-19. For the current quarter (FY 2021/22 Q3), applicants may apply for funding to attend virtual or in-person conferences. The maximum funding amount remains $250 for all conference types.

While in-person conferences are beginning to resume, Global Affairs Canada is maintaining an official global travel advisory (Level 3) to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. As per the requirements set out in the UBC Faculty and Staff Travel Guide, travel to high-risk destinations per the Canadian Government, level 3 (Avoid non-essential travel) and level 4 (Avoid all travel) should not be considered unless exceptional circumstances apply and the travel is supported by:

  • a documented risk assessment;
  • communication and emergency plans; and
  • pre-approval from the traveller’s Dean or VP (depending on unit)`

You are advised to consult travel.gc.ca, which is the Government of Canada’s official source of destination‑specific travel information. It provides important advice to help travellers make informed decisions and travel safely while abroad. Travellers with Canadian citizenship are advised to register their travel with the Canadian government. Travellers from the UBC community, regardless of citizenship, are further advised to book any travel through the UBC Travel program so the university can contact and advise you during your travels.


Application Procedures

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

Due to the current situation related to COVID-19, several restrictions have been put into place related to both domestic and international travel. To help ensure the health and safety of our postdoc community, the PDFO will primarily award PDFTravel Awards to support postdocs attending virtual conferences. We will reassess the travel award guidelines for FY 2021/22 Q4 in September 2021 based on Provincial Health Orders and other guidelines. At this time, awards of up to $250 are available to postdocs who have been accepted to present their work at virtual and/or in-person conferences for FY 2021/22 Q3.

Applications for the PDF Travel Award are submitted online and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. 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.

2021 Q3 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
  • Proof of presentation (This should include correspondence from event organizers showing 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 accepted 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 email confirmation shortly after submission.


As of June 17, 2021 we have shifted how quarters are named to align with UBC’s fiscal year (April – March). This is a change in name and does not impact any application deadlines. If you have submitted an application prior to this change, no action is required.

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

Quarter in which CONFERENCE will occur Dates applications are accepted
FY 2021/22 Q3 - October 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021 July 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021
FY 2021/22 Q4 - January 1, 2022 to March 31, 2022 October 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021
FY 2022/23 Q1 - April 1, 2022 to June 30, 2022 January 1, 2022 to March 31, 2022
FY 2022/23 Q2 - July 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022 April 1, 2022 to June 30, 2022

Eligibility Requirements

This award is open to all Faculties and Units from UBC Vancouver (excluding all Departments/Units contained within the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Medicine).

PDFs from the Faculty of Medicine must apply directly to the Faculty of Medicine. View Faculty of Medicine guidelines, procedures and deadlines.

PDFs from the Faculty of Science must apply directly to the Faculty of Science. View Faculty of Science guidelines, procedures and deadlines.


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 virtual conference and must be the 1st author of the accepted abstract
  • No previous UBC PDF Travel Awards have been received by the applicant
  • The research work being presented is work that has been conducted 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 at the time of application and at the time of the virtual 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 work that has been conducted 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:

    • 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.
    • How innovative does this research appear to be?
    • How strong is the applicant's publication record, in particular the number of publications and authorship?
    • 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.
    • 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.

    Conference Reports

    Four recipients have received a travel award in 2021.


    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.


    Twelve recipients received a travel award in 2013.


    In 2012 PDFO was able to support 37 Postdoctoral Fellows with a travel award.


    The PDF Travel Awards launched this year and two Postdoctoral Fellows received an award to attend conferences.