Conference Funding


Criteria for Eligibility:

  • Students are attending a conference that is hosted by an organization or they are presenting another aspect of research that is not tied to their primary Research Immersion Project or, for MSTP students, their primary PhD work.
  • Students must disclose additional funding sources, both received and requested, from Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, or outside entities (i.e. Research office, Diversity office, VUMC Department, scholarships, national organizations). This does not disqualify funding, but will be taken into consideration in the application review process. If you receive funding from other sources after you have received funding through the VMS conference funding program, you must notify Student Affairs (Dean Fleming and Sarah Woodall). The total amount of funding obtained from all sources cannot exceed the cost of the conference/travel.
  • Students must apply for funds in advance of travel to the conference, rather than upon return. Retroactive acceptance for the award will not be granted.
  • Following the supported meeting, students must submit a one-page summary of the conference attended to the Office for Medical Student Affairs. When possible, students should offer an informational session open to all VUSM students, describing lessons learned from the conference and scheduled through the Anchor Link calendar.



  • Expenses that will be considered
    • Conference registration fees
    • Travel to/from conference
    • Lodging while staying at conference
    • Poster printing expenses, if applicable
  • Expenses that will not be considered
    • Meals or beverages while at conferences
    • First-class or business travel arrangements or lodging
    • Expenses for any guest(s) traveling with the student, including higher room rates for additional people in a room



Minimum of two (2) months prior to the conference.


Award Information

  • Awards are expected to be partial funding of requests, so students should continue to explore other avenues for funding.
  • Maximum allocation per student is $500
  • Students will receive written notification of the amount granted within three (3) weeks of their application.
  • Awards will be paid by reimbursement and instructions on how to claim the award will be included with the award notification.
  • Funding requests should be for conferences taking place this academic year (before June 30, 2018).


Note Regarding Absences Due to Conference Attendance

Receipt of conference funding does not guarantee an excused absence from your course or clinical responsibilities. You must request permission for an absence in advance from your clinical director(s). All absence requests are at the discretion of individual course directors. As with any absence, you are subject to make up work as indicated by the course director; please refer to the School of Medicine handbook  for absence guidelines in each phase.

Your signed absence approval (by course director and dean) will be verified prior to receiving reimbursement. Failure to gain approval in advance may result in a loss of funding.



Sarah Woodall, Medical Student Affairs,