Spring 2024 Research & Travel Awards

We are excited to announce a funding opportunity for all BU URBAN Trainees that supports research or participation in conferences, meetings, or symposia (referred to hereafter as “conferences”). All trainees are encouraged to apply. Trainees who participate regularly in program activities will be prioritized for funding.

Research Awards are made in support of interdisciplinary research that spans both Biogeoscience and Environmental Health in urban systems. We encourage proposals of up to $1,500 to pilot new projects or expand the interdisciplinary scope of existing projects.

Travel Awards are made in support of participation in a conference within the academic year to either (a) present trainee research; or (b) gain exposure to a field outside the trainee’s primary discipline (Biogeoscience, Environmental Health, Statistics, and Data Science). Trainees are not required to present to obtain funding for this latter award. We will likely fund up to $1,000 for Travel Awards.

The application deadline is Friday, February 16, 2024 at 5 pm.  Please send your proposal, budget, and CV as one PDF to the Program Manager (URBAN@bu.edu) with “URBAN Trainee Award Spring 2024” as the subject of your email.

Required Format for Proposal, Budget, and CV

Please read and follow the instructions below carefully. Applications that do not follow the requirements below will not be considered.

File Name Format:

Your proposal, budget, CV, and all accompanying files (e.g., conference abstract) should be sent together as one PDF. Please use this file name format: “2024-Spring-Application-LastName.pdf” (e.g., 2024-Spring-Application-Templer.pdf)


  • Proposals should be single space in 12-point Times font.
  • Page limits: Travel proposals are limited to one page. Research proposals are limited to two pages. Page limit includes References Cited.
  • Please include the following in all proposals:
    • A title with your name(s) below it
    • Type of proposal below:
      • Research, or
      • Conference with presentation, or
      • Conference without presentation


  • Research awards are intended to ideally support interdisciplinary research. Provide a background for your study and describe the novelty and importance of the proposed research and how it advances the fields of both Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health. Be specific about your experimental and/or study design and be sure to explicitly include any testable hypotheses and/or objectives.
  • Proposals with greater detail about their background, novelty, importance, and how their work relates to both disciplines will be rated more highly.
  • Trainees may request funds to pay for Research Assistant (RA) time (hourly rate of $15-20+ depending on the level of skills/experience required). If budgeting funds for an RA, be sure to justify the expense, rate, and hours needed. Note: Proposals will be ranked more highly if they include requests for funds that support trainees directly, rather than paying the cost of hiring someone else.

Conference Participation in which you will present:

  • Include the conference name, date, location, and website, as well as the session that you have submitted an abstract or will submit an abstract to.
  • Provide a background for your study and describe the novelty and importance of the work you will present at a conference and how it advances the fields of both Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health.
  • Explain how the experience will strengthen your interdisciplinary training and/or career goals.
  • Please include a copy of your submitted abstract as an additional page. If you have not yet submitted your abstract, please include your draft abstract instead.

    Conference Participation where you will not present:

    • Include the conference name, date, location, and website.
    • Explain how the experience will strengthen your interdisciplinary training and/or career goals.

        Note: Trainees are welcome to apply for “travel” funds to participate in remote conferences, even if no travel is involved.

        Budget (required for all proposals):

        • On a separate page, include a budget table that clearly provides the details of all of your expenses, how much you are requesting from BU URBAN, and how other funds will be obtained, if applicable. Be sure to indicate in your budget when you expect to spend the funds, if awarded. Please include all costs in case we have additional funds available, even if they exceed the values named above.
        • For research applications: Include specific information about all budget items, including manufacturer’s name, model number, etc. We recommend including the following budget categories, as applicable: personnel (RA time), supplies, fees and services (e.g., transcription services), travel costs, and training costs.  Provide the date by which you expect to spend awarded funds.
        • For travel applications: We recommend including the following budget categories, as applicable: registration or abstract fees, ground or air travel, lodging, and food. Per NSF restrictions, BU URBAN cannot pay for membership to professional societies.

        CV (required for all proposals):

        • There are no page limits or formatting requirements for your CV.
        • For collaborative proposals, include CVs of all trainees involved.

        Feedback Opportunities:

        • Trainees are encouraged to seek editorial input from peers and their advisor prior to applying.
        • Trainees are also welcome to discuss ideas with the Program Manager (URBAN@bu.edu) in person, over the phone, or over Zoom up to 24 hours before the application deadline. Schedule a meeting here.
        • In addition, we’ll have two virtual office hours (Zoom link here) to answering trainee questions about Research & Travel Awards (Wednesday, January 31 from 3-4pm; Friday, February 2 from 11:30-12:30pm). Please email URBAN@bu.edu if you intend to attend an office hour.

        A faculty committee will evaluate the proposals and we will announce award decisions several weeks from the deadline.

        Final notes (please read carefully):

        • Awarded funds are intended for the projects described in your application. If research or travel plans change from the initial application, please email the Program Manager with a request for a re-purposing of funds along with a justification. If it is deemed that the re-purposing of funds remains aligned with the original application, your request will be approved.
        • For all award types, funds must be spent by July 2023.
        • For Travel Awards, reimbursements must be submitted within one month after the dates of your meeting. Note that trainees can apply for funds to participate in only one conference in each call for proposals.
        • For reference, BU URBAN offers two cycles of Research and Travel Awards each year: fall (October deadline) and spring (February deadline).

        Please reach out to the Program Manager (URBAN@bu.edu) if you have any questions.

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