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Undergraduate Research

Conference Travel

The Magellan Voyager Award

  • up to $500 per recipient for travel expenses to present research
  • for travel to regional, national, and international meetings
  • can cover airfare, mileage, lodging, and/or registration
  • all campuses and all disciplines are eligible to apply 


2023-2024 Award Cycles


Cycle Application Period Travel Dates
1 August 15 - 21, 2023 October 1 - December 31, 2023
2 November 15 - 21, 2023 January 1 - March 31, 2024
3 February 15 - 21, 2024 April 1 - June 30, 2024
4 May 15 - 21, 2024 July 1 - September 30, 2024

Applications for travel grants are accepted in four cycles each year. The application remains open for one week each cycle. Applications are reviewed the week following the application cycle and students are notified of award status following review. 



You must be: 

  • a USC degree-seeking undergraduate (all campuses, disciplines, and academic years are eligible)
  • traveling to present research at a regional, national or international conference (not to conduct research or attend/network only; does not include Discover USC) prior to your graduation

In addition: 

  • Preference will be given to applicants with no other funding options.
  • A note about funding:
    • If you are eligible for funding through a university community to which you belong, you must apply for that funding and indicate so in your Magellan Voyager application. This includes, but is not limited to, LLCs, Honors College, and academic colleges and departments.
    • If you received a Magellan Scholar grant with conference travel budgeted, you must also indicate so when applying for the Magellan Voyager.
    • Funding is not guaranteed. If awarded, the maximum amount of $500 is also not guaranteed. Be sure to clearly articulate how all travel expenses will be covered, regardless of award outcome. 

Application Process

  1. Prepare a single document that includes:
    • a letter (500-word maximum) describing why you want to attend the event, how you expect to benefit from the event and how attending will impact your future plans
    • a copy of your abstract or summary of your project (should include the title and authors, or equivalent)
    • proof of abstract submission and acceptance (if received) [copy of your submission page or email from conference]
  2. Complete the Magellan Voyager application during the appropriate application period.
    Make sure you know your estimated budget before applying. Upload your document with letter, abstract and proof of submission with your application.

  3. If you are awarded the Magellan Voyager:
    You will be required to submit confirmation of your abstract acceptance to the conference to

Mentor Limit

Due to limited funds, a maximum of $1,000 per fiscal year may be awarded to students working with a single faculty member. 

Conference Limit

Support awarded toward a single conference during a fiscal year cannot exceed $2,000. 

Allowable Travel Expenses

Keep in mind the maximum amount you can request is $500, and many purchases are only available for funding via reimbursement.

Airfare and ground transportation
Airline tickets can be purchased online by you, your mentor, or a family member.

In some cases, airline tickets purchased prior to receiving the Magellan Voyager award can be reimbursed, although this is not guaranteed.

Ground transportation to and from the conference site is an allowable expense.

Mileage (if using a personal car)
We will reimburse you for mileage using the university rate if all the following apply: 

  • you use a personal vehicle
  • the meeting is more than an hour from Columbia

Transporation to a destination should be by the most economical and practical means. For a round trip that is less than 500 miles, motor vehicle transportation is considered best. 

We expect that you will stay in the same hotel as other members of your group. We assume you will stay in a safe but economical hotel. Your lodging costs must conform to the maximum lodging rate established for the location by the U.S. General Services Administration.

Registration fees
If the conference reduces or waives registration fees for students, you must choose that option. 

We will not pay late registration fees. 


  • Keep your receipts! They are required for reimbursement.
  • Return your receipts to our office within five days of returning from your conference, or you may be denied reimbursement.

You must acknowledge our office on your poster or in your talk:
"Travel partially supported by the USC Office of Undergraduate Research Magellan Voyager travel award."

You must complete pre-travel paperwork with OUR:
OUR will contact you to complete pre-travel authorization. This must be completed prior to travel to be eligible for reimbursement. 

You must submit receipts within five days of returning: 
Receipts not submitted within five days of returning from the conference may not be eligible for reimbursement.


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