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Undergraduate Research

Conference Travel

The Magellan Voyager Award

  • up to $500 per recipient for travel expenses to share research
  • for travel to regional, national and international meetings
  • can cover airfare, mileage, lodging and/or registration


Funding for conference travel between

January 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020 has closed.

We are no longer accepting applications at this time. 

Please check back for travel between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2020
Application open date to be announced



You must be: 

  • a USC undergraduate
  • traveling to present research (not to conduct research or network only).

In addition: 

  • If you are eligible for funding through other sources (Honors, Capstone, academic department, etc), you must apply for additional funding and indicate so in application.
  • Preference will be given to applicants: 
    • with no other funding options
    • who have not received the Magellan Voyager previously nor other undergraduate research awards. 

You may be awarded the Magellan Voyager a maximum of two times.


Application Process

Awards are not limited to students receiving additional funds through our office. 

  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 (copy of your submission page or email from conference)
  2. Complete the Magellan Voyager application
    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 asked to submit confirmation of your abstract acceptance to the conference to

The Magellan Voyager grant has a rolling deadline with applications for fall and spring travel periods. 

Apply early
Funding is limited and awarded on a rolling basis. Apply early! Applications received less than six weeks prior to departure may not be considered for funding.

Application Openings

Travel between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2020
No longer accepting applications

Travel between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2020
Application open date to be announced

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 or your mentor, or through a USC travel agent and processed through the university accounting system.

In many 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
  • you are traveling alone (no one else from your group is going).

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 and that your group will share hotel rooms when possible. 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
These fees may be prepaid by our office if you complete the registration form and bring it to our office at least one month before the conference. 

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 complete 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.

Attending a Meeting as a Group 

Support to attend a conference cannot exceed $2,000, or $500 each for up to four students. So eight students could attend the same conference, but the maximum award would be $250 each.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.