Sample Cover Letter For Travel Grant Application

Basic Information

Each Fall and Spring semester, GSA members are eligible to apply for Conference Travel Funding. Students can apply for up to $500 in travel funds. Conference travel funding can cover any aspect of travel, including but not limited to, plane/train tickets, fuel, accommodations, membership dues, registration fees, photocopying, etc. We are excited to offer more academic opportunities for graduate student travel and hope many of our members will apply. Applicants must be presenting at a conference and have proof of their acceptance to the conference. You may apply for conferences that happened (or are happening) in the Summer and Fall of 2017 to the Spring of 2018.

Applicants must complete the application form by Friday, March 30, 2018.

Apply now at this link.

You can refer to two successful application examples below (in PDF format):


Please send any questions to the Academic Programming Officer, Yesim Demiroglu by email at .

Please note, students are not eligible for applying if they have received the grant in the last four semesters (e.g., for Fall 2017, you cannot apply if you received an award in Fall 2015 or later). Awardee’s total reimbursement request must not be greater than the total amount of the expenses of the awardee’s conference related expenses. Alcohol purchases will not be covered and meal purchases must be within the University guidelines (should not exceed $60 per day). In order to be reimbursed, all conference travel award winners must submit ORIGINAL receipts. Only expense receipts that are for the awardees personal expenses will be reimbursed. You must be presenting at the conference. For more information, please refer to the GSA Travel Grant Rules document.





GSA Conference Funding Reviewers are Needed!


Looking to make connections with other UR graduate students? Interested in getting involved with the GSA? Need another item to add to your CV? Consider signing up as conference funding proposal readers! Every semester the GSA funds a number of graduate students for travel to conferences to present their research. Proposals are not lengthy and will only take a short time to read (a few hours at most).You can read them when you are available and typically we try to give reviewers 3 to read (with possible expansion of 4-6 if we are unable to recruit enough reviewers). The only precondition is that you are not applying the term that you are reviewing. Please contact Academic Programming Officer Yesim Demiroglu ( ) if you are interested in serving in this capacity.

By Beverly A. Browning

Thanks to the prevalence of the electronic grant submission process, nowadays most people use cover letters only for foundation and corporate funders who require one. (Government funders rarely, if ever, ask for a cover letter anymore.)

If you have to supply a cover letter, make sure it’s brief and to the point. When a funder opens your request for assistance, the cover letter should provide the first inkling of how well you understand the person you addressed the letter to — the funder. Also, avoid merely regurgitating the information in your grant request.

Write the cover letter last, after you’ve completed the entire funding request and are in a reflective mood. As you consider your great achievement (the finished funding request), let the creative, right side of your brain kick in and connect your feelings of accomplishment to the person who will help make your plans come true.

Follow these handy tips when you write your own cover letters:

  • Use the same date that you’ll send the complete grant application to the funding source. You want to create documents that are consistent, so the dates on cover letters and accompanying cover forms should be the same.

  • Open with the contact person’s name and title, followed by the funding source name, address, city, state, and zip code. Remember to double-check the contact information with a telephone call or e-mail to the funder. You can also search via the Internet for the correct information.

  • Greet the contact person with “Dear” plus the personal title (as in Mr., Ms., Mrs., or Messrs.), followed by the last name. This greeting is your first point of introduction to a potential funder, so you need to use a personal title. Call to make sure the personal title you’re using is correct.

  • Keep the first paragraph short and focused. Start by introducing your organization (legal name). Introduce yourself and give your job title. Finally, get to the point. Tell the funder how much you’re requesting and why your organization needs it. Write a couple of sentences about what your organization does. Validate your existence by adding at least one sentence that includes research-based evidence that there’s a need for your organization.

  • Write a second paragraph that’s brief and to the point. Include no more than three sentences stating your organization’s corporate structure status and the date it was founded. Then tell the funder your organization’s purpose and how it aligns with the funder’s mission or funding priority.

  • Wrap up your cover letter with a summarizing paragraph. Share a closing thought or reflection about what this funding partnership can mean for the future of your project’s target audience.

  • Use a creative closing, such as “Awaiting your response,” “With great hope,” or something else that fits your project’s theme/topic area. Sounding both thankful and optimistic as you close your request for funds is important.

  • Sign your first name only; doing so invites an informal, long-term relationship. Below your signature, type your first name, middle initial, last name, and job title.

  • At the bottom of the letter, include the note “ATTACHMENTS.” This note indicates that a grant proposal is included in the same packet. The capital letters signal that the grant proposal is important.

Illustration by Ryan Sneed

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