QAAFI HDR Travel Awards

Applications for Round 1, 2024 opens on 1 March.

Click here to Apply now

QAAFI offers Travel Awards to QAAFI enrolled and confirmed Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students for travel to international or domestic scientific conferences. The awards will contribute to attendance costs including registration, airfares, accommodation, and other transport.

Important Dates


Applications Open

Applications close


Round 1

1 March

30 April

30 May

Application guidelines

Students can apply as often as rounds are available but will only be eligible to receive one award during their entire HDR degree with QAAFI.

This is a competitive award, which means students may be unsuccessful. Advisors should not pay for travel unless they are willing to forfeit the cost, if the student is unsuccessful. 


Typically, there are usually two application rounds per year:




Round 1



Round 2



Plan your travel in advance so that if you are successful in being awarded, you will receive the outcome prior to when travel payments are required. The travel period is at the discretion of your Principal Adviser so make sure you have their support and approval.


The award values will be up to a maximum of $3,000 for an international conference and a maximum of $1,500 for a domestic conference. It is expected the student or funding body would cover any additional costs. The award is assessed based on the application submission and thus is not interchangeable, so it is strongly encouraged that the conference destination is chosen carefully.

Eligibility requirements

  1. Priority will be given to applicants who have completed the Progress Review 2 for their PhD or MPhil degree. Student must have their Outcome of Progress Review 2 request endorsed by QAAFI Director of Higher Degree Research prior to the Travel Award application lodgement deadline (for more information see
  2. Advisors must use the advisory support form provided on the Travel Award website for the specific round at the time of the application.
  3. Applicants must not be on interruption at the time of application or the time of travel.
  4. Applicants must provide evidence that the abstract was submitted to the target scientific meeting (e.g. a screenshot of the submission confirmation email from conference organisers).
  5. Advisors must review the travel award application and indicate in their supporting statement that they have available funds to pay for any shortfall if the total travel budget exceeds the award amount.
  6. The intended travel must be completed before thesis submission.
  7. The Travel Award must be funding attendance at a recognised domestic or international conference, where the applicant is the presenting author (e.g. poster) of their HDR research project results.
  8. Students who had been previously granted a QAAFI travel award are not eligible for a QAAFI Award while undertaking the same degree (PhD or MPhil).
  9. Students who had been granted a different travel award that covers more than 50% of the total estimated costs to attend the same conference are not eligible to the QAAFI travel award. Please note that project funds do not fall into this category and can cover more than 50% of the travel expenses.
  10. A maximum of two travel awards will be granted per principal advisor in the same round.

Application and assessment process

The QAAFI HDR Liaison Officer will communicate with HDR students via their student email account to advise when the application round is open closer to the relevant month. Applications will not be accepted outside of the opening round period. The QAAFI Awards Committee will assess the applications based on the following judging criteria:

Additional benefits

What additional benefits does the attendance at the conference provide apart from publicising and discussing the PhD work and networking with peers? (e.g. extra lab visit, training courses, or workshop).
Evidence of additional benefit is encouraged to assist in the ranking process (e.g. screenshot of confirmation email from lab host, training course/workshop organisers).

2.5 out of 7

Publication achievements during HDR candidature (not prior), such as published, accepted and submitted papers or publications in conference proceedings with data of the student’s thesis.

The student’s advisor should endorse that the above achievements are associated with data related to the student’s thesis.

2.5 out of 7

Career Development Statement

Rankings will consider the applicant’s statement explaining the importance in attending the conference for their career development (one page maximum).

1.5 out of 7

Participation in committees or Three Minute Thesis

Higher ranking will be given to students who have participated in the three minute thesis competition at UQ, taken on a role in a committee, or on duties such as fire warden and first aid officer while undertaking their degree at QAAFI. Evidence must be provided (e.g. screenshot of a confirmation email).

0.5 out of 7

Other considerations:
Exceptional circumstances affecting a QHTA application, such as an incomplete submission, can be considered on a case-by-case basis, otherwise these are rejected.


1. If for any reason the student can no longer attend the conference the funds need to be returned to QAAFI.

2. Students are required to provide a one-page travel diary with photos as evidence of conference attendance up to three months after the conference date.

Required documents

Academic CVPlease ensure your CV is up to date. Click here for information on what to include.

Career Development statement   

A short statement (1 page maximum) explaining the importance of attending the conference for your career development.
Advisor support letterDownload Advisor Support Statement Form (DOCX, 25 KB) 
A letter signed by your advisor, approving your travel dates and endorsing your career development statement.
Travel budget

Download template (XLSX, 16.6 KB) 

You must use this template - no other formats will be accepted. Please ensure your name and conference details are completed at the top of the form.

Conference abstractThe abstract for your proposed presentation

If you require any assistance, please contact the QAAFI HDR Liaison Officer at