GCFI Student Travel Awards

Two annual Travel Awards ($750 USD each) to attend the current GCFI conference are offered to students presenting research work related to the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Regions. The students will receive a check when they arrive at the conference. One award will be for the Caribbean/ Mexican students (Caribbean island/Mexican university/institution) and another one will be for the U.S./Canadian/European students (U.S./Canadian/European university/institution). Please, note that students receiving this award MUST register for the conference in the GCFI platform by the registration deadline.

The Student Award Committee will evaluate applications of Travel Awards based on the following criteria:

  1. Applicants must be currently enrolled as a full time student.
  2. Must present an oral or a poster presentation at the GCFI conference and submit an abstract at the time of requesting the award.
  3. Students must submit a statement of financial need and an estimated cost of the entire travel.
  4. Students will submit a short letter to the Student Awards Committee detailing the importance of the GCFI to their future career goals.
  5. The student’s major professor must submit a letter of “certification”, stating the current academic standing of the student, verifying full time status, and progress toward degree completion. The major professor should also submit a letter of recommendation supporting the student´s application and indicate if there is any/partial financial support for the student to attend the meeting. [Rationale —often, a student may be able to “leverage” additional departmental/University monies if they receive a travel award, allowing them to attend the meeting. A statement from the major professor indicating the possibility of supplemental monies will be helpful in the final decision.].
  6. All letters and information must be submitted in English. Spanish or French speaking students may also submit letters and information in their native language.
  7. A student can only receive ONE travel award/degree (i.e., a student could receive an award to present their Undergraduate, MS or PhD work, but could not receive an award more than once during their MS or PhD tenure)
  8. A student may apply for multiple Awards/year (i.e., GCFI Travel Award, Ron Schmeid Scholarship Award, SCRFA Travel Award), but will only receive ONE award in any given year.
  9. The student must apply for the Travel Award by July 31. The Committee will make their decision and notify applicants by September 1. The student winners MUST confirm acceptance of the Award and their attendance at the Conference to the Committee within 1 month of being notified of selection for the award. [Note—this time line ensures that there will be enough time to offer a travel award to another student if the “winner” cannot attend.]
  10. Students receiving Travel Awards will be responsible for obtaining travel visas.
  11. Students receiving Travel Awards are still eligible to compete for the Outstanding Student Achievement Award during the current conference.
  12. In any event of tie scores, preference will be given to students of long-time/active GCFI members.

Important additional information on selection criteria for applications:

  • Research project: Abstracts presenting actual data (even if preliminary) will be favored.
  • Travel budget: Applications with a detailed and realistic description of length of stay and estimated travel costs (i.e. airfare; room and board, ground transport, registration, etc.) and supporting documents (e.g. quotations, online print screens, etc.) will be favored.
  • Financial statement: applications providing a detailed and realistic description of different sources of funding available to the student will be favored.
    • Additional funding: Applications where major professor indicates whether or not additional funding is available (and relevant amounts where applicable) will be favored.
  • Reference letter: The major professor should write a letter of reference supporting the student’s application.

Application package:

The student will be responsible in gathering and collating documents into a single file following the suggested order below. The letter of reference should be sent directly by the supervisor to the Student Travel Awards Committee as a separate document BEFORE DEADLINE.

Order Item Person responsible
1 Proof of current student status and progress in degree Supervisor
2 Abstract Student
3 Detailed statement of financial need Student
4 Detailed travel budget Student
5 Sources (and amounts) of potential additional funding available Supervisor
6 Letter of importance of GCFI to career goals Student
Separate document Letter of reference Supervisor

To submit an application, or for additional questions, please contact: [email protected]