Research Conference Funding Guidelines
SCOMSA will only fund costs associated with conferences hosted by legitimate organizations. Student Activity Funds cannot be used on predatory or for-profit conferences – please use your best judgment.
These guidelines were last updated October 5th, 2022
Please refer to our FAQs before contacting SCOMSA regarding changes to our guidelines
- Funding requests must be submitted to SCOMSA no later than three days before the first Wednesday of each month. The request forms can be found under the ‘Request Funding’ tab.
- Students can only be funded to attend two conferences per fiscal year across all methods of funding. The fiscal year ends on the last day of June and begins the following day.
- In order to receive SCOMSA funding, a student must be an active M.D. student at the Boston University School of Medicine. A student’s funding eligibility begins on the first day of orientation of the student’s first year and ends on May 31st after the student’s commencement ceremony.
- MD/PhD’s in their PhD years are not eligible for SCOMSA funding, as they are Graduate Medical Sciences students.
- SCOMSA will NOT fund students who are receiving a stipend or academic credit for the conference.
- Reimbursements will only be sent to the person whose name is on the relevant receipts. All receipts must have your full name on it! If it is not printed, you may handwrite it instead.
- Reimbursements must be submitted within 30 days of the conference. No exceptions will be granted for late submissions.
- SCOMSA requires that a student documents and reports all outside sources of funding. The amount that SCOMSA reimburses a student is contingent on the amount of outside funding received. The total SCOMSA reimbursement plus the outside funds cannot exceed the total expenditure (i.e. you cannot make a ‘profit’).
- All funding from SCOMSA requires prior approval. SCOMSA reserves the right to partially or wholly deny reimbursement requests submitted without first obtaining funding approval (see ‘Request Funding’).
We require you to obtain proof that you have exhausted other options for funding. This may be an email from your PI stating that you have sought lab funding to attend the conference and that the amount they can provide is either insufficient or that they cannot fund you. If your PI has questions or concerns, please direct them to SCOMSA@bu.edu. Without this proof, SCOMSA reserves the right to deny funding.
- Transportation (including rideshares)
- The major form of travel (e.g. a plane or train ticket) must be to and from Boston to be eligible for reimbursement. Rideshares can be to/from anywhere within Boston or your destination city.
- Registration fees
- Poster Printing fees
- You are expected to find the most economical accommodations and share rooms when possible.
- Food expenses are capped at $25 each day. For example, if you spend $100 on food one day and $2 on food the next day, you will be reimbursed a total of $27.
- In-flight WiFi, seat class upgrades, or other perk purchases
- Travel reward miles
- Travel to and from a location other than Boston without justification
- For example, travel from LAX to LAS rather than BOS to LAS. Rideshares to/from airports, hotels etc. do not need to be within Boston.
- Should you travel to/from a location other than BOS, you are expected to provide an explanation in your reimbursement request. If you are unsure whether your explanation is acceptable, please email SCOMSA@bu.edu prior to going on your trip! We reserve the right to deny funding if we determine the explanation to be unsatisfactory.
- An example of an acceptable justification is if you are at Kaiser, tickets are cheaper to/from a different location (proof is needed of this), or if you are at home during an academic break.
Identify the subsection that is relevant to you below:
Virtual Conferences (Individual & Student Group)
- You must provide proof that the conference is being held virtually.
- Funding will count towards a student’s two per fiscal year conference allowance.
- Funding will ONLY cover registration fees (SCOMSA will not fund the purchase of webcams, lighting etc).
- Individuals presenting research done at BU: 80% up to $250
- Individuals presenting research done elsewhere: 50% up to $150
- Student Organizations attending conferences: $150/person up to $750 OR if registration is <$100 per person, up to a maximum of $500.
- The policies regarding conference eligibility remains the same: the conference should be an associated National Conference aligned with the group’s mission. If such a National Conference does not exist, please reach out to SCOMSA to discuss eligibility to attend a different conference.
Student Organization Attending an In-Person Conference
- Groups can only receive funding to attend their associated National Conference that is directly aligned with their mission. Group members can be funded to attend even if they are not presenting research.
- Each organization is allotted $1250 for travel and expenses each fiscal year to send students to ONE conference. Each person can receive up to $250. Any unspent funds are reabsorbed into SCOMSA’s budget and cannot be saved for additional conferences.
- SCOMSA will cover $150 per attendee for registration, up to a maximum of $750.
- If the cost of registration per person is <$100, SCOMSA will cover up to a maximum $500.
- For example, if an attendee is allotted $150 for registration, they will have $100 remaining to cover travel, lodging, and food costs.
- Organizations that do not have an associated National Conference will be reviewed on a conference-by-conference basis for eligibility. You are responsible for discussing eligibility with SCOMSA prior to submitting any funding requests or paying any fees.
- There is no maximum number of students that organizations may send to their National Conference. However, funding cannot exceed $250 per person and $1250 overall.
Individual Student Attending an In-Person Conference
- You must be presenting or taking an active role at the conference. Funding will not be provided just for attendance (though you may receive SCOMSA funding for pure attendance through student group funding – see the subheading above)
- Individuals presenting research done at BU: 80% up to $400
- Individuals presenting research done elsewhere: 50% up to $250
- Individuals taking an active role in the conference (planning, leading workshops, etc.): 50% up to $250
Students must provide evidence of presentation at the conference by including a copy of the presentation acceptance email or an equivalent confirmation email from the conference.