Photograph: Technology classroom at University of Florida at Gainesville, by Dave Pokorney

How to apply for a travel scholarship or other award

STEM graduate and postdoctoral scholars (from all countries) are encouraged to submit proposals that, if funded, would support their involvement in technology-related professional development or travel.

Each seven to ten-page submission must include a photo (head shot), brief biography (150 words or less), three letters of support (personal, academic, and community), a detailed budget, and a three-page essay (1,500 to 2,000 words) that describes the activity and how the scholar intends to pay-it-forward by volunteering one hour of effort for every $100 value of the proposal.


Travel awards will be granted to the most meritorious applications and could include points for flights, and/or hotel accommodations, and/or vouchers for food, and/or more. Preference will be given to applicants from regions that have been hardest hit by the economic crisis, and applications (from all regions) that include especially innovative proposals that address the needs of STEM-Trek’s targeted audiences. We don’t expect to support many in 2013. As STEM-Trek gains momentum, the number and value of awards will increase. Eventually, awards may range from $250 to $3,000 (US).

Every effort will be made to fully satisfy any requests that are approved by the review committee. However, depending on funding levels, some awards will defray the costs of travel, but may not cover them entirely. In that case, applicants may be expected to cover the balance.

Awards may include airfare, hotel, and/or conference fees. Some meals may be available in the form of vouchers from partnering restaurant chains and hotels. Additional expenses accrued by participants will not be reimbursed. As the program grows, the number of scholarships and benefits will increase. Awardees must have a current (at the time of travel) passport and visas, where applicable. They must also present a credit card to the airline and hotel to be used for incidental expenses.

STEM-Trekker Obligations: Write a white paper, pay-it-forward by volunteering at home, and become a STEM-Trek evangelist

Awardees agree (in advance) to write a three to five-page whitepaper on a topic to be determined by STEM-Trek leadership once they return from their funded activity. When writing the papers, authors must follow IEEE Computer Society style guidelines. Whitepapers will be added to a repository that will then be made available to STEM-Trek registrants. Registrants will weigh-in on the usefulness and relevancy of each submission. In time, community input will determine whether or not a paper is retained or discarded. When enough papers are collected on a specific theme, the authors will be asked to participate, with experts in the field, in an online symposium about that topic.

For their pay-it-forward obligation, STEM-Trekkers could propose volunteering at a community vocational technical training facility at home or in the city where they study; help with a high school STEM event; represent STEM-Trek at an event near their home or university; assist with the development of a tool or application that is needed by STEM-Trek; volunteer to teach technology skills at a veterans hospital or center, senior center, or local library; or any combination of volunteer efforts that support STEM-Trek’s mission. While it is preferred to serve communities that have experienced hardship due to the global economic crisis, help may be needed anywhere there is a general lack of technical expertise. The scholar must explore all avenues to determine the best way to effectively pay it forward at the rate of approximately one hour per $100 value (of their proposal). Before preparing a proposal, scholars should read each of the links in the drop-down menu of the Introduction section so they will understand who STEM-Trek serves on the opposite end of the technology skill spectrum (specifically job-seekers, veterans, aging workers, and people with disabilities). The proposal must have a technology focus (development, training, mentoring, etc.).

All STEM-Trek participants must agree to support STEM-Trek by participating in STEM-Trek’s LinkedIn and/or FaceBook social networks and invite their colleagues to join. Follow us on Twitter @STEMtrek.

Proposal submission calendar

Submit proposals to two months prior to the activity (according to a quarterly schedule).

Proposals are reviewed by a committee of 12-15 (representative of STEM-Trek’s advisory board).

Quarterly reviews: January 15 (due December 15 for February 15 or later activity); April 15 (due March 15 for May 15 or later activity); July 15 (due June 15 for August 15 or later activity); and October 15 (due September 15 for November 15 or later activity).

Proposal Due

Review Date

Activity no later than

December 15

January 15

February 15

March 15

April 15

May 15

June 15

July 15

August 15

September 15

October 15

November 15

Submit proposals to


Photo: Technology classroom at the University of Florida at Gainesville, photograph by Dave Pokorney.