Please note: due to COVID travel restrictions, the dates listed below are currently under review and will be updated by July 1, 2021.  Any questions, please contact Jack Defandorf <>.

The MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research provides travel grants for graduate students to attend conferences at which they plan to present a poster or a paper, or at which they plan to serve on a scientific panel. The student must have passed his/her qualifying examinations before applying for a grant, which will provide up to $1,000 for appropriate expenses.

We can fund only 8 awards per year, and we ask that applicants meet the following deadlines. Exceptions can be made if circumstances require. Each student is limited to one award every two years.

Term Proposal Submission Window Notification
Fall Spring Summer
25 July – 31 July 24 November – 3 December 24 April – 30 April
By 20 August By 20 December By 20 May


Applications should be emailed to Jack Defandorf <> and include the name and location of the conference along with a brief (one page or less) description of the science to be presented. The application should be signed by the student’s research adviser as an expression of endorsement.

If a supervisor agrees to fund trip costs above the $1,000 MKI cap, he or she should provide a cost object number to be included in the application.

Proposals meeting the requirements above will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Payment will be made from MIT funds, and some travel restrictions normally imposed by sponsored research agreements do not apply. Nonetheless, awardees must review the following MIT policies before booking their travel:

Please consult Thea Paneth or Teresa Santiago before your travel begins if you have specific policy questions. Money will be provided in the form of expense reimbursement. Please submit all appropriate receipts, etickets, boarding passes, etc. to Debbie as soon as your travel has ended.

Other sources of funding, including from MIT’s Graduate Student Council (, may be available to students who are not eligible for an MKI award.