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​​APS Foundation Student Travel Awards

Travel award applications may now be completed as part of the online process by which students register and submit abstracts for the APS Annual Meeting. We strongly recommend that you complete all travel award application components as a Word document, and then paste each component as in the appropriate section of the online application portal.  Pay special attention to the bulleted lists within sections 1-5, as they describe precisely how reviewers will score the applications.  Section 6 will be used to help develop future APS professional development content, and will not affect your application score.  However, section 6 must be completed before you can submit your application.

Applications must be submitted by March 15 in conjunction with the Plant Health 2021 abstract submission process.

APS student members planning to give an oral or poster presentation at the next APS Annual Meeting who did not receive a travel award the previous year are eligible to apply.


1.) Abstract content and style (250-word limit, 20 points)

The abstract uploaded as part of the annual meeting registration will be automatically included in the student’s application package for the travel award. If a student is submitting multiple abstracts, within the online APS registration portal, only accept the option to apply for a Student Travel Award for the abstract you want to be evaluated as part of the travel award application. Students can only include one abstract as part of the travel award application.

  • Title clear, interesting, and with broad appeal? (0-5 points)
  • Clear objective? (0-5 points)
  • Study placed in context of pathosystem or larger field? (0-5 points)
  • Engaging style and clear summation or conclusion? (0-5 points)

2) Professional Development Plan for the Annual Meeting (500-word limit, 20 points)

Briefly describe your plan to make the most of your time at the meeting.

  • How will you choose and capitalize on networking opportunities? (0-5 points)

  • How will you make contacts and appointments before the meeting? (0-5 points)

  • How will you choose the above contacts? (0-5 points)

  • What 10 keywords would you use to search the meeting program? (0-5 points)

3) Tapping into Graduate Student Creativity (20 points total):

This section is split into two sub-sections, both of which are designed to allow graduate students to showcase their creativity in soft skills such as fundraising and public outreach.

   Part 1: Foundation Fundraising/ Generation of New Donors (250-word limit)

  • Propose an initiative to either raise addtional funds for Foundation, to attract new donors from within membership, or to attract new donors from outside membership. Describe how someone could contribute to the above effort, insure its success, or enlist others to help.  If Foundation implements your idea, you’ll be offered a role in leading it, but your selection is not contingent on accepting the offer. 

  • Creativity/ originality of idea (0-5 points)

  • Potential for success and evidence in support (0-5 points)

   Part 2: Community Engagement (250-word limit)
  • Propose an idea for how to engage and communicate with your local community about topics in plant pathology. What is a way that you can generate interest about a specific topic with the general public?
  • Creativity/ originality of idea (0-5 points)
  • Potential for success and evidence in support (0-5 points)

4) Curriculum Vitae (CV) (2-page limit, 20 points)

Please provide a CV that gives emphasis to public engagement, service, and excellence in research and outreach.
  • Clear, attractive format, free of errors (0-5 points)
  • Evidence of engagement in APS at any level (0-5 points)
  • Membership duration, regional or national meeting attendance, publication in APS journals, committee involvement, etc.
  • Evidence of service and volunteerism at department, disciplinary, or institutional level (0-5 points)
  • Evidence of productivity and excellence in research, teaching, or outreach (0-5 points)

5) Advisor’s letter of support (1-page limit, 20 points):

Faculty providing the letter of support will submit their letter through a unique link that is emailed to them through the online travel award application system. The link leads to a web page within the student application where the text of their recommendation letter can be copied to a form field and submitted. This ensures the faculty letters of recommendation will not be accessible by the student applicants. Once the student applicant has designated within the online application who will be writing a letter of recommendation on their behalf, he/she will be able to see when the letter has been submitted by their advisor but cannot access the letter once uploaded. Letters of recommendation must be uploaded by the application deadline: March 15, 2019. 

  • Does the letter provide a compelling reason to recognize the student with an award from Foundation? (0-10 points)
  • Does the letter provide specificity to support general claims regarding the student (0-10 points) 

6) Future APS Content (no point value):

Please rate each of the following items as relatively high priority (H), medium priority (M) or relatively low priority (L) in priority as offerings to be supported by Foundation. This information will be used by APS Foundation to guide future professional development content.
  • Navigating the Labyrinth I: Getting the most out of the Annual Meeting
  • Navigating the Labyrinth II:​ Finding the treasure within APSnet
  • Good Parenting I: Helping your students and postdocs become engaged members of a discipline.
  • Good Parenting II: Helping your students and postdocs make and capitalize on professional contacts.
  • Grant writing for the full spectrum of funding opportunities
  • Writing for peer-reviewed journals
  • How to write a great abstract
  • Building an effective professional network
  • Communicating your science to diverse audiences
  • Writing letters of recommendation
  • Reviewing for journals
  • Slides that alienate vs slides that enlighten and engage your audience
  • Essential skills for moderators: communicating expectations to speakers and the audience beforehand, introducing speakers, keeping time, facilitating questions, dealing with disruptions, and difficult situations and people.
  • Other (specify) 

Need some tips? Read: "Why We Write Abstracts for APS Meetings— and How We Can Do It Better," plus a sample abstract in Phytopathology News