‌‌The Department of Life Sciences funds travel awards for our Postdoctoral Research Associates, Research Fellows and PhD Students to enable them to present their work at conferences or to attend scientific workshops. The scheme operates twice a year and is advertised by email. The scheme was launched in response to feedback from feedback from postdocs in the department.

Applicants can also apply for funding to cover extra-ordinary costs relating to caring responsibilities when presenting at such meetings, e.g. costs related to caring for dependents, such as parents or funds required to cover additional childcare costs whilst attending a meeting. Applicants may also apply for funding for extra-ordinary costs in addition to travel funding which they have already secured from other sources.

Those in receipt of a DoLS travel award are expected to provide a brief report about the conference proceedings. This document will be used to communicate to their colleagues within the department and should be written/ submitted within two weeks of returning from the conference/event attended.

Only those who are DoLS employees at the time and who hold a contract three months beyond the dates of the meeting are eligible to apply. We are only able to accept applications for meetings that take place at least one calendar month after the closing dates of the competition. The awards will normally be restricted to one award per lab and one award during a PhD or 3 year contract of employment.

Travel awards will be paid via an expense claim with appropriate receipts up to the amount of the award and in line with College expenses policy. Expense claims not in line with College policy will not be reimbursed:

Travel Awards will be made in the order of:

  • Up to £200 for travel within UK
  • Up to £500 for travel outside UK

Applications over these limits will require further justification.

Costs can include:

  • Travel and subsistence
  • Registration fees
  • Extra-ordinary costs relating to caring responsibilities

 Costs cannot include:

  • Research expenses (inc. equipment, bench fees)
  • Departmental costs
  • Medical insurance
  • Excess baggage costs
  • Contributions towards salaries
  • Expenses due to cancellations
  • Shipping costs
  • Visa or work permit charges
  • Immunisations

Extra-ordinary cost awards: the limit for these awards is flexible and will be determined on a case-by-case basis. For more information please email dols.edi@imperial.ac.uk. This inbox is monitored by Prof Pietro Spanu (Chair of Equality Diversity and Inclusion Committee) and Geetika Masters (Executive Assistant to Head of Department, DoLS).

The judging committee will be made up of members in the following categories: PhD Student, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Research Fellow & Academic Staff at different levels. To ensure that the assessment is equitable, the members of the judging committee will rotate.


  1.  Justification by the applicant  (i.e. applicant does not have access to a travel & training fund)
  2.  Scientific merit of attendance  (i.e. the conference is of great importance to the student’s future career development)
  3.  Supervisor’s support

Priority will be given to applicants presenting their work. When assessing the applications, the panel will look for evidence of support sought from other sources/supervisor.

 Download the Application Form & DoLS Travel Awards Guidelines