Civil Engineering Graduate Student Travel and Professional Development Scholarships

The Lyles School of Civil Engineering has various funds available to provide support for graduate students in the School to travel. There are two primary categories: 1) Travel to conferences; 2) Professional Development activities.

For group 1) Travel to conferences, preference will be given to students presenting at a podium or poster session during the conference, but all students attending are encouraged to apply.

For group 2) Professional development. These professional or academic activities should contribute to the student’s education and training. These activities don’t need to be required or directly associated with the students’ thesis. Examples include attendance to workshops, training or networking activities. No funds may be requested in support of activities directly related to or in support of the student’s research or coursework.

For both awards, we will also consider group applications. Formal Civil Engineering student groups/associations (recognized through SAO) can request funds for travel to conferences, professional development activities or group/association events (where the group is hosting an event).  Maximum award for a group award would be $2000 based on expenses.

Benefits and Goals

  • Scholarship for up to $750 toward one travel/professional development activity
  • Network with potential collaborators, sponsors, and employers
  • Strengthen professional skills, engage in activities that broaden your life experience
  • Share your experiences with fellow graduate students


  • You must be a Lyles School of Civil Engineering graduate student.
  • You must be in good academic standing (have at least a 3.0 GPA).
  • You must be appropriately registered in the semester the award will be processed.
  • The recipient must submit a brief report of activities during the conference to the CE Graduate Office within one month of the completions of the scholarship event. Attendance at the CE Scholarship and Awards Banquet is required along with submission of a thank-you note to the donor.

How to Apply

  • Submit an application package, as one pdf, with the following materials:
    1. The applicant’s transcripts
    2. The applicant’s curriculum vitae. (1 page)
    3. Conference/Event Details (1 page)
      • The name and type of conference/event (regional, national, workshop, etc.) to be attended.
      • The date and place of the conference/event.
      • The expected benefits that the participation to the conference/event will yield to the student's research and/or professional development; the title of sessions to be attended.
      • If presenting, the title of the project to be presented and the proposed presentation (paper, poster, etc.) and the time allotted for the presentation.
    4. A cost estimate for attending the conference/event (1 page). There is an expectation that the advisor/student will also be contributing to the travel cost. This Scholarship is not meant to fully fund the travel costs.
    5. A letter of endorsement from the student’s major professor describing (a) why the student deserves the funding support, (b) funding sources for the student, and (c) other relevant information (1 page).
  • Submit electronically to with appropriate subject line for which category you are apply to “Conference Travel Scholarship Request” or “Professional Development Scholarship Request”

Eligible Expenses

  • Conference registration, travel, and meals

Uncovered Expenses

  • Professional association memberships


  • Travel/Professional Development scholarships will be awarded until funds are exhausted – we anticipate having $30,000 available per calendar year, roughly split between Travel and Professional Development activities.
  • Awardees will be selected on the basis of information provided in the application package. Should we reach our budget estimate, we may enact the following constraints:
    1. No more than two students from any one advisor’s group will receive travel/professional development scholarships in a calendar year.
    2. Students are eligible for a Travel/Professional Development Scholarship every three years
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • Applications will be accepted until the Travel/Professional Development Scholarship funding has been exhausted for the year.


  • Various accounts are used to fund the travel scholarships. Some may be awarded as a scholarship through Purdue’s Scholarship and Award system. Others may require business office forms to be completed to receive travel expense reimbursement.