CMRC Children's Memorial Research Center
Application Instructions

I.   General Instructions for Applicants

Download a PDF version of the Application Instructions

A. Eligibility Requirements

  1. The applicant must be a graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, or clinical fellow at CMRC. Technical staff and rotation students are not eligible to apply. Staff personnel (laboratory technicians) should consult the CMH website for alternative funding options such as the GOAL award program (see the CMH The Point website).
  2. The applicant must not have received a CMRC Travel Award during the current calendar year (January 1 - December 31).
  3. A complete application must be received by the application deadline in order to be considered for the corresponding session period (see Section I, part C below for more details).
  4. The applicant must be presenting his/her work (poster or seminar) at a local, national, or international conference, with proof of acceptance of the presentation.
  5. In order to provide feedback on conference highlights to trainees, after the scientific conference, the applicant must organize a brief presentation to be delivered at the monthly trainee meeting. Possible content may be a summary of the work presented by the trainee, other work presented at the meeting with broad appeal, new techniques that were discussed or a data blitz of many interesting topics covered at the meeting.

B. Application and support materials

Applications will be evaluated competitively, with an emphasis on academic merit and financial need. Completed applications with all required supporting materials include four separate sections:

  1. Travel Award Application Form
  2. Travel Award Budget Form
  3. Proof of accptance letter/copy of schedule from the conference
  4. Letter of support from your mentor

Note: Applications that are not filled out completely, do not have all supporting materials, or are turned in after the specified deadline may not receive full consideration. All supporting materials should be converted to an electronic version and included in a single PDF file (visit the Digital Darkroom, Bill Goosens for assistance, if necessary). For a more detailed explanation of the individual requirements associated with each of the application materials, please see Section II below.

C. Deadlines and submission

Four (4) review sessions for the CMRC Travel Award will be held with the following deadlines:

  • August 1 for travel between September 1 and November 30 (Fall session)
  • November 1 for travel between December 1 and February 29 (Winter session)
  • February 1 for travel between March 1 and May 31 (Spring session)
  • May 1 for travel between June 1 and August 31 (Summer session)

After completing the Application Form, please be sure to "Save As" as a PDF file with your name in the title (ex. Travel Award App Jane Doe). Applications should be sent to the office of Dr. Hans-Georg Simon, in care of Peg Rainey, Rm. C.113, email address for electronic submission: . Include "Travel Award Application" in your subject heading.  In addition, please submit an original hard copy of your application with all supporting documents to Peg Rainey, C.113.

II. Specific Instructions and Judgement Criteria for Applications

A. Specific Instructions on Supporting Materials

     1. Travel Award Application

The application consists of three sections: the quality of the application, conference standards, and scientific standards. All applications will be ranked by a committee of your peers. A total of 35 points indicates a perfect score (for point breakdowns see Section II, part B). In addition, a bonus of 2 points will be added if applicants have served on one of the training program committees (this is a "one-time per year of service" bonus to reward involvment in our programs). Once the application and supporting materials are determined to be complete and a quality score is given, the application will be eligible for final evaluation. Scoring will be independent, blinded and will not be influenced by the budget submitted.

     2. Travel Award Budget Form

Please estimate the costs for travel for the meeting you are attending. This award will pay for airfare, hotel costs, meeting registration, taxi fare/transportation and ~$40 per day for meals. Please note that registration and airfare can be pre-purchased with this award but all other reimbursable expenses will require receipt(s) submission after the conference. Upon initial submission, you need only to complete the Cost/Estimate column. If you are selected to receive an award you will complete the remaining fields upon your return.

     3. Proof of abstract acceptance

Most conferences will send you either an electronic or paper form detailing when your presentation will be given. If you do not receive such a form, a copy of the conference schedule with your presentation highlighted will suffice as proof that you will be presenting at the conference. If you are presenting at a large meeting (i.e. one that does not refuse applicants) and the acceptance notices will not be received before the application deadline, you may substitute your proof of submission as validation of your attendance at the meeting. However, it is your responsibility to provide abstract acceptance as soon as you receive it from the conference organizers, so that the committee can verify the final status of your application for their records.

     4. Letter of support from mentor

     PLEASE SHARE THIS SECTION WITH YOUR MENTOR!

Please submit a letter from your mentor that provides support for your attendance at the conference and confirms that other funds are not readily available. Additionally, your mentor is encouraged to explain your role in the lab and your scientific contributions to the lab since your arrival. Finally, your mentor should discuss any service roles you have held at Children's Memorial Research Center (i.e. Scholar's Day Committee, Travel Award Committee, etc.).

B. Judgement Criteria for Applications

1. Quality of application (2 points)

a.    2 points based on completing the application legibly and completely as well as submission of all             supporting material.

b.    Applications that are ineligible, incomplete, or receive a zero (0) as a quality score will not be processed further.

2. Conference standards (9 points)

a.    3 points for significance/quality of conference

b.    3 points based on the applicant's explanation of the relevance of the meeting to his/her field as compared to other conferences

c.    3 points based on the type of presentation given

3. Scientific standards (24 points)

a.    2.5 points for clarity of background of project (scale 1 to 2.5)

b.    7.5 points based on quality of data/findings/conclusions section (scale 1 to 7.5)

c.    10 points for the applicant's explanation of how important the presentation topic is to his/her field of study (scale 1 to 10)

d.    4 points for the applicant's ability to discuss the work's importance to their graduate career development (scale 1 to 4)

e.    2 points for attendance at other meetings (Score will be awarded inversely to the number of meetings the applicant has already attended.)

f.    2 points based on how much of the research was performed by the applicant (Score will be awarded inversely if the contribution by applicant to the research is deemed insufficient by the committee.)

4. Committee service recognition (2 points)

a.    2 points will be added as bonus for applicants who have served on any of the training program committees for at least one year.

III. Application Form Instructions

A. Graduate Student/Post-Doctoral Fellow/Clinical Fellow Information

  • Sections 1) to 6) are self-explanatory.
  • Section 7) - Applicants are eligible to receive one award per calendar year.
  • Section 8) - Applicants should agree to present a meeting review to an audience of trainees after the conference.
  • Section 9) - Provide the name of the conference you will attend.
  • Section 10) - Provide the title of your presentation including all authors who have contributed to the work.
  • Checklist is for your own use to ensure that all necessary documents are sent.

B. Conference information

  • Sections 1) to 3) are self-explanatory.
  • Section 4) - Explain the significance of this conference to your field of study including importance to your career and networking/job search possibilities. Why is this conference more or less important than another? Do not exceed 250 words.
  • Section 5) - Was there a selection process for accepted abstracts (i.e. peer review of selection, a competitive application process for accepted abstracts, etc.)?
  • Section 6) - State the type of presentation to be given (i.e. poster, slide presentation, session chair).
  • Section 7) - Estimate the number of people attending the conference.

C. Presentation information

  • Sections 1) to 4) should include title and summary (abstract) of the presentation. The abstract should be broken down into background, data/findings and conclusion/significance. DO NOT include the AUTHORS, institutions or funding sources in this section. Do not exceed 550 words total for these sections.
  • Section 5) - Explain the significance of the presentation to your field of study. This may include but is not limited to the novelty of the data being presented, previous findings this data would refute or support, or particular interest in these findings in your field. Do not exceed 150 words.
  • Section 6) - Explain in what way you will benefit from attending the meeting and presenting your work. Do not exceed 150 words.
  • Section 7) - Have you attended or anticipate attending any other meetings this year? Include the meeting for which you are applying for this award.
  • Section 8) - What approximate percentage of the data being presented is your own work? If your contribution is less that 50%, please provide an explanation of your significant contributions and the contributions of others.