The Catholic University of America

Conference Related Expenses

The GSA is happy to offer a limited number of reimbursement grants to qualifying graduate students. These are relatively few in number and applying well in advance (6-8 months) of the conference is highly recommended. We cannot guarantee funding to all who apply.


Funding Guidelines


  • We reimburse no more than 75% of the total eligible expenses of the applicant who attends or presents at an academic conference.
  • Maximum reimbursement is $500.00 for conference presentations and $150.00 for conference attendance. 
  • No one may receive more than $600.00 per fiscal year. The fiscal year is from May 1 to April 30 the following year.
  • No reimbursement will be issued until after the conference or travel.
  • Requests that do not adhere to the guidelines will be returned to the applicant.
  • All reimbursements are made only to the student. Receipts with a different persons name can not be submitted for reimbursement.
  • If you have any questions before or during the process, contact the Conferences Chair.

Eligible Expenses

The only expenses that are eligible for funding are:
  • Plane, Rail, and Bus tickets
  • Car Rentals
  • Registration Fees
  • Lodging Fees
  • Presentation Materials (e.g. poster printing/photo-copying)
  • Taxi Fare
  • Conference Banquets

How the process works:

Step 1. Before your conference, submit a promissory note before the conference to secure funding. (Do so ASAP; money can run out months before your conference starts.)


Step 2. Submit an official reimbursement request within 14 days from the response of the conferences chair you recieve after notifying the conference chair of your return from conference which you must do within 7 days of the end of your conference.


Step. 1 - Before the Conference

  1. Submit a GSA Conferences Committee Promissory Note Form.

    1. Make your best guess for anticipated funding.

    2. You will be required to show proof of attendance and/or presentation to receive reimbursement. reimbursement, as well as documentation of receipts and a Travel Expense Report (TER). Make sure to collect and keep these documents.

  2. You will receive a response of either an approval or a rejection via email. If rejection is due to lack of funds, you will be waitlisted. If you approved or waitlisted, in order to recieve your funding, you must continue to #3 directly below. (You may also check the status of your promissory note on the Nest.)

  3. Keep and scan all paper receipts and email confirmations for later reimbursement.


Important Notes:

  1. Responses to your reimbursement request may take up to a week.

  2. If you plan on sharing a hotel room, the bill must display the last four credit card digits and name of each person sharing the room. GSA is not able to reimburse people whose names and last four credit card digits are not on the bill.

  3. Indicate by circling or bolding the exact expense on each receipt that matches the expense on the TER. Your request will be denied if the numbers on your TER do not match the numbers on your receipts.

  4. Failure to follow these instructions will result in automatic cancellation of your reimbursement request. You will have to submit a new request, which will go to the back of the queue. It is possible that re-submitted requests will not be processed in time to receive reimbursement.

  5. If you have any questions about the process, such as whether an expense will qualify, please email the Conferences Chair before you submit your reimbursement request. It is not always possible to resolve difficult issues within the University’s 14 day deadline.

  6. While you may request reimbursement without a promissory note, it is possible that no funds for the period will remain. A promissory note guarantees that you will receive reimbursement.


Step 2 - After Returning (if you have been approved for funding)


You must submit an official reimbursement request within two weeks from the response of the conferences chair after you inform him/her of your return. Submit one request for each conference you attend or period of travel.

  1. When you return from your conference, email GSA Conferences using your CUA email address to tell him/her that you returned from your conference within 7 of the end of your conference. If you are not already a member of the GSA Conferences organization on the Nest, you will be invited. Once you have accepted the invitation to join Nest as an “approved conference attendee,” you can submit your request.

  2. Complete a Travel Expense Report (TER). Sign or type your name under "Traveler's Signature," and print your name below that. Disregard the authorizing signature line.

  3. Log in to the Nest at

  4. Create a Purchase Request. Here are the steps:


1) Click the 9 dot square in the top right
2) Click Manage
3)Click on the the GSA Conferences organization
4)Click on the Menu button (3 horizontal lines in a square shape (top left))
5)Click Finance
6)Click Create Purchase Request (top right)

The Subject must be your full name and the start date of your conference. (The Subject line does not contain all of and only this information, your request may be deleted.)


  1. Make sure that you upload to your purchase request the following Required Documents:

1. Completed TER.
2. All receipts that list your expenses.
a.              If any receipts are original cash register-style receipts, such as taxi fare, be sure to also bring original copies to the Office of Campus Activities (OCA) in 204 Pryz.
b.              Clearly mark (circle, highlight, underline) the specific expense on both the original receipts and the electronic receipts you attach so the conference chair does not need to pour through multiple pages of numbers to find the single expense.
c.              If you hand in any documentation to OCA, such as paper receipts or conference attendance documentation, mention this in the comment section of your request.
d.              Copied and pasted receipts in Microsoft Word documents are not permitted.
e.              Taking screenshots of deductions from your bank account is insufficient. You must provide an screenshot of an email confirmation or a paper receipt showing your name, the explicit amount paid, and the name of the conference or company that charged you.
         3.    Proof of conference attendance and/or presentation.
a.        If you presented, include either: 1) a copy of the conference itinerary with your name and your presentation highlighted/circled; or 2): a picture taken of you while presenting.
b.        If you attended but did not present, include either: 1) a copy of the conference itinerary; 2) name tag; 3) tote bag; or 4) a picture of you at conference.
c.        An email confirming you paid the conference fee is NOT proof of conference attendance.

        4. (Last part of Step 2) When you have completed your purchase request, email the Conference Chair to let him/her know (

To Review the Status of the Request

  1. Log in to Conferences Finances.

  2. Search for your name to review your request:

    1. Finance Stage = "Request Submitted by Student Organization" or "Advisor Approved" – GSA Officers have not yet approved your request. You may want to email GSA Conferences Chair ( to inform him that you have an outstanding request.

    2. Finance Stage = Financial Liaison Approved – GSA Officers have approved the request

    3. Status = Approved – Office of Campus Activities is currently processing the request

    4. Status = Completed – Office of Campus Activities has completed all processing and submitted to the appropriate budget department office. For further status updates you will need to contact the Office of Campus Activities for assistance. Please allow 1-2 weeks for check to be mailed after the time the Status is changed to "Completed"


When submitting your receipts to The Nest online for reimbursements, your receipt becomes public to the CUA community. Due to the way that The Nest works, there is no way around this. Receipts only show the last four digits of the credit card number and the last name, which is insufficient for fraudulent activity. If you are uncomfortable with this, we recommend you paying with cash (and still saving receipts). 

Also, be advised that GSA does not cut checks or distribute moneys directly. All payments to you will be done by OCA, at GSA's request.