We are so excited to announce the continuation of The UChicago BSD CAP (Career Advancement for Postdocs) Award: a Travel Award just for BSD Postdocs! Awards of up to $500 for attendance at scientific meetings and up to $1000 for professional development meetings will be given, and are meant to serve as supplements to costs related to attending scientific or professional development meetings. Funds provided by this travel award are restricted to the payment of registration fees, travel costs, or accommodation costs at the meeting. Travel is not required to be eligible for the award (funds can be used towards attendance at a local meeting) and is not required that all funds of the award used. The next application deadline will be Friday, May 15th, 2020. Contact the Assistant Director of Postdoctoral Affairs or the PDA President if you have any questions regarding the travel award.

Please Review Eligibility and Award Rules:

  • Must be a BSD Postdoctoral Scholar or Postdoctoral Fellow who is appointed through the BSD Office of Academic Affairs
  • Must provide proof of abstract submission or meeting registration (i.e. must already have active plans to attend the meeting, UNLESS applying for a Full Scholarship to attend AAAS or NPA Annual Meetings). NOTE: Your abstract DOES NOT need to be accepted prior to applying, only a submitted abstract is needed
  • For scientific meeting, must also submit scientific abstract
  • Postdocs may only submit one application per award cycle (i.e. cannot submit applications for two conferences in the same award period).
  • Postdocs who are not selected are welcome to reapply the next award cycle for the same meeting, with the caveat that funds will not be awarded for meetings that have taken place prior to the application deadlines
  • For scientific meetings, must provide a statement (<500 words) of the purpose of attending the meeting and how attending the meeting will advance your scientific career as a postdoc and/or beyond
  • For professional development meetings, must provide a statement (<500 words) describing how the meeting will help you to advance your career or professional development goals
  • For professional development awards, must provide a statement of where remaining funds will come from, along with a statement of support (only one sentence needed indicating approval in attending meeting) from your PI
  • Funds from the travel awards are not transferable to another conference or lab member
  • Applicants for scientific meetings, provided all eligibility criteria are met, will be entered into a lottery and chosen at random
  • Applications for professional development meetings, provided all eligibility criteria are met, will be judged based on merit by a committee of faculty and staff members
  • Postdocs are eligible to receive only one scientific meeting travel award and one professional development meeting travel award every two years during their time at UChicago
  • Meeting may take place at any time after the application deadline. Award winners will be announced ~2 weeks after the application deadline and at this point, funds will be immediately available for use

NOTE: Before applying, please review this Frequently Asked Question:
Q: Is the meeting I am planning to attend considered scientific or professional?
A: Excellent question! Academic meetings fall under the category of scientific meetings. If the main objective of the conference is to discuss and present concepts and results related to your field of science, the meeting is considered to be academic/scientific, although scientific meetings often also have professional development aspects. Professional development meetings are ones in which the main objective of the meeting is not to discuss scientific concepts (NOTE: the ONLY exception to this rule is in the case of a course. If applying to take a course related to developing a new skill, that skill can be scientific or non-scientific, and is eligible for the professional development award). These meetings are meant to develop a professional skill and could include things like leadership conferences, grantsmanship workshops, project management training, teaching courses, a course or workshops related to developing a new skill, or science policy meetings, for example. The AAAS and NPA Annual Meetings are good examples of professional development conferences.


This past academic year, the BSD PDA was able to support travel for 25 postdocs, including 4 professional development awards and 4 full scholarships to attend the HHMI Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching. Congrats to our travel award winners!

Aleksandra Bebel, BMB

Allison Zajac, MGCB

Andrew Gloss, E&E

Daniel Rice, Human Genetics

Dharmendra Jain, Surgery

Eric Friedlander, E&E

Genevieve Housman, Medicine

Hemraj B. Dodiya, Neurobiology

Jeffrey Kurkewich, Pathology

Jing Li, BMB

Lauren McGough, BMB

Maneesh Kumar Misra, Pathology

Maria Pyra, Medicine

Michael C Granatosky, OBA

Myra Laird, OBA

Nicholas VanKuren, E&E

Peter Hart, OBGYN

Satchal Erramilli, BMB

Shabana Shaik, Neurobiology

Shannon O’Connor, Psychiatry

Sinead O’Sullivan, Neurology

Spencer Carran, E&E

Susan Finkbeiner, E&E

Viktor Bollen, Radiology

Xuan Zhuang, E&E