Council of Graduate Students
at The Ohio State University

Ray Travel Award for Service and Scholarship (up to $1000 per academic year)

Apply for the Edward J. Ray Travel Award


The Edward J. Ray Travel Award for Scholarship and Service (i.e. Ray Travel Award or RTA) encourages and enables graduate students across the university to participate in professional conferences, both in their respective fields and in the broader academic community, by reimbursing or partially reimbursing the expenses incurred by graduate students during travel to conferences and meetings to present original research.

Unlike other programs that grant travel funds, the Ray Travel Award gives substantial weight to the applicant's service to their department, the university, and the surrounding community. Additionally, Ray Travel Award judges also take into account the applicant's professional goals, the nature of the conference being attended, and the applicant's ability to convey the focus of their research to a general audience.

Application Deadlines for 2024-2025 Academic Year

Funding Period Application Opens Deadline Travel Dates
1 March 15, 2024 May 1, 2024 July 1, 2024 - September 30, 2024
2 June 15, 2024 August 1, 2024 October 1, 2024 - December 31, 2024
3 September 15, 2024 November 1, 2024 January 1, 2025 - March 31, 2025
4 December 15, 2024 February 1, 2025 April 1, 2025 - June 30, 2025


The financial aspect of travel to and presentation at such events can be prohibitive to many graduate students, and the availability of such support for students varies widely across the university. Whereas students in some departments, schools, and colleges may have several opportunities for funding, others have no sources of funding whatsoever. For this reason, the absence of such funds at the university level has been a subject of concern for CGS for several years. Inquiries on this matter to the CGS office, from both individual students and other graduate student associations within the university, have increased in recent years. Therefore, we feel that the Ray Travel Award will fill a void for many students; it will also sustain and further the professional activities of students who have exhausted other funding sources. The Ray Travel Award is intended to supplement -- not to replace -- existing funds at the program, department, school, college, or university levels.

Although the fund is primarily intended to assist with travel expenses, we recognize that there are often other costs involved with professional presentations. We have defined the fund's uses so that other legitimate costs can be included when necessary. The awards committee will be composed of graduate students and faculty members representative of the university community, as well as representatives from groups contributing to the fund. These individuals will be expected to consider the university as a whole in their decision-making processes.

The Ray Travel Award supports and enhances the three-part mission of the University: research, teaching, and service. CGS believes that professional presentations of research are a vital part of the academic and professional development of graduate students.