Collaborative Research Travel Grants

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be nominated by my institution to submit an application?
No, you do not need to be nominated, but you do need to obtain approval from your degree-granting institution.   Since August 2015, eligible candidates may now self-nominate by submitting an application by the deadline.  All applications must be approved by an official at the degree-granting institution responsible for sponsored programs (generally from grants and contracts office, office of research, or sponsored programs office).  The authorized signing official must complete the Institutional Certification form to certify the university’s tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status as a degree-granting institution and that the applicant meets all eligibility and residency requirements.

How do I determine if I am eligible to submit an application; what is the first step?
An Eligibility Quiz has been created to assist you in determining whether or not you are eligible to apply for this award. Successful completion of the quiz will take you directly to the application. You will be notified upon conclusion of the quiz if you are eligible to continue the application and apply for the grant.

Can I contact BWF to determine my eligibility?
It is the responsibility of applicants to read the published guidelines and FAQs to determine eligibility and to take the online Eligibility Quiz before contacting BWF staff. The FAQs are updated regularly in response to questions received. BWF staff will do their best to respond to every inquiry, but will prioritize those questions that are not already clearly addressed in the published guidelines.  Please do not contact BWF to ask if we can make an exception to clearly stated guidelines.

What date should I use as having received my Ph.D.?
You can use either the date of your Ph.D. defense or the date your degree was conferred by your institution.

I am a current and active BWF award recipient.  Am I eligible for this award?
Maybe.  Contact senior program associate Debra Holmes (; 919-991-5134) to discuss eligibility.

I am a past BWF grantee. Am I eligible for this award?
Maybe.  Contact senior program associate Debra Holmes (; 919-991-5134) to discuss eligibility.

I am a past CRTG recipient.  Am I eligible for this award?

Maybe.  Previous CRTG recipients are eligible to reapply after five complete program cycles of the awarded year.  Contact senior program associate Debra Holmes (; 919-991-5134) to discuss eligibility.

I am at an independent research institute. Am I eligible for this award?
Possibly. You must apply through a degree-granting university affiliated with your research institute. If you receive an award, the university affiliated with the research institute must agree to administer the grant. Researchers at federal facilities or research institutes that are not affiliated with a degree-granting institution may not apply. This policy is non-negotiable.

Does the travel grant cover sabbaticals?
Yes.  Travel must take place no earlier than June 1, 2019 and no later than December 31, 2020 and the expenses must not exceed the approved budget amount set by BWF.

Are the eligibility requirements effective on the grant deadline or award commencement date?
All eligibility requirements must be current and effective as of the grant submission date on February 1, 2019, not the award commencement date on June 1, 2019.

Is the BWF application deadline firm?

Can I submit a paper application?
No. BWF now requires that all applications for this program be submitted electronically.  Paper applications will not be accepted.

Do I need to submit a Letter of Intent prior to beginning an application?
No. This program does not require a Letter of Intent.

Can I submit more than one application?

Can I schedule multiple visits to my collaborator's lab?
Yes, but travel cannot extend beyond December 31, 2020 and you must not exceed the approved budget amount set by BWF.  These requirements are strictly enforced.  Scheduling more than three airline flights during the project period is discouraged.

Can I submit an application that includes multiple collaborators and institutions?
No.  You should focus your proposal to visit one collaborator at one host institution.  Proposing to visit multiple collaborators/mentors at different institutions appears overly ambitious, inflating the budget, and is not reasonable that these visits can be accomplished within the 19-month project period.

Are team applications allowed to submit a proposal?
No.  The intent of the CRTG program is to fund an individual researcher to collaborate with another researcher.

If my university does not customarily permit postdocs to serve as principal investigators in proposals for extramural support, could my faculty supervisor be listed as the applicant, although the funds would be for the postdoc’s research travel activities?
No.  BWF will not fund or allow a postdoc’s supervisor to serve as the PI on the grant application.  The intent of the program is for the direct benefit of the applicant only and not their supervisor or mentor.

Can the Letter of Support be sent separately?
No. The Supporting Letter from the Host must be converted to PDF, properly ordered in the combined file, and uploaded to the application for electronic submission by the deadline date.

Can Letters of Recommendation be included in the application?
No. Recommendation letters are not required and should not be included.

Is there a page limit on the CV/Biosketch?
Yes, the candidate and host should follow the five-page NIH-style limit.

Are there font or margin requirements for the research plan?
Use standard 11- or 12-point type for the text, and no smaller than 9 to 10-point type for figures, legends, tables, and diagrams. Text must be single-spaced, with one-inch or larger margins on all sides. The Research Plan is limited to three pages including figures and tables.

How serious are you about the page limit on the research plan?
All applicants must stay within the set three-page limit or the application will be rejected.

Does the bibliography to my research plan count toward the three-page maximum plan?
No.  However, graphs, charts, and diagrams do count toward the three-page maximum.  Abbreviations should be limited in the text.

What about figures, tables, graph, diagrams, pictures included in my Research Plan? Are they included in the three-page limit or can they be included separately?
All figures, tables, graphs, diagrams, pictures, etc., included in your research plan count toward the three-page limit for the plan.

What is the Signature Page Form? How do I submit it?
The Signature Page Form provides for a signature line for the Applicant.  An application is not considered complete without the Signature Page form. You must upload the completed Signature Page form with your signature by the application deadline date.

What is the Institutional Certification Form?  How do I submit it?
It is a required form that must be completed and signed by an authorized signing official to certify (a) the university’s non-profit status as a degree-granting institution and (b) the applicant meets all eligibility and residency requirements for the CRTG program at the time of the submission deadline.   An application is not considered complete without the Institutional Certification form.

What do you mean by electronic signatures?
The application requires actual signatures, either an original or a scanned "electronic" signature.  Printed or typed names will not be accepted.

How do I access the Signature Page and Institutional Certification Forms?
Both forms can be accessed on the Forms and Resources page of this website.

Can I fax the Signature Page or Institutional Certification Forms by the application deadline?
No. Faxed documents will not be accepted.  Both forms must be uploaded to the application.

Do I need to complete an application in one session?
No, you can start an application and return at a later time to complete the application. When beginning a new application, you are required to establish a log-in and password.  At any time during the application process, you may click the "save and finish later" button, exit the application, and return at a later time.

How do I return to an incomplete application that I saved, but have not yet submitted?
To access saved application for BWF programs, visit BWF's grant application system. At the time you begin an application, you are required to create a login and password. The same information can be used to access a saved application.  It is recommended that applicant bookmark the page to return to an application in progress.  Note: There are two separate links to the BWF grant application system (one to start a new application and one to access a saved application.)

How do I submit my COMPLETED application?
Once the application has been completed and all documents have been uploaded, click the "Review and Submit" button at the bottom of the last page of the application. Review your application. If the application is not missing required items, a “Submit” button should be available at the bottom of the page. If a submit button is not available, the application is missing (one or more) required fields or attachments. Any missing items should be noted in red near the top of the page. Once you have completed all required items and clicked the “Submit” button, you will receive an email confirmation.

I forgot my User ID and/or Password. What should I do?
For a forgotten Password or User ID, go to the Submission Process page on BWF's website, click the Saved Application link, and click the Forgotten Password link.

How can I convert a document to a PDF file?
You can use standard word processing software (e.g., MS Word, WordPerfect) to prepare the documents for your application. However, you MUST convert ALL documents to portable document format (PDF) files prior to uploading and attaching them to your application.  For additional troubleshooting tips, see Troubleshooting PDF Issues.  A list of PDF generator software is available on the website.

Please note that BWF does not endorse or take responsibility for any of the software programs listed on the website. Please review vendor websites for additional information.

Can I change my application once submitted?
No.  Once your application is submitted, it cannot be changed.


Awards are made to degree-granting institutions in the U.S. or Canada on behalf of the awardees.  The institutions are responsible for disbursing the funds and for maintaining adequate supporting records and receipts of expenditures.

Are indirect costs allowed?
No. Indirect costs or institutional overhead may not be charged against the grant.

What expenses are covered by the travel grant?
Food, lodging, airfare, and ground transportation on behalf of awardee are allowed including consumable supplies and materials that are research related to the collaboration between the award recipient and host are covered.  In addition, BWF will also allow up to $500 of incidental expenses accrued by the host to be charged to the grant.

Will I be expected to submit a final progress and financial report?
Yes.  The award recipient must submit a one to two-page PDF progress report (no form or template) describing the travel activity and what was accomplished no later than February 25, 2021.  Also, the award recipient's university must complete and submit a financial report (form link) no later than February 25, 2021.          

How long do I have to complete my travel visits?
All travel and collaborative visits must begin no earlier than June 1, 2019 and completed no later than December 31, 2020.  NO EXCEPTIONS OR EXTENSIONS WILL BE GRANTED.  Generally speaking, most applicants will not need this entire time frame for their project period.  It is typical to propose a few weeks or few months for your actual collaborative travel plans.

I have a grant balance at the end of the award period.  What happens?
BWF prefers the award recipient to spend down the grant to zero dollars.  However, at the end of the grant period, a balance of $500 or less may be retained by the awardee's home institution.

If I have a question about my eligibility for this program, whom can I contact for help?
For answers to eligibility issues not covered on this site, please contact Debra Holmes (; 919-991-5134) or Kendra Tucker (; 919-991-5115).