Procedures to attend international conference with travel grants

international conference travel grants

For the many Indians who are looking to find international conference travel grants, we are happy to help you with the procedures involved in one. 


When to start?

If you are planning to attend a conference, it must be planned at least 4 months ahead i.e. if you are planning to attend in July start now. Since most of us never went outside the country, it requires a lot of coordination also. (I started late and faced lot of problems)


What you need?

  • Lot of patience and perseverance.
  • Passport – I advice all to take a passport right away (tatkal is better) than to rush at the last-minute. (I did the same mistake – it leads to unnecessary tension and pressure)
  • Money is important but not more than will power and patience


Who will fund my trip?

This is the most crucial part of the trip. There are a lot of agencies that are offering travel funds. Some of them are listed below. Each of these has different forms.


1. Department of Science and Tech (DST), New Delhi

  • Webpage:
  • What it covers? Airfare + Visa + Registration fee, No Limit
  • Eligibility: At least two papers in international journals,
  • How and when they pay? DD will be sent to Accounts Officer of your centre (6-12 months)


2. CCSTDS, Chennai

  • Webpage: 
  • What it covers? Anything like food, lodging, etc. with bills Max. Rs.20, 000/-
  • Eligibility: Requires proof of funding from other agencies like DST
  • How and when they pay? DD will be sent to student (1-2 months)


3. CSIR, New Delhi


4. DBT (Travel Support for attending International Conference/ Seminar/ Symposium)


5. Ministry of Science and Technology: Dept of Science and Technology International Travel Support Scheme


6. Sir Ratan Tata Trust, Mumbai


  • As one can see, DST gives the most. The best combination will be DST+CCSTDS because DST pays for Airfare +Visa +Registration fee and one can claim Food/Lodging from CCSTDS
  • Also the funds from DST and CSIR are mutually explicit i.e. since both give airfare, only one can be used at a time
  • DST travel grant can be used once in three years up to 35 years. Many of us are eligible for at least two times from now
  • In many agencies, two applications from same institute are not entertained during same month. If then, only younger will get travel grant. Check the prospectus carefully
  • All agencies encourage getting funding from other agencies – if you get only one agency’s support and can’t make the trip, you are also blocking the trip of another candidate
  • All have to be applied at least 3 months ahead. Don’t apply to CSIR/DST much before three months, they will surely lose/misplace the application
  • Keep in touch with the agency’s office through phone. Emails are not yet available with them.


Procedure to apply and get the money

  • Download the form and send it after attested by Guide/ Div Head/ IGCAR Director along with necessary attachments
  • The agency sends you an official communication that you can attend the symposia and they will provide the funds in future (The time taken for sending this communication varies – DST, CSIR, CCSTDS take nearly 4-6 weeks from the date of application) Check DST website for results (
  • You attend the conference and upon returning, apply with the claim sheet and necessary attachments like bills
  • They will send you the DD according to your claim. While CCSTDS sends DD to you, DST sends DD directly to Accounts officer, IGCAR along with a communication to you
  • Always scan all your documents starting from passport front-page, visa, ticket, bills and have a soft copy with you


Going abroad

  • Always carry passport and cash along with you. Do not leave in hotel room.
  • Never hand your passport to any unauthorised person except immigration officers at Airport
  • If you are changing two or more flights from different airlines, then always make sure at the airline counter that your baggage is checked in. In many chances they may miss your baggage in transit airport and you’ll have to struggle for a day or two.
  • Do not exchange foreign currency from airport or nearby places or Thomas Cook. Always take it before hand from SBI or other banks or else you will lose a lot of money in exchange. (I got IGCAR advance money just few minutes before departure and exchanged at Chennai airport resulting in loss of nearly Rs.2000)
  • Better to carry map of the city/locality and also routes. Language dictionary necessary if you are going to a non-English country]
  • You can avail international roaming facility in your mobile (Airtel, Vodafone) if you are staying there for longer time. Incoming will be free to you and it will be local call tariff to the caller (See the respective website)
    Keep all original bills of expenses met during the travel


Visa and Immigration

  • Check the website and enquire with the Visa issuing authority like Embassy or VFS on which Visa you require – student or tourist, etc.
    Some countries require travel insurance, health certificates, etc.
  • Also take note of things not to be carried out into the country


On the flight and airport

  • Most agencies require you to travel only by Air-India flights. If the destination is not connected by Air India then you have to take an Air-India flight to the nearest place and take some other airline to the conference city or nearest airport
  • Keep the toll-free phone number of your airline for emergency
  • You can block your ticket with the travel agency without giving money. Only if you confirm it, then you have to pay. (you may not get the tickets by the time you get permission from DAE and travel grants from other agencies)
  • Always keep one set of dress in your hand baggage – it will be highly useful if your baggage is delayed
  • By chance, if your baggage is delayed/missed write a complaint along with hotel address at the airline counter in airport and demand for compensation. They will give some cash and later they will also deliver the baggage at your hotel (My baggage was delayed during transit and I spent my pocket-money to buy dress in Australia – I did not know about compensation then)
  • Do not carry any liquids in hand baggage – water, perfume, etc. during flight travel.
  • Carry light and good baggage. If your bag/handle tears in handling or it is very heavy it leads to fines
  • You can ask for second time food/drinks in flights – they won’t mind (??)



  • First, one can request the conference organizers for waiver in registration fee, possible funding for air travel and lodging. Mostly they’ll give one of these since they want student participation and it is one way of encouraging. (They gave me registration fee waiver – it is an advantage while applying for funding to DST/DAE)
  • Carry a laptop if you have one. Most conference venues and airports have wireless internet facility or internet ports. Also you can make a short presentation, if you are explaining your work to someone
  • Better to carry your CV, published papers and visiting card





Written by

Arjun R. Krishna is CMO and Cofounder of #Bioprocess Engineer #University of Sheffield, UK #British Govt. Jubilee Scholar, UK #PassionateEntrepreneur #Makes Impossible, Possible!

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  • Pravin B Sonawne

    Does this scholarship assists for Social sciences like social work as well?

  • Biju Majumdar

    Hello mentioned in the blog that if someone gets funding from DST then he/she can apply for fooding or lodging to CCSTDS. But since CCSTDS now changed to CICS who offer almost the full funding who the other agency one can apply for fooding or lodging after getting the approval from DST. I have got the approval from DST.

    • ishita tiwari

      Hellp Biju, as you mentioned you got approval from DST. Were you only a single author ?

  • Deepthi kethya

    hello a medical student ..will u pls let me know how can i attend international conferences and which universities wud sponser?

  • Marian Abraham


    Are there funding agencies for social sciences?

  • Sharad Pant

    Nice guideline. Thanks

  • deepika

    Hello I have been selected for HPAIR conference at Harvard University to be held in Feb 2017.Can you suggest any agencies that can help me in this regard

  • ishita tiwari

    Hello Arjun. you mentioned in the blog that- ” two applications from same institute are not entertained during same month. If then, only younger will get travel grant.”

    We are 3 Authors in a single research paper. So, does this means- ” Application of one author among us will only be selected for scholarship, in a particular agency.” ?

  • Suja Suyambu

    are there any funding agencies for tamil studies ?

  • Sachin Tyagi

    Hello I have been selected for summer school for Agricultural Sciences at Hebrew University, Israel.Can you suggest any agencies that can help me in this regard.

    • Diptiranjan Harichandan

      Hello, Even I have been selected for international summer program at Technion. Could you let me know if there is any such travel grant or registration grant
      I will let you know as soon as I get to know one.

    • Sachin Tyagi


  • Nasima Khatun

    Hello Arjun. Is there any possibility to get DST or CSIR fund for attending International conference in abroad if I have published one paper in one International journal and another submitted to another International journal?

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