ISC 2018 Launches Travel Grant Program for Students

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Today the ISC Group rolled out their new ISC High Performance Travel Grant Program  to enable university students and young researchers to attend the conference in Germany.

Starting this year, ISC Group will select two individuals to receive the ISC Travel Grant. For recipients traveling from Europe or North Africa, the maximum funding is 1000 euros per person, and for the rest of the world, it is 1500 euros per person. ISC Group will also provide the grant recipients free registration for the entire conference, which takes place from June 24 – June 28 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Dr. Julian Kunkel from the University of Reading

Dr. Julian Kunkel from the University of Reading will mentor the selected grant recipients helping them get the most out of the conference by suggesting relevant program sessions and introducing them to experts in their research field.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

  • The applicant must be at least 21 years of age and be either currently enrolled in a university degree program or employed at a research facility in their home country.
  • If enrolled as a student, the applicant must show a keen interest in acquiring knowledge in computational or data science, and
  • if a researcher, they must be in strong need of HPC skills to solve problems across a wide variety of compute-intense or data-intensive disciplines.
  • The applicant cannot have received any past travel funding from ISC High Performance.
  • The applicant must explain, in an English essay of 350 to 450 words, how this experience will benefit them and how they intend to pay it forward.

All applications for the ISC Travel Grant will be considered by an evaluation committee consisting of Elizabeth Leake, of STEM-Trek; Julian Kunkel, from University of Reading; Kim McMahon, of McMahon Consulting; and Colleen Sheedy, from ISC Group.

The evaluation criteria include the applicant’s need and lack of funding alternatives, the estimated cost of travel and accommodation, and how they plan to pay forward the knowledge they acquire at the conference. Naturally, applicants must also meet all the requirements listed in the “Who is Eligible to Apply” section, above.

Only complete applications made via the application form and accompanied by a letter of support from their advisor or employer, will be considered for the ISC Travel Grant by the evaluation committee. The letter of support must be printed on an official letterhead from the student’s advisor or their employer. The letter must affirm that the applicant requires funding to attend the conference, and that no other sources of funding are available.

Other background material, for example, at which stage the applicant is in their study or research, will make the application stronger.

Elizabeth Leake from STEM-Trek

I’ve been involved with technical conference program planning since 2002,” said Elizabeth Leake, Founder and President of STEM-Trek. “As institutional budgets waned after the 2008 global economic crisis, each year, fewer funds are available for scholarly travel. In most cases, professional conferences have become a luxury reserved for top leadership. But leaders are distracted; they tend to participate on an a la carte basis by attending only specific sessions. They are tempted to retreat to the ‘rabbit hole’ where they must remotely mitigate disasters that would otherwise occur in their absence. It’s an isolated experience with little opportunity to network. Conversely, student program participants are involved with planned activities that promote learning and full conference engagement. But few students can afford to attend on their own. I’m therefore thrilled that ISC earmarks support for student travel. I’m honored to serve on the evaluation committee this year, and look forward to meeting the ISC Student Program cohort and planning committee in Frankfurt!”

Applications are due by May 1, 2018. The successful candidates will be notified on May 15, which allows them about five weeks to obtain their Germany visa, if necessary.

For more information, contact Colleen Sheedy at

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