International Travel Grants

The AAS administers a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that provides funding for airline travel to international science meetings by individuals at US institutions. In years with an International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly (GA), the grant additionally funds travel for US astronomers to the GA and contemporaneous symposia.

Note that IAU membership is not required to attend the IAU General Assembly. IAU membership is highly encouraged for all US Astronomers.

Upcoming Deadlines

  • 1 March 2024 for travel to the International Astronomical Union General Assembly in Capetown, South Africa. Notifications will be sent no later than 20 March 2024.
  • 1 May 2024 for travel to any international conference (except for the IAU General Assembly) between 1 June 2024 and 1 November 2024.
  • 1 September 2024 for travel to any international conference held between 1 November 2024 and 1 June 2025.

Apply for International Travel Grants 

Eligibility Requirements

You do not have to be a member of the AAS to apply for an International Travel Grant, but you do have to be currently employed in the US or with a US institution. Note that there are restrictions on how the funds are used, which will be communicated to fund recipients along with their awards. Chief among the restrictions is that you must use US flag carriers except in certain circumstances, you must use the funds only for direct travel between the US and the meeting location, and you must use the funds for airfare only (not, e.g., for baggage fees or in-flight meals).

AAS International Travel Grant funds are targeted for (in priority order) early-career scientists, scientists from smaller institutions or from underserved populations, and scientists whose participation at the meeting is important for US visibility.

Funds may not be requested for any AAS or AAS Division meeting, even if the meeting is held outside the US.

Please note that the NSF considers Puerto Rico a qualifying location for this program.

When completing the application, be sure to supply an accurate price quote for your airline travel on a US flag carrier. Cheaper fares on non-US-flag carriers do not improve your funding chances, as you must fly on a US flag carrier whenever and wherever possible.

Information for International Travelers

COVID-19 and International Travel

Although the coronavirus pandemic is decreasing in most of the United States and its impact has been lessened thanks to available vaccines, conditions worldwide are highly variable. Individuals who receive AAS International Travel Grant funding travel at their own risk and are strongly encouraged to review the latest travel advisories and updates both at the US Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Individuals are strongly encouraged to follow all relevant health advice while travelling and attending any international conference and to ensure they are up to date with their coronavirus vaccination and all other relevant vaccinations recommended for their destination by health professionals.

All travelers are also encouraged to read "Americans Traveling Abroad" and "Alerts and Warnings" prior to undertaking any international travel. Both resources are from the US Dept. of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Final Reports

Grant recipients should send in their final report and appropriate receipts or copies as outlined in their award letter. This includes grants for travel to the IAU General Assembly as well as travel to other international meetings. Unless specifically requested, we will not send confirmation of receipt of your final report.

The final report should briefly describe the following:

  • the subject content of the meeting
  • the grant recipient's participation in the meeting
  • the benefit of the meeting to the grant recipient
  • attendance figures and demographics (if available)

Timely submission of final reports helps us complete our paperwork on time so that the grant may be continued without interruption in the future.

Final reports can be sent electronically to [email protected] or printed and mailed to the following address:

American Astronomical Society
Attn: International Travel Grants
1667 K Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20006 USA

Policy on Interim Proposals

The AAS International Travel Grant Program receives proposals for review only two times per year: once in the spring and once in the fall. Occasionally an individual may discover a meeting opportunity or be invited to a meeting that would demand submission and review of a travel-grant proposal between formal review periods. Although the International Travel Grant Program does not encourage the submission of such proposals, if by circumstance such a proposal is received and the opportunity is significant for the applicant, the AAS Executive Officer will review the proposal and decide if funding should be provided.