The Graduate Division of Religion Student Association (GDRSA) of Drew University recognizes the importance of academic conference participation for both students and Drew University.  However, participation presents students with financial challenges because of the high costs of travel, lodging, and registration fees. For those reasons, the GDRSA has worked together with the chair of the GDR and the deans of the Theological School to establish the GDRSA Conference Fund. This joint fund is intended to assist students by providing funding for significant portions of these costs. All currently enrolled students in the 2nd through 7th years of their program are eligible for one conference reimbursement per year, and up to four reimbursements throughout their tenure in the program.

Reimbursements shall be made to defray expenses (not otherwise reimbursed) solely incurred by the individual student while attending academic conferences.  Expenses incurred by family members or friends during conferences may not be submitted for reimbursement.   Documentation of expenses in the form of receipts for transportation, lodging, and meals, as well as formal invitations and/or listing in a conference program must be provided with each application to the GDRSA.

The following procedures define the application and reimbursement process and reflect current Drew University travel policies (as found in the GDRSA By-Laws):

     A. All applications must be made using the standard forms available on-line by accessing the GDRSA website, or by contacting the GDRSA Administrative Officer. Students must submit an “Intent to Travel” form by the official deadline each year. Then, students must submit a “Reimbursement” form, along with receipts and other relevant materials, within two weeks of attending the conference.

     B.  All Application materials MUST be submitted to:

The Graduate Division of Religion Students Association
Drew University
CMB #334 / PO Box 802
Madison, NJ 07940-0802

     C. Applications can be fully processed ONLY when original receipts are provided.  A listing of expenses which qualify for reimbursement can be found at:
In this case, as University Policies are currently written, it shall be noted that conference travel is considered “Drew business” ONLY for the purpose of how reimbursements are administered.

     D. For those seeking reimbursement for the use of their personal vehicle, mileage rates published by Drew University shall be used.  These rates can be found by calling 973/408-3328.

     E. THE YEARLY DEADLINE FOR “INTENT TO TRAVEL” FORMS IS SEPTEMBER 30TH (the date shall be October 30th for the 2011/2012 academic year, due to implementation of the new policy). This deadline applies to all anticipated conference travel for the following academic year (Fall through Summer). Students are encouraged to submit an “Intent to Travel” form even if they are not yet 100% committed to attend/present at a conference. Students are allowed to rescind or alter (in terms of location and time, not amount) their intent to travel form later if they so choose.

     F.  ALL INTENT TO TRAVEL FORMS will be processed by the GDRSA by October 10. The Financial Officer will collect the forms and calculate the reward amount students will receive based on that year’s budget. Students will be informed of their award amount on October 10th or shortly thereafter.

     G. ALL REIMBURSEMENT FORMS will be processed by the Financial Officer in a timely manner, and forwarded to the Associate Dean of Campus Life & Student Affairs of Drew University for review and approval. Students should then receive their reimbursement moneys by check via mail.

     H. Reimbursement shall be made as follows:
           1.  TWO categories are established regarding such applications: Category One requests are defined as those which specify substantial student participation, specifically understood as the presentation of academic papers, formal and recognized participation as a designated respondent, formal and recognized participation as a moderator or panelist in a conference, and other activities such as job interviews, meeting with publishers, etc., that occur during such conferences.  Category Two requests are those which specify one’s attendance at a conference where such attendance does not include more formal participation as is the case for Category One requests. Reimbursements shall be made as follows:
          2. CATEGORY ONE REQUESTS: The maximum possible reimbursement is $350 in authorized expenses, pending budgetary calculations by the Financial Officer.
          3. CATEGORY TWO REQUESTS: The maximum possible reimbursement is $250 in authorized expenses, pending budgetary calculations by the Financial Officer.
          4. Only students in their second through seventh years in the program are eligible for conference reimbursements. Students are limited to one reimbursement per academic year, and four reimbursements over the life of their degree.
          5. Should there be more requests for funds than the budget allows, the Financial Officer will adjust the award amounts accordingly and notify all applicants of their award amount by October 10th. Should funds be especially tight for conferences, priority will be given in the following manner.
               a. To category one requests.
               b. To category one requests at international and national meetings.
               c. To those who have received the fewest number of reimbursements in their academic program.