FAQ

For any questions not answered on this page, please email them to ctf@yale.edu.

How do I know if my research is “international,” and should therefore be applying to the MacMillan Center?
 
In the humanities and social sciences, the MacMillan Center describes “international” research as work that considers some aspect of a part of the world other than the United States, or which takes a multi-party approach to an issue in which the United States is only one of two or more parties involved.  Please note that it is entirely the nature of the research you will be presenting that determines international status; neither the subject of the conference, the location of the conference, the language of the conference, nor even the locations of the archives from which the research derived has a bearing on it.  It is solely determined by the focus of the research you’ll be presenting. 
 
For two perhaps obtuse but illustrative examples: research on Sanskrit religious texts presented in English at the American Society of Religious Studies meeting in Topeka, Kansas would qualify as international, because of the focus of the research: South Asia.  But research on the United States’ response to the European Debt Crisis presented in Chinese at the International Society for the Study of Economics meeting in Dubai, would not qualify, also because of the focus of the research: the United States.
 
 
The research I will be presenting was produced in collaboration with other scholars.  Do I qualify for the CTF?
 
We understand that this is often the case, especially for students who work in labs.  Co-authored research qualifies for the CTF if you were one of the lead researchers or directors of the project.  If in doubt, ask yourself: “is this research that I would share with others as proof of my academic pursuits, acumen, or development?”  If the answer is yes, it likely qualifies.  But the CTF is not designed to facilitate students traveling as proxies to present their PI’s findings, or the research primarily done by another.  If in doubt, feel free to email ctf@yale.edu.
 
What costs can be covered? What costs cannot be covered?
 
The CTF can be used to reimburse costs incurred for travel to and from conferences (including shuttles to or from airports, train stations, rental cars, etc.), lodging at conferences, and registration fees for the conference.  It cannot be used for meals, entertainment, or supplies.  One exception to this rule is for materials that are unique and essential to your presentation—such as costs of printing a poster to display.   These should be specifically applied for in your proposed budget.  MA/MS students and PhD students who have not yet advanced to candidacy may apply for up to $500 of reimbursement; students who have advanced to candidacy may apply for up to $750.
 
I’m applying for a conference that will happen after my qualifying exams, but I haven’t taken them yet.  How will I know if I’m a candidate and qualify for the $750?
 
When you apply through the grants and fellowships system, the system will “pull” basic details from your academic record at the moment of application.  This information reflects whether or not you have advanced to candidacy at that point in time, and for purposes of equity this is the information that governs our decision about the $500/$750 threshold (rest assured, this data does not show grades or other personal information).  If in doubt as to whether you have officially advanced to candidacy in the Yale database, it’s best to e-mail your departmental registrar to find out. 
 
Can I combine the CTF with other sources of funding?
 
You can, although please remember that we generally ask students to use other known sources of funding before applying to the CTF.  But with that said, you can certainly combine the CTF with other funding to cover the costs of travel and lodging, which we know can exceed the $500 or $750 we offer.  The only restriction is that students cannot request reimbursement for the same expense from both funding sources (i.e. submitting the same plane ticket receipt twice to effectively “make a profit.”)  Doing so would constitute a serious breach of Yale’s code of conduct. 

Finally, how can I make my application most effective?  
 
Apply as early as possible!  As soon as you have a document confirming that you have been selected to present at a conference (a copy or screenshot of an e-mail from the conference organizers is fine), you can and should apply.  This maximizes your chances of learning about your application decision before you attend the conference, which assists in your planning—it also means if your application is approved, you can submit receipts the moment you get back from the conference. Please be aware that processing times can take up to six weeks, so the earlier the application, the better the chances you can plan your travel with ease.