Funding Support for Academic Research, Scholarship, and Professional Development


The Presidential Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (PCSOGI) has limited travel funds available to help support faculty, staff, and students who wish to attend conferences, workshops, or seminars for the purpose of learning about or presenting scholarship on lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender topics. For example, faculty or students may wish to seek support for presentations on LGBT topics at academic conferences or for attending conferences where they will have the opportunity to engage in new learning on LGBT topics.

Funding requests will be evaluated based on a combination of several factors. These factors include:

  1. Relevance to LGBT Programs. Requests must be directly relevant to LGBT topics. It is up to the applicant to demonstrate relevance. For example, a request to attend a conference on LGBT concerns on college campuses seems relevant on its face. A request to attend a conference on gender issues should include more information about specific LGBT topics that will be discussed.
  2. Receipt of Request. Preference will be given to requests based on the order that they are received. All funding available for a fiscal year may be distributed as early as the fall semester of that year. Applicants should submit their requests as soon as possible, even if the activity will occur during the spring semester or summer session.
  3. Applicant Status. Because faculty, staff, and graduate students tend to have more available funding than undergraduate students, preference will be given to requesting parties in this general order:
    • Undergraduate Students
    • Graduate Students
    • Faculty/Staff (no distinction is made between administration, faculty, SPS, or civil service staff)
  4. Application to the NIU Community. Preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate that their travel will result in a direct application to the university community. Applicants are strongly encouraged to conduct at least one presentation to the NIU community, such as part of the Third Thursday program or during one of the LGBT-themed months held each year. Applicants should note plans for this kind of activity explicitly in the application.
  5. Availability of Additional Funding. Applicants are required to give a detailed account of all sources of funding. Those applicants who are receiving no additional funding (such as from academic departments, grants, etc.) will be given preference over applicants who receive funding from other sources. Note: PCSOGI reserves the right to withdraw or adjust funding levels based on information received from other sources. For instance, if an applicant indicates that s/he is receiving no funding, and PCSOGI becomes aware that an academic department is contributing to that person’s costs in some way, PCSOGI may decide to withdraw or lessen the amount of funding pledged. The applicant will be given notice in as timely a manner as possible and will be given the opportunity to explain new information.
  6. Applicant Participation Level. Applicants who are presenting at a conference will be given preference over applicants who are not presenting. PCSOGI requires confirmation that a presentation proposal has been approved by the conference planners. PCSOGI reserves the right to adjust funding levels based on cancellations of presentations.
  7. PCSOGI is an equal opportunity Commission. Funding will not be based on an applicant’s race, ethnicity, age, gender, or sexual orientation.

PLEASE NOTE: PCSOGI strives for fairness and uniformity in granting funding requests. However, there is no set formula for funding requests, and PCSOGI is not obligated to explain differences in funding to applicants. Furthermore, although PCSOGI stands by all commitments for funding, we reserve the right to change (decrease or increase) our funding commitments based on changes in the factors outlined above. Applicants should let the Commission know of any changes to the application as soon as possible.

To apply for funds, please submit a PCSOGI Request for Travel Support form, including a breakdown of costs and other sources of funding support. All travel must take place in the fiscal year during which funds are requested.

PCSOGI Travel Support Request Form

For more information, contact the commission at pcsogi@niu.edu.