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The hummel/gray
travel fund 


The Patrick Hummel and Harry Gray Travel Fund was established as a joint gift from Carla and Paul Hummel, Patrick Hummel, and Shirley and Harry Gray, Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry and Founding Director of the Beckman Institute. The endowed fund supports undergraduate travel opportunities that promote professional and leadership development and broadens students' perspective as engaged, responsible citizens of the world.

​Awards will be given to support:

  • Travel to academic conferences for the purpose of presenting papers or actively participating in workshops, symposia

  • Travel to professional conferences focused on developing students' leadership skills (e.g., National Conference for College Women Student Leaders)

  • Travel to conferences/meetings that support the increased participation and impact of underrepresented groups in STEM fields (e.g., Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics, the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, etc.)


Applications Due: October 23rd by noon          

Finalist Interviews: Thursday, November 2nd between 3-6 PM

Who is Eligible

  • Applicants must be enrolled Caltech students in good academic standing.

  • Applicants choosing an international destination must be 18 years or older. There is no age restriction for domestic destinations, however a parent/guardian will be expected to sign a waiver.

Proposal Guidelines

If you are an interested Caltech student who is in good academic standing, you should submit the itemized budget form with anticipated expenses and an application that provides:

  • The requested demographic information.

  • A concise written description of the paper to be presented or the nature of the academic or leadership activity being proposed, the purpose of the meeting, and how the meeting will further enhance your professional and leadership development.

  • Added details, if travel is proposed.

  • Acknowledgment of the agreements that recipients will be expected to sign.

Application and Selection Process:

A selection committee consisting of Caltech Y Board Members, students, faculty and/or staff will review proposals, identify and interview finalists, select the recipients, and determine award amounts based on need, and funding available. Partial funding may also-be offered.

  • Criteria include the following:
         o Does the applicant clearly demonstrate a personal commitment and interest in the issue/cause?
         o Does it seem like the experience will provide a good opportunity to learn about, or engage in, what          was proposed by the applicant?
         o Is the proposed budget reasonable?
         ​o Does the applicant distinguish herself or himself as someone who will engage in the cause or learn to        be a new or important voice for the issue addressed?

  • Awardee(s) cannot hold multiple travel awards (e.g. Bishop, San Pietro, ACT, etc).

  • SURF students are not permitted to have other commitments during SURF, including evenings or weekends, however, activities before or after the SURF period are eligible. The proposed project can also be an extension of the SURF, but it must be distinct and not overlap in time with the SURF.

What Awardees Receive

Awardees may request $500 to $1,000 for domestic travel, or $1,000 to $2,000 to cover expenses including transportation (flights, trains, shuttles, taxis, tolls, travel insurance, visas, required vaccinations, etc.); lodgings (hotels, hotels, rental properties, etc.); relevant excursions (museums, monuments,, venues relevant to the proposal); and conference costs (registration and program fees for conferences, workshops, etc.).  The selection committee will determine award amounts (may be full or partial funding) based on need, and funding available.  Awards may also be taxable.  Awards may have tax and financial aid implications.  Students are advised to consult with a tax advisor and/or the financial aid office with any questions.

What is required of Recipients

  • Meet with Y staff to review and sign an agreement outlining expectations and deadlines in order to accept the award.

  • Complete the proposed experience as outlined and approved by September 12th.  Please note: Any changes to the proposed experience must be pre-approved. 

  • Submit a spending summary, including receipts, with each request for reimbursement.

  • Submit a report sharing details on what was done, learned/gained from the experience, along with pictures, that can be shared with donors, and used for reports and promotional materials. Reports can be made in a mutually agreed upon format (for example, but not limited to - a written document, video presentation, blog post, interview, article for the Tech or the Caltech Y Newsletter, etc.)​

  • The deadline for submitting the trip report and spending summary/receipts is September 15th.

  • Recipients may also be asked to give an optional presentation summarizing the experience to members of the Y Staff, Board of Directors, and/or donors, as well as interested students as available.


The Caltech Y is here to help! Applicants with questions about the award or application process are encouraged seek input via phone 626-395-6163, email, or in-person at the Caltech Y.

Some Past Recipients:

2023 Abigail Jiang - Materials Research Society Spring 2023 Meeting (MRS) in San Francisco, California

2023 Wnhao (Jerry) Xuan  Cloud Zwei Con - Ringberg Castle in Germany

2023 Ailene Chan - Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting 2023 (VSS 2023) – St. Pete, Florida

2023 Ke Shi - Asian Meeting of the Econometric Society - Singapore

2023 Luke Zhou - Mechanistic Studies and Operando Techniques to Innovate in Catalysis and Inorganic Chem

2023 Niyati Desai - Lorentz Center Optimal Exoplanet Imagers Workshop - Leiden, Netherlands

2023 Arnav Das - Statistical Field Theories 2023 Conference - Galileo Galilei Institute, Firenze, Italy

2023 RJ Chadha - 5th Annual North American Mass Spectrometry Summer School – Madison, Wisconsin

2022 Eitan Rapaport - Applied Superconductivity Conference - Honolulu

2022 Sarah Yuan Ni Liaw - International Conference in Sensor Signal Processing for Defense - London, England

2022 Anwesha Das - European Conference on Visual Perception - The Netherlands

The Caltech Y reserves the right to revoke the award at any point due to safety and security concerns or changes in recipient eligibility or proposal. 

To apply you must submit both the application and a budget.

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