I am a researcher at a company C and I'm going to submit a paper as main author in the next few days for a conference next spring. The thing is, I applied to a University U for a PHD and still waiting for an answer. So in spring, I might not be in the company anymore and they will have no reason to pay me the trip and the conference. So if the paper is accepted, I can guess 5 scenarios:

  • C still pays me the conference (very unlikely I guess)
  • U pays me the conference (However this team never published to this conference so it is unlikely)
  • I pay for it (I don't think I would, it is really too expensive (other side of the planet))
  • C pays for the second author to go and present the paper at my place
  • My submission is cancelled

What do you think is the more probable scenario. How does Universities and Companies usually handle this? C doesn't know yet that I am looking for another position. Should I renounce publishing this paper? I have been working on that for more than a year and this is a good journal.

  • 1
    I'm not sure there is a 'usual' way this is handled, each case has its own differences. For my (US national lab) group I would support the conference attendance, assuming no weird circumstances. But, this is similar to other questions on such cases (grad->post doc, post-doc->staff, ...).
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 27, 2018 at 17:41
  • Your title and body talk about a conference but you say "this is a good journal." What do you mean? Are they somehow the same in your field (they're not in mine) Aug 27, 2018 at 19:09
  • I understand in some fields, it's possible for a third party (not an author) to present the paper if all else fails. E.g., maybe you have some other friend or colleague who could do that. Is that an option? Aug 27, 2018 at 20:16
  • @AzorAhai Yes in my case it is the same. There are two kind of submissions possibles for this conference: conference paper or journal paper. In both cases I have to present the paper at the conference. But a conference paper is published in this conference proceedings while a journal paper is published in a journal (which publishes the best works from several conferences). So it is harder to get a journal paper accepted than a conference paper.
    – Mai Kar
    Aug 28, 2018 at 15:23
  • 2
    If you can say what field you work in, maybe there is someone who works in that field who will have some experience with this. Aug 28, 2018 at 16:06

4 Answers 4


The only thing that can be said for sure is that the conference is unlikely to cancel the submission. I don't know of any conferences that would do such a thing.

But whether anyone wants to pay for attendance is another question altogether. It can be explored with the company and with the university. In many cases either would be happy to help you attend as it increases their own visibility. In other cases they would not. In some situations the institution (company or university) won't pay anyway depending on the paper and the cost.

The safest thing for you is to assume that if you want to attend then you will have to pay yourself and to hope that, upon asking, either the company or the university will pay instead. It isn't then end of the world if a co-author presents in your stead. You still have the publication on your record.

Withdrawing your name from authorship seems to me to be the worst option as you have done the work but won't get credit.

It is also possible that you can submit something in addition to the conference and have the university pay on the basis of that, instead.


Buffy's answer is a good one. I also wouldn't withdraw the submission, or even attendance until you know for sure that there's no funding. It's certainly worth asking the company and the new research group (if you get the position), but success is obviously not guaranteed.

However, there's one more option worth pursuing: try to apply for an external travel grant. Sometimes one might be available from the conference itself, from a professional organization, or as a stipend. The new professor or department likely has some ideas on available options for your field. Maybe you can cover all of the cost that way, or at least part of it.


Been there, done that, but with University 1 and University 2.

Normally, you would put up the affiliation with U2 in the final version, mention in the acknowledgements that the work was done at U1, e basta. Typically, U2 is expected to pay for the conference.

Unfortunately, in my case the timing was screwed up and the final version went out when I did not have a contract with U2 yet. So, U1 was on the affiliation. U1 refused to pay for the now-foreign person (they were not nice), U2 did not pay, because it's not credited (fair, I guess). I ended paying for the travel and conference myself.

(It was nice and fun, but going to Japan from Europe for work on my own money (and being not able to extend the stay, because I was a poor postdoc) was not my definition of a good vacation, which the travel essentially replaced that year.)


U pays me the conference (However this team never published to this conference so it is unlikely)

Why unlikely? IMHO, this is the most likely situation. Once the paper is accepted, i.e. several months from now, you can change your affiliation in the paper, and U will sponsor you presenting it.

C pays for the second author to go and present the paper at my place

This is also very likely if you cannot go. Come on, you have a new wonderful job, why caring about presenting 1 paper? You will have more papers to present.

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