Do universities sponsor a student's conference travel and publication costs if the research on the paper has been done elsewhere? For example, a student may have published a paper during a master's at university 1 and may currently be pursuing PhD at university 2. Similarly will the second university bear the cost of the journal publication? Are there any caveats involved (eg., indication of university's name in the paper, related department, etc)?

On the other hand, will the first university sponsor one of its alumni for the travel? (This looks unlikely to me.)


In contrast with Anonymous Mathematician, in the cases I'm familiar with (American CS departments), travel funding is provided primarily by advisors rather than by departments. And then it's really up to the individual advisor.

But as a rule of thumb (or as evidence of my confirmation bias), I suspect most CS advisors would be happy to pay for at least one conference trip stemming from earlier work, if only to advertise their own insight in recruiting the student!

Journal "publication costs" are almost completely unheard of in computer science, even in open-access journals, so the answer there is trivially yes.


At least in the cases I'm familiar with (math departments at US research universities), funding for travel is more likely to come from an individual department than from a university-wide source, so this would be a matter of department policy. That's a little less true for publication costs, because some universities have started funds to pay for gold open access, but everyone is setting it up a little differently so I don't think one can announce a general rule.

At the department level, this really varies. One department I used to be at provided a certain amount of travel funding to each student, to be used however they wanted (as long as it was for academic purposes, of course). I think that's a little unusual, and many departments don't make a decision until the student applies for funds.

If you are in a field in which these costs are an important part of publication (not pure mathematics, for example), then this is probably the wrong question. In such fields, the funding usually comes from the advisor's grants, rather than the university.

  • In India, all travel funds are managed only by the university. My main question is whether people will be willing to sponsor another research in general.
    – Bravo
    Jun 14 '12 at 14:01
  • 1
    Well it really depends on the specific university. In the US, with department level funding, the department doesn't really care that much about the nature of the research and when it was done. They just have a limited budget, and often go by need (who can least afford it, who might need it to help with jobs/networking etc)
    – Suresh
    Jun 14 '12 at 18:25

In contrast to both Anonymous Mathematician and JeffE, I've had a fair amount of conference funding come from a University-wide funding source, and never had anything come directly from my department.

In that case, there wasn't actually a restriction on whether or not the research was done at the university, merely that I was a student there, and that I was presenting research (rather than merely presenting at the conference). As you have a very limited number of times you can apply for travel funding using that mechanism, and it seems the frequency of conference travel increases as you approach graduation (and understandably have more to present), I suspect they're content if a few "slip through".

In terms of @JeffE's statement that a lot of funding comes from advisors, I agree, and then it really is up to the individual advisor. Many I know would be happy to fund a student regardless of where the research originated (especially if the student hasn't had a chance to produce research from their lab yet) for the experience, networking, education, etc.

Publication costs are a somewhat trickier question - honestly, I've never had to publish in something with publication costs, so if I were the new supervisor, I'd argue it was an avoidable expense. If its not, then I'd probably say it's the originating university's problem - their faculty are presumably the ones who would be benefitting from the research hitting the press.

Regardless, I'd at least expect your affiliation to be at your new university.

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