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Last year, I presented a poster at a major conference. My lab didn't have the money to send me, so I applied for and received an undergraduate travel grant from my university's office of undergraduate affairs.

Is this a relevant and/or important thing to list on my resume for future scholarships and grad apps?

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Giving a poster talk at a major conference is certainly important in your CV. If the travel grant to go to the conference was based on academic excellence, then it should also be included in the CV. If it was a lottery, or based on non-academic merits it might be irrelevant. Nevertheless, even in the latter case, it doesn't harm to put it on your CV as it shows some initiative and dedication.

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  • I would add it in any case: as @Dilworth mentioned, it shows initiative and dedication but also that you know your way around administration, and grant programs to realize your goals. Even if the program is a lottery. Feb 23, 2016 at 10:53
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At the position of applying to graduate school (judged based on your tags), I would say you should include it.

But there's a basic issue. There's several axes to consider:

  1. Internal / External
  2. Integral to your program / Separate Application
  3. Merit / Need
  4. Competitive / Non-Competitive
  5. Prestigious / Unknown

Based on what you're saying, this sounds like an internal, separate grant.

If it is competitive to get (as in you received it because you had a higher GPA or better proposal), then you should mention that -- preferably with an indication of how competitive (10% acceptance rate, etc.). If it's not competitive, then don't mention that (and for the same reason, don't make it prominent in your CV especially as your career advances).

Similarly, if it's need based rather than merit based, then that's not really a recommendation of you and your ability per se. So don't write 'Received Need-based grant'

Also, depending on your field, you may want to include the dollar amount.

tl;dr -- at the graduate school application phase, include it -- and include any positive details: explain if it is competitive, external to your program (even if internal to you institution), merit-based. Do not include details that detract from its value: need-based, really high acceptance rate, non-competitive, integral to current program.

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  • "If it's not competitive, don't mention that." - Do you mean the acceptance rate or the grant as a whole? Feb 22, 2016 at 23:13
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    both. Don't write "Received Non-Competitive Grant" or "Received Grant given to 95% of applicants". Instead just write "Received Grant" in those cases. Or to reword it: include only what is flattering about receiving a grant.
    – virmaior
    Feb 22, 2016 at 23:18
  • In what fields is it normal to include the dollar amount? I'd feel kinda silly putting down $737.19 or whatever. Feb 23, 2016 at 19:17
  • It's very common for larger grants especially competitive ones that involved management of the money over time. I probably wouldn't write down $737.19 but I would mention $1000 or $2000. The point is to make clear to people outside your institution how much of an honor it was to receive the grant since they won't have any idea how big the "Carl X. Smith Travel Grant" is.
    – virmaior
    Feb 23, 2016 at 21:50
  • Oh. Well it was just a reimbursement so I'll skip that. Thanks though Feb 23, 2016 at 21:51

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