Community and Travel Funds


Part of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant for US-RSE has been allocated for the Community and Travel Funds program. The goals of this program are to:

  • Grow and diversify the US-RSE community and larger RSE community
  • Connect people within the US-RSE community
  • Assist individuals to grow in their own career
  • Increase visibility and viability of Research Software Engineering as a career
  • Create opportunities for underserved community members

Applications fall into two categories:

  • Community: These benefit a group of individuals within the community (e.g., hosting a regional group meetup)
  • Individual: These benefit an individual applicant (e.g., travel reimbursement)

To this end, we are accepting applications to provide funding from $100-$10,000 per proposal (with most expected to be up to $2,500) to support members in activities such as, but not limited to:

  • Activities for local RSE or affinity-group events: costs for space rental, refreshments, supplies, or child care.
  • Hosting technical training events: costs for cloud computing or software services (for training on specialized tools), space rental, speaker fees.
  • Hosting non-technical training activities such as mentor training and DEI-focused events.
  • Attendance at tech industry or domain-specific academic conferences to share RSE work, discuss research software engineering, or host RSE networking events; costs for conference registration and travel support.
  • Software to create videos, podcasts, or other media to share information about research software engineering or support RSE career development.
  • Having US-RSE sponsor non-US-RSE events, such as other conferences, where sponsorship would be an effective advertisement and outreach mechanism.
  • Pursuing individual professional development that could benefit the community, such as obtaining trainer certifications.
  • Technical infrastructure costs related to working group activities (e.g., A/V services).

Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis. They are evaluated based on potential for positive impact on the community, alignment to the US-RSE mission, availability (or lack thereof) of funding, the submitting members’ qualifications, and the submitting members’ current or previous US-RSE activity (note that this factor weighs heavily in the committee’s decision making process).

Funded applicants are expected to provide a short report (a paragraph or two) to be included on US-RSE’s website as a blog post or part of the newsletter.

If you have questions, please send them via email to or ask in the #community-grants Slack channel.

Application Details

The next round of application deadlines will be:

  • September 30, 2024
  • December 31, 2024

The application will request the following details:

  • Name
  • Affiliation
  • Email address
  • Description of previous US-RSE activities
    • How have you interacted with US-RSE before? Some examples are: attended US-RSE events; volunteer with working groups; collaborated on a paper, workshop, or presentation on behalf of or hosted by US-RSE.
  • Request amount (in dollars)
  • Date of event (or range)
  • Community or Individual
  • Describe the purpose of the requested funding.
    • If the funding is for hosting an event, provide details about the event and your qualifications for hosting/organizing the proposed event.
    • If the funding is for attending a conference, provide the specific conference, including date and location.
  • Provide a budget justification for the requested amount.
  • Describe any funding you have already obtained for this proposal, any funding you are currently seeking in addition to the amount requested, or matching funding you will obtain if you receive US-RSE funding.
  • How will this proposal, if granted, benefit US-RSE or the wider RSE community?
  • Describe how the proposal aligns with the mission of US-RSE.
  • Describe your plan for evaluating the success of the proposal.
  • As an expectation of funding, we will ask you to write a short post for the US-RSE news and/or newsletter describing the proposal and its impact and/or outcomes. Are there additional outputs or deliverables you expect to result from this proposal?


Q: Can individuals submit multiple proposals? A: Yes, individuals can submit multiple proposals.
Q: Can a travel reimbursement be retroactive (i.e., used for a conference that has recently passed from before the review period)? A: No; applications must be for a future event. Applications are reviewed every quarter. See above for more details on upcoming deadlines.
Q: Is there a way to submit a pdf or supplemental documentation on the form? A: Send the email or supplemental documentation to
Q: Do applicants have to be based in the U.S. to apply? A: No; any member of US-RSE is eligible to apply.
Q: Can I request funding to support my PhD? A: It depends. These funds are not intended to provide general support or stipends for a PhD student for a semester. We will, however, consider requests for funding to support specific efforts that involve US-RSE or RSEs as part of a PhD (e.g., reimbursements for journal publication fees). If you believe you have a unique case, please email us at
Q: Can I request funding to purchase personal equipment for my research? A: No; this is outside the scope of this program. We may consider requests to purchase shared resources.
Q: Can I request funds to attend the US-RSE annual conference? A: The conference planning committee applies regularly for targeted travel grants specifically for the US-RSE annual conference. We prefer those looking for travel support for that specific conference to use those application processes instead, which will be announced via email, on Slack, and on the appropriate US-RSE conference website.
Q: What are examples of approved travel expenses? A: Some examples of approved travel expenses are economy-class airfare, baggage fees, hotel costs, conference or event registration, and per diem for meals. The full details can be found in our General Travel Reimbursement Guidelines document.
Q: How are funds distributed? A: The preferred method of fund distribution is through reimbursal. We request receipts or invoices to confirm the amount to reimburse. If the requested funds required a signed contract, this must be done through our fiscal sponsor, Community Initiatives.