COSAM Graduate Student Travel Fund: Application
(9/3/2015 agm. Changes include: Clarification of the process, very important changes in RAT-50 International Travel Form and change of address in the ADR office [in red])


Use of this site

Information given here applies to COSAM graduate students only in good standing.

Application by students enrolled in other colleges is not allowed.


Please note: Chrome, Safari and Firefox, as of 8/27/14, will not work directly with forms on this page. PLEASE READ BELOW IF YOU WILL USE A BROWSER OTHER THAN INTERNET EXPLORER

Use of a browser other than Internet Explorer:

If Chrome, Safari or Firefox are used, auto-email is not functional. To use alternate browsers, click on the link indicatedfor the form. Fill it out with Acrobat or Acrobat Reader. Save the file (don't press the submit buttons); be sure to rename as indicated below. Open your email program, attach the application form along with the other required attachments except for the faculty reference, and send to Courney Thomas ( in the Office of the Associate Dean for Research, COSAM. This procedure is true for both the student application and the faculty reference form.

Internet Explorer is the recommended browser, because it can work directly with these forms. Form submission from within Internet Explorer semi-automatically sends the application to the ADR office with the option to send a copy to the Chair of the committee (Dr. Moss in Biological Sciences). The process is 'semi automatic' in the sense that it sets up the email  to the targeted person in COSAM. It does so with your default emailer, which is Outlook for some, and could be Outlook Web App (TigerMail) for others. The macro opens the 'send email' function to prepare to send email to Courtney Thomas ( in the COSAM Associate Dean's Office. It pauses to allow the user to add attachments, and sends when the user prompts the program to do so.To additionally send a copy to Dr. Moss you may simply add to the cc: line in your default emailer. Copying Dr. Moss is helpful because it provides backup copies to the committee, but the primary email 'target' is Ms. Thomas. Be sure to attach additional files in the order indicated on the form. This will make processing easier for Ms. Thomas. Please note also our request for how you name the files; do not use the default name, but rather include your GUID as indicated.


 The College of Science and Mathematics provides modest support for COSAM graduate students to present their dissertation or thesis research at scientific meetings. Each graduate student can receive at most one COSAM travel award in any three consecutive review periods; i.e. one per year. Preference is given to previously unfunded students who are nearing graduation, students with strong proven records of productivity as shown through publication or other evidence of strong research scholarship, and students who have attempted to obtain support from other sources, such as the Graduate School or the agency running the meeting. The quality of the graduate faculty advisor letter is closely examined because it confirms information elsewhere in the application, and further indicates the advisor's level of enthusiasm for the student and the project. Applications lacking any part of the packet will not be considered. If it is detected that the application is incomplete, and if the incomplete state is detected before the deadline, we will try to contact the student and/or advisor to appraise them of the situation, but there is no guarantee that we will be able to do so. If the incomplete application is discovered after the deadline, it will not be considered. Thus, it behooves the student to be complete and careful in the application effort.

As of 10/1/2014, we instituted electronic-only applications, and electronic-only faculty reference letters. Paper copies cannot be accepted.
The Graduate Student Travel Committee members are:

Dr. Anthony Moss (Biol. Sci, Chair)
Dr. Ziqin Feng (Math / Statistics)
Dr. Haibo Zou (Geology / Geography)
Olive Njuma (Chem/BioChem, Grad. Student)

Application Guidelines: (Recall: only electronic applications will be accepted)

1. Starting 8/27/2014, there will be only one accepted form:

Click to download the fillable PDF format application.

Read the instructions very carefully, and when you submit the application and attach the second file (there will be two files total). Do not change the name of the application file that appears, but DO add your GUID (email name) to the end of the existing application file name. Be sure to include your GUID as the file name for your second file (the one with all of the supporting information as described in the application form. This will ease sorting of the files in the COSAM Assoc. Dean for Research Office.

2. A 'Request for Authority to Travel' (R.A.T.) form must be included with every application that involves domestic travel.

Click to download the R.A.T. form

3. A RAT-50 must be intiated for all students planning international travel. The procedure has changed. It is all now online; keep in mind this is an Auburn University mandated process, not a COSAM process. The process is integrated into the Banner system through the self-service Banner portal for each person, campus wide, whether student or faculty member. The new process is designed to facilitate oversight of the process and to speed processing of the request for international travel.


February 1, 2015 marked the beginning of the new Electronic RAT50 Form in AU Banner Self Service, the Request for Travel Authority outside of the 50 United States. The electronic form is very easy to navigate and mostly self-explainable but if you want additional detailed instructions or if you are having problems, please read the instructions attached or contact me with your questions.

Fast Facts:

The new system is completely online through AU Access – Banner Self Service. There is no longer a paper RAT50 form. Please complete at least 3 weeks prior to your departure date. The electronic RAT50 will allow you to save your information as a template to use for future RAT50 forms. You can edit, save, and return to your RAT50 at a later time. This allows Auburn University to track travelers in a timely matter in case of emergency. This is detached from PPS and travel reimbursement. You will be required to check the US Department of State website for travel warnings in the countries for which you are traveling – this website is provided within the form. It is suggested that you register with the US Consulate office in the country of travel – this website is provided within the form. It is required that you enroll in Frontier MedEx – please contact Dr. Paula Backscheider for more information. Travelers insurance is required for the traveler at a cost of $2/day – and will require a FOAP Funding Source within the formTravelers insurance is also available to your dependents traveling with you, if you select “yes” accompanied by a dependent, you will receive an email explaining the process in electing for dependent travel insurance. Of course the COSAM award refers ONLY to the student presenting at the meeting.

How to start:

Before you start, consult your departmental office to ensure that you have the right information for your chair and for the Optional Reviewer. The office staff should be able to tell you this information. Also determine your department's policies for filling out the form. This is critically important; missing information can and will hold up the processing of your form by the Provost's Office. Also contact Dr. Backscheider (Mailing Address: 9030 HALEY CENTER Auburn Univ, AL 36849 Phone: (334) 844-9091 Email: to ask about the medical insurance program before starting.

Logon to AU Access – Employee Tab – Click Banner Self-Service – Click Employee Tab – Click RAT50

Read the Before you Begin page - Click Proceed to RAT50 - Fill out form as required

Although Auburn University no longer requires an estimated budget or FOAP, your department my require this information (see the first bullet above)

Once you have completed the form, before you send it on, please take a snapshot of the completed form on the page. You can do this with a PC by pressing <shift> and <print scrn> at the same time; you can then paste that cut image into a Word, Paint or other program. Please include that page with your other information when you send in the application to COSAM. This way we will know that you have started the process.

Routing occurs electronically and automatically via email. Be sure to indicate the Chair Approver and the optional Reviewer.

4. To the faculty advisor: Please fill out the clickable faculty reference form and submit it electronically. The letter can be submitted either as a  on the form itself or as an official letterhead letter. Keep in mind that it is expected that the student does not have access to your reference letter. Your digital signature guarantees authenticity. 

Download the faculty reference letter form.

Dear Faculty Colleague: We know your time is important, and for this reason the form has pre-loaded buttons to speed the process. Please also understand that a quality reference is a great help to your student. There are two 'Submit' buttons on the form. In the upper right there is a button that labelled  "Submit without letterhead" (blue lettering in an orange lined box) and in the lower right there is a button labelled "Submit with letterhead" (orange lettering in a blue lined box)
When you send in your faculty reference form and / or your letterhead letter, be sure that the student's GUID (email name) follows the standard name of the file (DO NOT CHANGE THE ORIGINAL NAME: ONLY ADD THE GUID). For instance, if a letter were sent on my personal behalf (Anthony Moss, the professor's reference letter form file would be named 'COSAM_graduate_travel_award_professor_reference_mossant.pdf' . Similarly, please label the letterhead letter as follows: 'COSAM_graduate_travel_award_mossant.pdf'. Labelling in this manner eases the sorting of incoming mail in the COSAM ADR office. 

Thank you for your time.

Late applications cannot be considered.

Review Period
Travel Period
1 - Fall Semester
15 August - 15 January
1 October
2 - Spring Semester
15 December - 15 May
1 February
3 - Summer
15 April - 15 September 
1 June

Last updated: 09/04/2015