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Trainee Travel Award Guidelines

The $1.65 million six year NSERC CREATE Biological Information Processing (BIP) program ended March 31, 2018, and is no longer funding trainees.

NSERC CREATE – Biological Information Processing (BIP) provides travel funding for CREATE BIP trainees to increase their knowledge and enhance their training. The training must be consistent with the program plan presented in the CREATE BIP grant application. Our vision is to conjoin cell biology, dynamic neuroimaging, and computational methods. The program allows trainees to acquire a state-of-the-art tool kit that contains methods from three domains: tools for seeing intracellular molecular processes, for measuring activity of large distributed networks of cells, and for computation as it applies to both signal processing and cellular systems theoretical modeling.

The travel must be linked to the trainee’s training goals, supported by their supervisor, approved by the collaborator or outside partner, and approved by the CREATE BIP Executive Committee. Training at affiliated private companies, laboratories or health service partners is preferred. The Trainee Travel Award provides an opportunity for trainees to learn additional skills or methods not offered at the University of Lethbridge, or to train on equipment not available at the University of Lethbridge, and will cover the travel expenses for short-term visits and workshops within and outside North America.


Only CREATE BIP trainees are eligible to apply.

Terms and Value

Short-term visit awards will be for a maximum of $4,000 (within North America) or $5,000 (outside North America). Workshop awards, to learn new techniques or methods directly relevant to the trainee's training, will vary according to the workshop duration. Short duration workshop awards (for workshops running less than one week) will be for a maximum of $1,000. Longer duration workshop awards (for workshops running a week or more) will be for a maximum of $4,000 (within North America) or $5,000 (outside of North America). CREATE BIP trainees are eligible to apply for one short term visit award, and one workshop award for each level of their CREATE training (i.e. MSc, PhD, Postdoc), depending on the amount awarded and the funding available.

Application Procedure

CREATE BIP trainees must apply for this funding, and receive approval, before the travel occurs. There is no deadline to apply. Applications are accepted year round, but must be received and approved at least one month before the visit/workshop.

All CREATE BIP applications must include the following, which should be emailed to the NSERC CREATE BIP Program Director:

  • applicant’s proposed travel plan and tentative schedule outlining how the skills, methods, or techniques learned will support their training goals, and detailing how the proposed travel fits the CREATE BIP program goals
  • applicant’s proposed budget justifying the proposed expenses (i.e. accommodations, air travel, land travel, travel cancellation insurance, travel health insurance, safety-related expenses, entry visa fees, and reasonable out-of-pocket meal expenses), and noting other funding for the proposed travel
  • trainee mentor’s statement outlining their support, detailing how the proposed travel relates to the trainee’s training goals, and detailing how the proposed travel fits the CREATE BIP program goals
  • short-term visit award only: host statement agreeing to the proposed visit, confirming the dates, detailing any in-kind or cash contributions, and outlining the facilities, training and expertise available to further the trainee’s training goals
  • workshop award only: workshop information detailing the facilities, training and expertise available to further the trainee's training goals. Include the web link to the workshop program details.

The Program Director will email complete travel applications to the Executive Committee for their review, and will notify applicants by email of the Executive Committee’s decision. Normally this occurs within 10 working days of the Program Director receiving the complete application. All decisions are final and cannot be appealed. The number of applications funded is dependent upon the availability of funds.


Trainees must prepare an online expense claim for reimbursement, and must submit a copy of the online expense claim and all their receipts to the Program Director for review and approval, before the claim is submitted for reimbursement. Payment is dependent on compliance with program guidelines.

NSERC CREATE BIP will reimburse travel, accommodation and related expenses in compliance with

NSERC Travel and Subsistence Costs, and University of Lethbridge Travel and Business Expense Policy and Procedures.


Trainees must also submit a short report indicating how the travel furthered their training goals. This report must be emailed to the Program Director within one month of their return from the visit or workshop. Trainees are not eligible to apply for additional travel funding if they have not submitted a final report on their previous travel award.

Trainees, mentors and others involved are expected to acknowledge the NSERC CREATE BIP Trainee Travel Award in any abstracts, publications, conference proceedings, or other dissemination of information resulting from this award.


If you are interested in applying to this program and require further information, please contact Margaret McKeen, Program Director at (403) 394-3928 or