Student Awards & Activities


Student-Mentor Lunch
Professional Networking Social
Travel & Presentation Awards

Student-Mentor Lunch

This professional development opportunity matches students and professionals that share ornithological interests to learn about potential career paths, graduate school opportunities, and research possibilities over lunch in an informal setting. This event will be held at 12:00 pm on Wednesday at the Egan Center (Explorers Hall Foyer); AOS provides support for the students to purchase lunch. Registration is required to assist us in planning and in matching by career and research interests.

Students, Early Professionals, & Professionals Networking Social

This popular social is a networking opportunity for all ornithological career stages and types. Light fare and a cash bar will be available to participants. The event consists of two stages. First, a structured activity to foster networking interactions with potential collaborators, mentors, and mentees; this will be followed by an open-format time to socialize. Participants will self-identify their research and career interests/professions to encourage networking opportunities with peers, colleagues, and mentors. At this event, students and early career professionals will mingle with each other and later stage professionals working in academia, government, non-governmental organizations, and industry. This informal event will allow those in the beginning stages of their careers to receive advice and guidance from later stage professionals with management, research, and teaching experience and who have served on job search committees and tenure review committees. It is a terrific event to network with familiar and new colleagues. Later stage professionals will have the opportunity themselves to find future collaborators, whether they make up early professionals, later stage colleagues, or candidate students for mentorship in their labs and/or affiliated institutions. Open to students, early career professionals, and later stage professionals interested in mentoring the next generation of ornithologists. This event will be held at 6:00 pm on Wednesday at the Egan Center (Explorers Hall Foyer).

Student & Post-doc Awards

Standard Travel Awards

AOS is pleased to provide funding for student members of the Society to defray travel expenses to meetings. The Society offers travel awards for students (primarily undergraduate, masters, and doctoral) as well as post-docs to help defray expenses to attend the Society’s annual meeting. Students between degree-seeking programs with intent to re-enter a degree program in the future, and pre-college students, may also apply for these awards.

Travel Awards in Support of Diversity & Inclusion

AOS is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive community in our Society and offers travel awards specifically to support students and post-docs (as described above) from underrepresented groups and/or to individuals who are making efforts to promote equity, inclusion and diversity in our discipline. Students and post-docs that wish to be considered for these awards should select the appropriate option in the application process.

Eligibility Details

Membership in AOS is not required to be eligible for diversity and inclusion awards. You may apply for both diversity and inclusion travel awards and general student travel awards; however, general student travel awards are only open to student members of AOS, and no one may receive both award types. To be eligible for an award, the student must present an oral or poster paper, and be the sole author or presenting author on co-authored papers. Post-doc applicants must be a member of AOS when they apply and be generally ineligible for institutional student travel awards (e.g., graduated more than a semester prior to the meeting). Awardees will not be able to receive funding for both. Budget request constraints are the same as above.

Types of Funding Available

Requests for funding are limited to estimated costs associated with travel to and from the annual meeting. Eligible expenses include airfare, ground transportation (shuttles/taxis/Uber, bus, train, etc), and fuel. Non-travel related costs (e.g., meeting registration, lodging, etc.) cannot be included in the funding request.

Student Presentation Awards

AOS offers ten presentation awards for the best student presentations during the conference, including both posters and oral talks. Awards will be based on the quality as well as the clarity and presentation of the research. Applicants must be a member of AOS in order to compete for these awards. The presentation award competition is for currently enrolled students (undergraduate, masters, and doctoral), for recent graduates who have completed a degree since 1 August 2018, and for students between degree-seeking programs with intent to re-enter a degree program in the future, and pre-college students. To be eligible for an award, students must be the sole presenting author of the paper.

Application Details

All applications for student and post-doc travel awards and student presentation awards must be submitted through the Oral Presentation & Poster Abstract Submission Form in the AOS Membership Portal.

Applicants who wish to be considered for travel and/or presentation awards must submit their application at the same time they submit their abstract for the general sessions. Please note the specific eligibility requirements described above.

Applications for Diversity & Inclusion awards must also complete a short, one paragraph, essay describing how their attendance and/or their efforts outside of the meeting (e.g., research, outreach) contribute to diversity and inclusion at the AOS meeting or ornithology in general.

Abstracts and travel and presentation award applications are all due on 15 February 2019 by 5:00 PM EST.

Currently enrolled student applicants are asked to submit a signed e-letter from their advisor on university letterhead indicating the student is in good academic standing.

Applicants who are students between degree-seeking programs with intent to re-enter a degree program in the future are asked to submit a signed e-letter from their previous supervisor, indicating that the applicant intends to re-enter a degree program in the future.

Other information required in the application process include:

  • Current academic standing (e.g., pre-college, undergrad, MS, PhD, post-doc, between degrees)
  • Supervisor’s name and email Address
  • Anticipated graduation date
  • Travel budget request
  • Location that the student is traveling from (state or province, and country)
  • Past travel and/or presentation award information from the AOS

All applicants must submit a regular scientific abstract. Failure to comply with the application procedures may result in an applicant being ineligible for a travel and/or presentation award.

More information about the awards and past recipients may be found on the AOS website.

For questions regarding Student and Postdoctoral Travel Awards, contact the committee chair, Morgan Tingley, via Please designate the subject line as the following: “AOS Travel [OR] Presentation Awards – Inquiry Regarding ____”