Realizing Excellence through Action and Leadership Fund (REAL)

Sponsored by the offices of Student Affairs and Student Life, the REAL Fund supports student leadership and professional development while encouraging civic participation, community engagement, and professional networking. The REAL Conference Fund is available to all graduate students interested in attending a conference to support academic and/or career development opportunities in public health. Students who receive funding are expected to share their experiences with the Mailman School community through Student Voices articles.


Grants of up to $500 will be offered to selected students nominated to attend a conference by a faculty or staff member. Students presenting at a conference who are seeking funding opportunities should visit the Student Travel Fund website for more details.


Funding eligibility is open to all students who meet the following criteria*:

  • Matriculated student enrolled at the Mailman School at the time of conference participation.
  • Completed at least six degree credits
  • In good academic and judicial standing within the University.
  • Must have written support from a Mailman School faculty member, advisor, or administrator that can attest to the following:
    • Expected benefit of attending the conference
    • The student's leadership experience
    • The quality of the student's academic/professional work.

*Students may be awarded one conference grant per calendar year

Application Requirements

In addition to being nominated, any student seeking funding must:

  • Submit a 500-word letter of intent describing the conference and the benefits of attending
  • Provide a resume and/or CV
  • Submit a breakdown of all expenses related to the conference
  • Provide full details about the conference including the itinerary and a conference flyer and/or link to the conference information page

All grant recipients will be asked to submit an entry to the Student Voices blog governed by the Office of Communications. More detailed information regarding this process will be provided at the time of the award.

Grant Reimbursement Process 

Students will be reimbursed for expenses covered by award funds only after submitting a completed Reimbursement Form and all supplemental materials (receipts, invoices, conference itinerary/program, debit/credit card statements, etc.).

Review Process

Applications are reviewed on a rolling schedule. Applications submitted by the 15th of the month will be reviewed for a decision by the first day of the subsequent month.

Nomination Form