OCG staff have the opportunity to attend a variety of conferences, including research administration professional associations, professional development conferences and meetings, workshops, and meetings for associations such as FDP and COGR.

Attendance at in-person or virtual professional association and professional development conferences and meetings requires an OCG conference application. Meetings for associations and IMURA are attended by members of senior leadership, as determined by the Director and Deputy Director, and do not require an application (note that our FDP membership requires meeting attendance).

Conference applications are reviewed three times annually to manage a limited travel budget and track conference travel among OCG staff.

OCG’s conference attendance decisions recognize that involvement in professional associations as an officer, committee member, and presenter is best supported if staff can attend meetings and conferences on an annual basis while balancing efforts to encourage new professional association members to get involved and attend meetings.

Note: If you intend to propose a presentation for a professional association meeting, it is recommended to discuss your plans, attendance at the meeting, and application timeline with your supervisor. Your supervisor can help determine which deadline to submit an OCG Conference Application.

Application Deadlines

Generally the timeframe for deadlines are:

For conferences occurring

March and later

July and later

November and later

Date application due to supervisor

January 15

May 1

September 15

Date application due to Director/Deputy Director

January 31

May 15

September 30

Employee notified of application status

February 15

June 1

October 15


Staff should complete the conference application and submit to their supervisor.

The supervisor will recommend or not recommend the application and note on the form the reason. Applications, whether recommended or not, are forwarded to the Director and Deputy Director. If a supervisor does not recommend attendance for conference travel, they will meet with the employee and review the reasons for not recommending the application.

The Director and Deputy Director will review all forwarded applications for final approval.

Review Considerations

OCG offers up to15 slots per fiscal year, depending on available budget, for OCG staff to attend conferences and meetings. The Director’s travel as well as travel to FDP, COGR, and IMURA are excluded from these slots.

Of the available slots, priority is given in the following order:

  1. Professional Association Officers and Committee Members
  2. Presenters, current CRA and need for CRA contact hours, professional association award recipients (up to 8 of the 15 slots)
  3. New attendees/have not attended in a year (remaining slots)

Slots are filled on a first-come first-serve basis with applications accepted during our conference application timelines. OCG maintains a spreadsheet of conference attendance approvals in OCG Teams > General.

The supervisor review and the final review  also take into consideration the following criteria:

  • Employee has been with OCG for a minimum of one year (exceptions may be made for new OCG employees with a history of research administration professional association involvement)
  • Past performance
  • Involvement with professional associations, including volunteer activity at conferences
  • Distribution of slots across teams to ensure that each team has opportunities for members to attend meetings and bring back information relevant to their team
  • OCG budget limitations
  • Staffing implications

After final review, all applicants will be notified both in writing and in-person of their application status.

Expectations for Approved Conference Travel

Approval for conference attendance includes the following expectations for the employee to:

  • Consult with the Training Development Specialist after travel has been approved to discuss preparations and practice of their presentation, if they are speaking at the event, or guidance on how to get the most out of the conference.
  • While attending the conference, provide some volunteer service to the professional organization. The Training Development Specialist will assist employees with identifying these opportunities.
  • Upon returning from the workshop, conference or meeting, employee will schedule time to meet with the Training Development Specialist as well as their supervisor to discuss the information disseminated at the event and determine how the information, tools or materials from the conference will be shared with OCG.