Conference awards for WMMC will reflect the global nature of this years conference! Awards will recognize students from around the world, as well as research conducted on innovative solutions to pressing issues, conservation impact and social benefit. There will be audience favourite awards as well as spontaneous prizes for the presentations that rock us. Watch this space for more details on specific awards! For questions about awards, please contact the Awards Team led by Aviad Schenin ( and Lindsay Porter (


In order to support people from around the world to travel to the World Marine Mammal Conference in Barcelona this December, the Society of Marine Mammalogy and European Cetacean Society has established several different travel grants. In order to fairly distribute fund equally, there are certain criteria that must be met for each grant for attendees to be eligible. Information on the different grants can be found below.
Please read the description of each travel grant carefully.

International Travel Grants

The Society for Marine Mammalogy, in recognition of its international reach, has consistently dedicated limited funds to assist members who have reduced options of funding within their own countries so that they may participate in SMM conferences and conduct marine mammal research. Accordingly, the International Relations Committee (IRC) provides Travel Grants to the biennial meeting for established investigators.

The Society’s Board of Governors has endorsed the need for a consistent policy across both committees in terms of the countries whose investigators can apply for either travel or research grants. The Board further charged the committee to establish a data-based, externally-validated country classification scheme. The following criteria have been chosen to establish this classification: (1) Using the most recent World Bank classification, all countries in the categories Upper Middle Income, Lower Middle Income, and Low Income are eligible; and (2) Within the High Income countries, those countries that spend less than US $50 million or less than 1% of their GDP on Research and Development are also eligible.

Applying these criteria, in 2019 investigators from all countries EXCEPT the following can apply: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and United States.

This grant is meant for applicants who are primarily working scientists, and who a) are nationals and b) operate in a country where resources to support international conference attendance are inadequate or simply don’t exist. Applicants who are nationals of an eligible country but who operate in a country from the above list are not eligible. The grant is not open to applicants who are full time students (who are instead encouraged to apply for student travel grants – see below).

After screening for eligibility by the IRC Chair, the applications will be ranked by the Committee and a selection made based on funds available. Selection criteria will address the potential value of the contributed communication to the advancement of marine mammal science and conservation in the applicant’s country, and the applicant’s country representation within the Society’s membership.

Requirements include the following: a) full SMM membership at the time of the Conference; b) first (presenting) author of an abstract accepted by the Conference Committee; c) full participation in the Conference.

Colleagues who have not obtained a Travel Grant in the previous two Biennial Conferences (2017 and 2015) will be given precedence. When requesting support, please try to limit the request to your minimal needs. The Society will have a fixed amount of funding available, and the less that will be awarded pro capita, the more colleagues will be supported.

The International Travel Grant application process has been built into the WMMC abstract submission form in the conference software. You will be able to provide all relevant information in the form to complete your application and be considered for a grant. The application window for the World Marine Mammal Conference will be open from March 2019 – April 30, 2019.

Awardees will be contacted by July 15 2019.

Student Travel Grants

Student travel grants are awarded by the SMM Student Affairs Committee and the ECS Student Representatives by a random lottery system to students who are presenting at the conference. Please note that we try to allocate as many student travel grants as possible given our budget, and often the amount we are able to award is not enough to cover all of the expenses associated with the conference so you should apply for multiple sources of funding.

To apply for a student travel grant for the 2019 conference, you will need to tick the “I am a student” box during the online abstract submission process. By clicking this box, you are indicating that you want to apply for a student travel grant. In order to do this, you will need the following:

  1. Submit an abstract for a presentation of any format (e.g. oral, poster, speedtalk).
  2. Be a student at the time you submit your abstract. Verification will be required during the submission process. 
  3. Indicate which level of student you are (e.g. undergraduate or graduate).
  4. Provide your supervisors name and email

Please, be aware that there is limited funding for students. Therefore, if you do not need funding and/or you will be funded by your own institution, please do not apply in order to give other students the opportunity to have access to the grants.

Please Note: Student travel grant recipients are required to register for and participate fully in the conference.