Research Mentoring-Pair Travel Award

Applying to RMPTA


The Research Mentoring-Pair Travel Award (RMPTA) is given in conjunction with the Research Symposium, a multi-session event held at the ASHA Convention. The award is designed to foster the research career development of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who have expressed an interest in, or are pursuing, research careers in communication sciences and disorders.

Each graduate student or postdoctoral fellow identifies a more experienced investigator and invites that individual to apply with them as a mentor–protégé pair.

Awarded pairs will receive ASHA Convention registration fee waivers and a $1000 travel stipend ($750 to the protégé and $250 to the mentor). The pairs engage in award activities before, during, and after Convention.

The 2024 Research Symposium is scheduled to take place all day Friday, December 6 as part of the onsite ASHA Convention in Seattle, Washington. The 2024 Symposium will highlight the role of genetics in a diverse range of communication abilities and disabilities. Speakers will discuss how DNA variations and environmental factors interact, the role of genes in brain development, how best to unravel complex gene–environment–brain–phenotype associations, and ways to translate some of these insights into new approaches to clinical management.  

RMPTA and the Research Symposium are funded, in part, by grant #R13DC003383 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).

RMPTA is part of ASHA's Academic and Research Mentoring (ARM) Network. The ARM Network offers programs for those who are considering, launching, and advancing academic-research careers in CSD. ASHA measures the impact of these programs by collecting participant outcomes data.

View previous RMPTA recipients.

Eligibility and Selection

A protégé and mentor apply as a pair and must attend the Symposium together onsite. Below are the eligibility requirements:

  • Protégé Eligibility:
    • Must be a student at the master's, clinical doctorate, or PhD level at the time of Convention, or
    • postdoctoral fellow with research doctoral degree (PhD or equivalent).
  • Mentor Eligibility:
    • Must be an experienced investigator affiliated with an academic or clinical research environment, either at the protégé’s university or at another institution,
    • Must hold a research doctoral degree (PhD or equivalent).
    • IMPORTANT NOTE: Symposium speakers are not eligible to serve as RMPTA mentors (see the Symposium Agenda).

Due to conflicting award requirements at ASHA Convention, protégés may only apply to one of the following programs per year:

The Research Mentoring-Pair Travel Awards are made based on a competitive application process. Reviewers consider each applicant's research interest and its relatedness to the Symposium topic, as well as the mentor's qualifications. Reviewers will give preference to investigators whose area of research is related to the Symposium topic.

Awardee Pair Requirements

The award includes responsibilities before, during, and after Convention. Both the protégé and mentor must attend onsite.

Fall Semester 2024

  • Each mentor and protégé registers as an in-person attendee for the ASHA Convention using a registration fee waiver issued upon acceptance.
  • Each mentor and protégé reads articles identified by the speakers about their Symposium topics. Each protégé works with their mentor to develop questions to ask the Symposium speakers during the question-and-answer periods.
  • Each mentor-protégé pair attends the onsite Research Symposium together all-day Friday, December 6, 2024 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., including a networking lunch with Symposium speakers. If a protégé or mentor is presenting a session that gets scheduled for Friday, an exception will be made to accommodate being absent for that part of the day. Awardees are required to contact to inform the program organizers of this conflict.
  • Each protégé should be prepared to ask at least one question during the Symposium, as time allows.

Spring Semester 2025

  • Protégés who are PhD students, students in a combined PhD degree program (e.g., MA/PhD, AuD/PhD), or postdoctoral fellows work with their mentors during February to write a mentored review of a Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research (JSLHR) manuscript based on one of the Symposium presentations. 
  • Protégés who are master’s or clinical doctoral degree students work with their mentors to identify two activities related to pursuing a research career, which they will complete during the Spring semester. These activities are solely at the discretion of the pair. Some ideas include discussing research career options, reading and discussing a research paper, identifying potential PhD advisors, visiting a research lab, and helping design or conduct a research study.

How to Apply

The 2024 RMPTA application period opens in May and closes at 11:59 EDT on Monday, July 1It is the protégé's responsibility to access the online application system, complete the online form, and upload the following protégé and mentor materials as PDF documents by the close date:

Protégé materials:

  1. Curriculum vitae, resume, or narrative biographical sketch: Include your educational, clinical, and research experiences.
  2. Career statement (100 words or fewer): Describe your future career goals.
  3. Research statement (400 words or fewer): Describe your research interests and activities.
  4. Symposium statement (400 words or fewer): Explain how your research is relevant to this year's Symposium topic. If applicable, describe how specific talks on this year's Symposium agenda relate to your research interests and how these talks could enhance your personal research career goals.
  5. Mentor statement (300 words or fewer): Describe why your mentor is a good match for you and how attending the Symposium with this mentor will facilitate your research career goals. If you are applying with a current mentor, explain how RMPTA participation will enhance the mentoring that you are already receiving.
  6. For incoming graduate students onlySubmit a copy of your acceptance letter or a short letter from the program confirming your incoming status.

Mentor materials:

  1. Curriculum vitae
  2. Mentor's letter of support (400 words or fewer), on institutional letterhead, that includes statements demonstrating the following:
    • An awareness of the protégé's research goals and how they relate to the mentor's research interest and activities
    • A commitment to help support the protégé's research goals as follows:
        • Before Convention, assist the protégé in developing questions for the protégé to ask at the Symposium,
        • During Convention, attend the entire onsite Symposium together, including lunch with the Symposium speakers, 
        • After Convention
          1. For mentors of PhD students, students in a combined PhD degree program, and postdoctoral fellows—conduct a mentored review, in February, of one manuscript in JSLHR based on Symposium presentations.
          2. For mentors of master’s and clinical doctoral students—work with protégé to help identify and support two activities related to pursuing a research career, both of which the protégé will complete during the Spring semester.

Still have questions? Contact ASHA's Academic Affairs and Research Education team at

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