Frequently Asked Questions

Will there be a remote option for the conference?

This event is being planned for in-person attendance. We aren’t planning for a hybrid event, and are not offering remote attendance. In the circumstance that a participant is unable to travel and/or be in-person at the last minute, we will do our best to provide access to some of the talks, but like the PDP, our format will emphasize discussions and informal interactions.


I am an author on a paper that will be published in the PDP volume, do I automatically get a travel award?
No. Authors on the PDP volume papers will be given high priority for travel awards, especially first authors. However, we encourage everyone to secure funding from their institution or grants, and only apply for what they cannot secure. ISEE is trying to stretch funding to cover as many alumni as possible. We will consider authorship and other ways that applicants have been involved in the PDP and ISEE. See travel award priorities.


I am not currently an author of a PDP volume paper, but would like to contribute in some way to the PDP’s legacy and dissemination, are there still ways to contribute?

Yes. You can join a team proposing a panel presentation. We have identified potential topics, and there is an interest form to help you connect with other PDP alumni to form a team. We will also have a poster session.


What topics can be included in a poster presentation?

Participants are invited to present a poster on any topic relevant to their current work. The poster session is intended to be a way for participants to learn about what their peers are currently involved in, and to stimulate new connections or collaborations. Poster topics can include education, professional development, research, technical innovation, or an opportunity that alumni might be interested in.

See our poster presentation page


I have minimal or no sources to help with my travel costs, what is the best way to obtain a full travel award?

Our priority is to support alumni who are contributing to publishing the impact of PDP in our PDP volume. Papers are already underway, but there is a “perspectives” section planned for the volume, which is still open for small teams (3-4 alumni) to propose a panel and accompanying short paper. After accommodating authors, next priority will go to those presenting posters and/or getting involved in other ways. 

If you are applying for a full travel award, we encourage you to also volunteer for some of the things that ISEE staff need help with (ISEE has a very small staff team right now, and we need your help!).

Link to Volunteer sign-up form


I am able to secure some funding to attend, but not all, what should I apply for in my travel award request?

Please first try to come up with the $200 registration fee, then the next priority is to fund your own airfare (a “partial travel award”).


How can I cover the costs not covered by travel awards (registration fee, meals outside of conference, and ground transportation)?

Travel costs to conferences can be obtained from departments or other institutional sources, or from grants which have budget for travel. Check with your department, advisor, supervisor, or peers to see what is available and make a request/apply. Because so many things were cancelled in the last 1.5 years (due to COVID-19) there may be a lot of unspent travel funds out there. In your request be sure to emphasize the total cost for attending the conference (see question below), and what you are asking for relative to the total cost. 


How do I estimate the total cost of the conference?

The total cost of the conference includes: registration fee ($200), airfare, hotel ($194/night x 3 = $583), ground transportation to and from airport at home and in Hilo, and meals that are not included during the conference. Depending on where you are flying from a fair estimate of attendance is $1,300-$2,200.


I would like to come a day or so early (or stay after), is that possible? How do I make arrangements?

Yes. It is possible and the Grand Naniloa Hotel has agreed to honor our discounted rate 3 days before and 3 days after the conference. We will be posting more information on how to take advantage of this opportunity soon.


Do I book my hotel room directly?

No. Please do not book your hotel room. We will post more information soon about how to reserve your hotel room.


When can I book an airline reservation?

Please wait until you are accepted to participate in this conference to make any reservations that cannot be cancelled. We will notify you early February. If you make reservations prior to acceptance, you will be responsible for any costs that you incur, should you not be accepted, or if you booked a flight that doesn’t work with the conference schedule.


What will happen if there is a surge in COVID-19 which affects travel and gathering in groups?

ISEE has contingency plans in place and will closely be monitoring the status of the COVID-19 pandemic. Contingency plans include scaling back to a smaller number of attendees, or postponing the conference to a later date if in-person is not possible in May of 2022. We will of course follow all safety protocols, which we will share with applicants as we get closer to May 2022.


Will there be a COVID-19 vaccine requirement?

Yes. ISEE is headquartered at University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz), and will follow their vaccine requirements. (link). As we get closer to the event, we will post our processes, but all participants should be prepared to show proof of vaccination.


I am not a PDP alum, can I still attend?

No. We’re sorry but this conference is only for PDP alumni. We realize that in some cases papers are being written with co-authors who are not PDP alumni, which is fine, but the conference itself is only for those who have been participants in the PDP.


Additional questions: please email