New Fellows' Orientation

McKnight Conference

McKnight Doctoral Fellowship Program

New Fellows' Orientation

Friday-Saturday, August 6-7, 2021
Tampa Airport Marriott Hotel
Tampa International Airport
Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 879-5751

Click here to register for the Conference now.

The Conference

The purpose of the McKnight New Fellows Orientation is to welcome you, our newly selected Fellows, to the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship (MDF) Program; identify and explain best practices for completing Ph.D. programs; demonstrate the correlation between graduate courses, comprehensive exams, and dissertation research; and introduce you to key graduate school personnel, support services, and our network of scholars. Attire is business casual.

Online Registration & Lodging

Registration is online, at no cost to you from Friday, June 25, to Friday, July 23. Please observe the July 23 deadline to ensure lodging at the conference hotel. After July 23, you may be responsible for obtaining your own room reservation and securing it with a credit card.

The Florida Education Fund (FEF) will provide lodging for Fellows who do not reside in Tampa or St. Petersburg, Florida, at no cost to you. When you register, indicate whether you will need a sleeping room for the night of August 6, and, if so, whether you prefer a king bed or double beds in your room.

COVID-19 Precautions

Because COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is spread mainly from person-to-person contact, exposure to COVID-19 is an inherent risk in any public location where people are present. As such, FEF cannot guarantee that people participating in the Orientation will not become exposed or infected with COVID-19.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control ("CDC") recommends that people get fully vaccinated. Per the CDC, vaccines are safe and highly effective at protecting people from severe COVID-19. Getting fully vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you. The CDC still recommends prevention measures for unvaccinated people. For more information see

Consistent with the most recent CDC guidance, FEF has adopted preventative measures in an effort to reduce the possibility of infection during the Orientation, which are set forth in the FEF Program/Activity Participant COVID-19-Related Agreement that you will find here. Each person attending the Orientation is required to read and agree to the terms of that Agreement.

Cancellation Fee

If you must cancel your registration, make every effort to do so by Friday, July 30. Failure to cancel your registration by July 30 subjects you to a $68 conference cancellation fee. Additionally, you are subject to this cancellation fee if you are “no show”. If you do not come to the conference, you are considered “no show.” If you are registered to stay at the conference hotel and do not check in, you are considered “no show.”

Travel Reimbursement

FEF will pay only the lower of either a discounted air ticket, compact rental car with unlimited mileage, or mileage to and from the Conference as verified by the State of Florida Department of Transportation and Transportation Statistics Office Highway Mileage Chart or MapQuest, Google Map or similar mapping company. FEF will not cover expenses above and beyond the least expensive method of travel. Please book air travel at least 2 weeks prior to the flight date to help us contain travel expenses.

FEF will provide reimbursement forms at the conference. Because of our auditing requirements, you must submit the original form along with original travel-related receipts. Please do not fax your reimbursement request. For mileage reimbursement, you must send a MapQuest or other online map printout along with your reimbursement form. The deadline for us to receive your reimbursement forms and documentation is Friday, September 10, 2021.

Conference Deadlines
July 23, 2021
All conference registration documents must be received by the FEF, and all lodging reservations must be made.
July 30, 2021
All registration and/or lodging cancellations must be made. Cancellations made after July 30, 2021, are subject to a $68.00 cancellation fee. NO EXCEPTIONS.
September 10, 2021
All original reimbursement forms and travel-related receipts must be received by the FEF.


The Florida Education Fund
201 E. Kennedy Boulevard
Suite 1525
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 272-2772
Fax: (813) 272-2784