New Fellows' Orientation

McKnight Conference

McKnight Doctoral Fellowship Program

New Fellows' Orientation

Friday-Saturday, August 9-10, 2024
Tampa Airport Marriott Hotel
Tampa International Airport
Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 879-5151

Click here to register for the Orientation 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, Friday, May 31, to Friday, June 28. Please observe this deadline to ensure lodging at the Orientation hotel. After this deadline, you may be responsible for obtaining your own room reservation and securing it with a credit card

When you register, indicate whether you want a shared (with a McKnight roommate) or a single room. If you request a shared room, the Florida Education Fund (FEF) will provide your lodging at no cost. If you request a single room, you must be prepared to pay the hotel the full amount for your room, $175 plus taxes, at the Orientation. After the Orientation, FEF will reimburse you $87.50 (the amount we would have paid to cover your shared room), upon receiving and approving your reimbursement form.


Parking is available at the Tampa Airport Marriott Hotel. Please self-park and save your parking ticket. For those staying at the hotel, parking is already included in your stay and you will not be charged. For local guests who are not staying at the hotel, we will provide a parking voucher that you can give to the attendant once you depart. Please see Ms. Monica Montes at the registration desk for more information.

Cancellation Fee

– If you must cancel your registration, make every effort to do so by Friday, June 28. Failure to cancel your registration by the June 28 deadline subjects you to a $88.00 conference cancellation fee. Additionally, you are subject to this cancellation fee if you are “no show”. If you do not come to the Orientation, you are considered “no show.” If you are registered to stay at the Orientation 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 Orientation 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 contact Ms. Monica Montes no later than June 28, 2024, before booking air travel.

FEF will provide reimbursement forms at the Orientation. 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, August 30, 2024.

Important Dates
June 28, 2024
All Orientation registration documents must be received by the FEF, and all lodging reservations must be made.
June 28, 2024
All registration and/or lodging cancellations must be made. Cancellations made after June 28, 2024, are subject to an $88.00 cancellation fee. NO EXCEPTIONS.
June 28, 2024
Fellows flying to and/or from the Orientation must contact Ms. Monica Montes no later than June 28, 2024, before booking air travel.
August 9-10, 2024
2024 MDF New Fellows' Orientation
August 30, 2024
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