Conference Travel & Research Visits

Travel Information for DTC Students.

Student Travel & Research Visits

Students must obtain approval and a support statement from their Supervisor prior to making any travel plans (even if that travel was previously approved in your PhD Proposal Budget). 

A Travel Request document must be submitted prior to the travel taking place.

Please note that failure to submit this request prior to travel may result in your expenses not being reimbursed.

PLEASE SUBMIT THE TRAVEL REQUEST FORM AVAILABLE HERE: DTC TRAVEL REQUEST FORM

NOTE: DICE Login required to submit the form. If you have trouble accessing the form please contact Informatics Computing Support. 

The form will request the following information:

  1. Name of conference or academic institute you wish to attend (plus conference website if applicable)
  2. Dates of conference/research visit (plus travel dates if travel is required before the start of the conference)
  3. Purpose of the conference/research visit with a brief statement about why you wish to attend/visit
  4. A statement of support from your supervisor; please note that approval for your travel is as much dependent on this statement as the estimated breakdown of expenses. **
  5. Whether or not you will be presenting your work and/or a poster. (Please note: After the 1st year of your PhD it is expected that presentations will be given at all conferences attended; approval for attendance without presentation will be rare and will require specific justification from the supervisor.)
  6. A travel budget with an estimated breakdown of expenses (travel, accommodation, meals...)
  7. Date a response is required by

**If you are unable to get a response from your Supervisor prior to the submission of this form then please ask them to submit it to the DTC Administrative Assistant by emailing neuroinf@ed.ac.uk to explain why this trip is important for your project or your training.

We will be in touch to let you know if your travel request has been approved, or to ask for more information.

Note that if your travel is dependent on acceptance of  your submitted materials, e.g. for a submission to a competitive conference, and you want to be able to act quickly once you learn of the acceptance, you can submit your travel request in advance.  In this case, specify that you will only attend if your presentation is accepted, and be sure not to spend any money against the approved budget until you know that you have been accepted. 

Long-Term Travel Policy

  • While in Edinburgh, students are normally expected to pay for their subsistence, local travel (e.g. buses), and accommodation out of their own stipend.  Similarly, for a trip away from Edinburgh of 10 days duration or more, the DTC can only cover subsistence and local transportation for the first few days at the start and end of the trip, i.e. during the periods when you are actually relocating and unable to prepare meals in the usual way.  Accommodation costs for long trips will be reimbursed as follows, depending on the duration:
    • 10 days - 2 months: Accommodation costs will be reimbursed in full, as long as the most economical type of available accommodation is used. 
    • 2 - 6 months: Students should try to sublet or move out of their accommodation whenever possible, but where such subletting or moving out is not feasible (e.g. due to the lease contract, or because of the timing of the visit), the cost of long-term accommodation at the visit site will be reimbursed at 50%. 
    • 6 months or more: Only brief hotel/hostel stays at the beginning and end of travel will be reimbursed; long-term accommodation costs should be paid from the stipend just as in Edinburgh.  You are expected to sublet or move out of your Edinburgh accommodation, and to arrange the timing of such visits to make this practical.
  • It is a good idea to discuss accommodation options with your host very early, as some Universities have student housing that can be made available, or you may be able to schedule your arrival during a period when student accommodation is available at a low cost.
  • Insurance should always be arranged for these visits through the University Travel Insurance policy and should be organised as per the instructions below.  

Travel Insurance

  • Once your request is approved, the DTC Administrative Assistant will book travel insurance for you, based on the information you provide on the DTC Travel Request Form. If there are any changes to your travel plans, please inform the  DTC Administrative Assistant immediately. 
  • Travel insurance is arranged in accordance with the University's Travel Insurance Policy.
  • Please note that, while the University travel insurance is free, it does NOT cover any days of personal travel for students. Please arrange your own insurance to cover any days of personal travel that you add to your conference/research trips.

Claiming for Conference /Research Visit Expenses

  • Upon returning from your travel please complete a UoE Claim for Expenses Form and submit to the DTC Administrative Assistant in the Informatics Forum, Room 2.44 as soon as possible. 
  • Only original itemised receipts will be accepted for payment, following the University's Finance policy.
  • All claims should be submitted in Pounds Sterling, along with a printout of the exchange rate you have used (for foreign-currency transactions).  Please either look up the exchange rate for the date of the transaction using OANDA or XE.com, printing off the rate that you used from their website or by providing a copy of your bank statement with your name on it, showing the exchange rate, with account details and other transactions not pertinent to the claim blacked out.
  • The most economical accommodation and travel should be used at all times. You should also book as early as possible, once approval has been given, to avoid increased charges. This is a restriction set by the University as well as our funding agency.
  • Following an audit of staff claims in the College of Science and Engineering, some changes were made to the expense policy, and process. In response to these changes, with regard to booking flights, you would need to demonstrate that the flight is cheaper from alternative providers than it would be from the University Travel Agent, Key Travel, prior to booking it. To facilitate this, please provide a screen shot or weblink with your Travel Request Form, showing the cost of the flight you are planning to book. This will be compared with a quote from the University Travel Agent as requested by the DTC Administrative Assistant. You would then get an email from the DTC Administrative Assistant to confirm which of the flights were most cost effective, and either you would go ahead and book your flight directly from the alternative provider, or the DTC Administrative Assistant would arrange the flight for you with the University Travel Agent.  A record of the both quotes would be kept on file by the DTC Administrative Assistant to be included with your Expense Claim. 
  • Please note that you can submit multiple expense claims for one trip so that you can be reimbursed as soon as payment is taken from your account; e.g. expenses incurred prior to your trip can be reimbursed right away, and those incurred on the trip, when you return. 
  • Students are expected to share accommodation wherever possible. Please inform neuroinf@ed.ac.uk of your travel plans as early as possible so that the DTC Adminstrative Assistant can let you know of other students travelling to the same destination, to help you set up such sharing arrangements.
  • Whenever possible DTC students travelling together to conferences should pay for their own expenses and make their own claims. When this is not possible and you have paid for others while travelling, please include the names of the people paid for.
  • Expense claims for meals should only be claimed if not included with the conference during your travel.  Only moderately priced meals will be covered, and only for clearly travel-related reasons; e.g. meals will not be reimbursable for long trips (10 days or more) except during periods of actual relocation at the beginning and end of the trip.  If any additional days are added on as holidays, food is not covered by the DTC. Food for partners travelling with you is not to be claimed as we are unable to reimburse you for this. If there are items on the receipt you are not claiming for, please cross this out to expedite the expenses process.
  • If your request for reimbursement is above your original proposed budget request in the Travel Request Form you will need to inform the DTC Administrative Assistant of this by emailing neuroinf@ed.ac.uk to justify the difference. Please note that we cannot guarantee the non-approved amount will be reimbursed.
  • We are unable to reimburse you for personal items such as travel adapters, throat lozenges, personal medicines, toothpaste, other travel toiletries, and so on.  These items should be purchased using your stipends and should not be listed on your claim form.
If your questions can't be answered by the information held here or on Frequently Asked Questions then please feel free to visit the DTC Administrative Assistant in Rm. 2.44 of Informatics Forum or by using the Internal Enquiries form.