Conference Travel & Research Visits

Information on CDT PPar student conference travel & research visits.

**We strongly encourage all PPar students to familiarise themselves with the travel request and expense claim procedures described below PRIOR to making any arrangements so that you are aware of the expenses which are not covered by your CDT PPar funds, and of the information and documents you will need to keep during your travels.**

Submitting a Travel Request (also for visits & conference costs)

STUDENTS MUST OBTAIN APPROVAL AND A STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FROM THEIR SUPERVISOR IN ORDER TO TRAVEL TO A CONFERENCE OR VISIT AN ACADEMIC INSTITUTE. 

A Travel Request Form must be submitted PRIOR to the travel taking place. Failure to submit this request prior to travel/visit may result in your expenses not being reimbursed. To submit a request:

1. Please complete the CDT TRAVEL REQUEST FORM (DICE Login required. For technical support, please contact Informatics Computing Support).

2. Your Travel Request Form will need to include complete estimates of all costs for which you wish to be reimbursed. For guidance on what expenses you can and cannot claim, please read Restrictions on Reimbursement below before filling out your request.

3. Along with your Travel Request form, please ask your supervisor to submit A BRIEF EXPLANATION of the relevancy/importance of this trip to your project or your training to: ppar-cdt @ inf.ed.ac.uk 

4. We will be in touch to let you know if your travel request has been approved, or to ask for more information. We advise that you do not purchase any tickets or make any paid accommodation arrangements until you receive approval. 

Keep in Mind...

  • You should be setting aside a significant portion of your budget for travel in support of your own paper presentations. Spending on research-related travel to events at which you are not presenting your work is allowed, but think very carefully about whether you should be saving your budget to support travel to present your own papers in due course. In particular, after the 1st year of your PhD phase, it is expected that presentations will be given at conferences attended: approval for attendance without presentation at this stage will be rare, and will require specific justification from the supervisor.
  • 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.

Travel Insurance

  • Once your request is approved, the CDT PPar Administrator will book travel insurance for you, based on the information you provide on the CDT Travel Request Form. If there are any changes to your travel plans, please inform the CDT PPar Administrator. 
  • 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.

Restrictions on Reimbursement

  • Only original itemised receipts will be accepted for payment, following the University's Finance policy. Receipts are required in order to be reimbursed for any amount, even under £5.
  • The most economical accommodation and travel should be used at all  times. You should also book as early as possible to avoid increased charges.  This is a restriction set by the University as well as our funding agency.  If you require assistance in booking travel and accommodation please let the CDT Administrator know.
  • ALTERNATIVE TRAVEL TICKETS: if you plan to add additional days to your trip for personal travel, you must note this on your Travel Request Form. You must provide a screenshot/print-out of the cost of the flights to and from an airport near to the conference venue, on the day before and the day after the conference.

    • If you choose to take an alternative flight/train trip (e.g. arriving into a nearby city for a few days of personal travel, or diverting your return trip to a different destination before returning to Edinburgh), we can only reimburse you if the flights you choose are less expensive than the flights to and from an airport near to the conference venue, on the day before and the day after the conference (again, you should provide a screenshot or print-out to demonstrate that your alternative flights are the same cost or cheaper for reimbursement).

  • For train tickets, the receipt or ticket you provide must state the date and destination of travel, as well as the cost. If possible, please save and provide one of the actual tickets, as well as the credit card receipt.

  • Students are expected to share accommodations wherever possible.  Please inform ppar-cdt @ inf.ed.ac.uk of your travel plans as early as possible so that the CDT PPar Administrator can let you know if other students are travelling to the same destination, to help you set up such sharing arrangements.
  • Whenever possible, CDT 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 for which you have paid, and the break down of costs if it is not equally divided.
  • Expenses for meals bought while on conference travel can only be claimed if the conference did not provide those particular meals, and the meals must be moderately priced. If any additional days are added on as holidays, food is not covered by the CDT.
  • We are unable to reimburse you for: alcoholic drinks, food for partners travelling with you, or any personal items such as travel adapters, throat lozenges, personal medicines, toothpaste, other travel toiletries, and so on. 
  • Your travel request form must be approved by the CDT Deputy Director before you travel (via ppar-cdt @ inf.ed.ac.uk), or we cannot guarantee reimbursement. Please include a complete estimate of all costs you plan to claim. If your request for reimbursement is above your original proposed budget request in the Travel Request Form, we cannot guarantee that the non-approved amount will be reimbursed.
Please direct any queries you may have related to payment or reimbursement of Conference Travel Expenses to the CDT PPar Administrator at: ppar-cdt @ inf.ed.ac.uk

Claiming for Conference / Research Visit Expenses

  • In most cases, students should book their own travel and then fill out a Claim for Expenses form for reimbursement. If you are unable to pay for the travel upfront, you should note this on your Travel Request Form, and an alternative arrangement will be made if the travel request is approved.
  • After booking your travel and/or paying your conference registration fee, please complete a Claim for Expenses Form (this is a new fillable version of the form) and submit to the CDT PPar Administrator in the Informatics Forum, Room 2.44. 
  • To be reimbursed for expenses incurred while away, please complete a Claim for Expenses Form upon your return and submit to the CDT PPar Administrator as soon as possible. 
  • To avoid any delays with your reimbursement(s), please follow the instructions below when submitting a Claim for Expenses:

Instructions for Completing Expense Claims for Travel

!UPDATE: To assist you with correctly filling out the form, I've updated the Expense Claim as a fillable pdf document (see below) and created this sample of an completed Expense Claim so you know what the finished form should look like. (The sample isn't signed but do be sure to sign yours, please.) 

Steps for filling out expense claims, to be submitted AFTER your Travel Request Form has been approved (see "Submitting Travel Request" section above).

1. On the front of the Claim for Expenses form, please fill out the Personal Details, the Expense Details and the Declaration. Leave the Coding Details blank.

2. In the Expense Details section:

  • write the total cost of all travel (air, bus, taxi, rail, mileage) on the ‘Fares’ line
  • write the total  cost of accommodation, meals and other expenses (e.g. poster printing) on the ‘Subsistence/Other Expenses’ line

3. On the back of the Claim for Expenses form, each item for which you are claiming must be listed separately. For example, if you are claiming for multiple meals or bus fares for your trip, you must list each meal and/or bus ticket separately.

  • Travel costs should be noted under 'Fares' and other costs under ‘Subsistence/Other Expenses’

4. Please number your receipts, in chronological order, and highlight the date on each receipt. On the back of the Claim for Expenses form, write the corresponding numbers next to each line.

5. Please paperclip your receipts to your expense claim. If there are items on the receipt for which you are not claiming (i.e. items which cannot be reimbursed by the University, as mentioned in section above), please cross these out to expedite the expenses processing.

Keep in Mind...

  • Totals claimed should be reasonably close to the estimates provided in your Travel Request Form prior to your trip (see sections Travel Requests and Restrictions on Reimbursements above).
  • In order to avoid any delays in processing your reimbursement, please complete the Claim for Expenses form as instructed, and be sure to include the additional information listed below if your expense claim includes foreign currency purchases. If the form submitted is incomplete, you may have to resubmit. 

Expense Claims for Foreign Currency Transactions 

Important: please note that you should not use cash machines for withdrawing money in a foreign currency while away. Either exchange money before you go, or only use a debit or credit card for transactions in the foreign currency.

In addition to the receipt for each expense paid in the foreign currency, you must include one of the following with your expense claim:  

  • A PRINT-OUT OF YOUR BANK OR CREDIT CARD STATEMENT, showing the actual cost in Pound Sterling, if you paid by card. 
    • You may redact or black out all other transactions, but please ensure that the statement shows your name and bank account or credit card account details.
  • EVIDENCE OF EXCHANGE RATE applied to Pounds exchanged for cash in a foreign currency, for the purpose of paying expenses during the specific journey (not a 'historic' exchange rate). Or:
  • A PRINT-OUT OF THE EXCHANGE RATE
    • For expenses incurred in advance of the trip (e.g. flights and accommodation booked in advance) print-out of exchange rate on the date of the expense.
    • For expenses occurred during the trip (e.g. meals), you may choose to print out a single exchange rate from any date between your outward journey and return journey dates and use that rate to convert all of your foreign currency expenses incurred while away to GBP.
    • We recommend looking up and printing out the exchange rates using the currency converter on OANDA.com.

On the Claim for Expenses form, all costs must be written in Pound Sterling (GBP). On the back, please also include the cost in the foreign currency in the ‘Description of Expenditure’ column. For example, in the ‘Description of Expenditure’ column, you would write: “Taxi (10 EUR)”, and in the ‘Fares’ column, you would write “£7.99”.

Informing the CDT PPar about non-CDT-funded Travel and Conferences

Occasionally, CDT students will attend a conference, workshop or summer school, or undertake a research visit, which will be funded by their supervisor, a research institute or a grant, rather than by the CDT. The CDT is still required to report these activities to EPSRC.

If you attended any conferences, workshops or other events, for which you did not submit a Travel Request Form to the CDT, please email the following information to ppar-cdt @ inf.ed.ac.uk:

  • Type of event (e.g. conference, workshop, summer school)
  • Event name
  • Dates
  • Location
  • Funding source