Conference & travel funding
Information for postgraduate students on conference and travel funding.
PGR students who are not registered on one of the School's CDT programmes should initially seek funding to support travel to conferences / study events from their Research Institutes and/or research grants held by their supervisors and/or from some of the other sources summarised below.
CDT students should contact their CDT Administrator and/or refer to their CDT Programme Handbook for guidance on spending their individual RTSG funding.
Some conferences offer partial travel subsidy to students, these should always be applied for. These sources of funding (as well as students' personal funds) can be combined to fund a trip that is too expensive to be funded by the individual Institute.
Travel grant requests made to Research Institutes will be considered favourably where the (non-CDT) PGR student is:
- within their normal period of prescribed study (for full time PhD students this is three years, or 6 years for part time students).
- presenting a first authored or co-authored paper at the conference/event.
All other requests will be considered on a case by case basis, taking into account travel grants previously awarded and available funds.
Where a student is presenting a refereed paper at a significant international meeting outside Europe, a larger grant may be available. The same source can fund other research expenses, for instance payments for experimental subjects.
In exceptional circumstances, and at the discretion of the Research Institutes, research students beyond the the prescribed period of study and MScR students can receive travel funding from their Institute.
Please contact the relevant Level Admin Office if you have an upcoming conference you would like to request funding for.
Students are expected to take advantage of all available cheap fares and other discounts.
For conference registration fees, only the early registration fee will be reimbursed. If there is a discount fee that requires membership in an organisation, and the membership fee is less than the difference, then this can be included in the cost of the trip if the student is not already a member. Page charges cannot be reimbursed, nor can conference banquets or other social events when they are not automatically included in the registration fee.
Where the trip is to present a paper or poster, it must indicate your affiliation as School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh.
All travel grants need to be approved in advance of the proposed trip by the Director of Institute or CDT Director.
Please contact the Institute level admin office to find out more about how they’d like you to apply for travel funding, providing information about the proposed trip and an accurate estimate of costings.
If you are receiving funding for the trip from any other source (e.g. supervisor grant, the conference itself, the University) then this must be mentioned explicitly.
Your level admin office may also ask that a statement of support from the supervisor should be attached to the application.
If PGR students are unable to source sufficient funding through aforementioned sources, the IGS has a small & limited fund available to support top-up funding for PGR travel and conference costs.
This is available to all PGR students, including CDT students who are beyond their funded period.
To be awarded IGS travel money, there are specific criteria that must be met; refer to the IGS PGR travel fund webpage for more details.
Once travel risk assessments and funding has been awarded and approved by the appropriate approvers, PGR students should self service the booking of their travel and accommodation using the University's travel provider - Diversity Travel.
Please refer to the detailed University and School guidance provided via the IGS Booking Travel webpage.
Where a conference registration fee needs to be paid, students should get approval from the appropriate budget holder before registering their attendance. Ideally, the conference organiser should issue an invoice for payment by the School (Level Admin or CDT Finance Administrators can assist).
In some instances, it may be appropriate that the registration fee be paid by the student directly and the expense reimbursed via an expense claim. However, students should get approval from the relevant budget holder before incurring such an expense. Expense claims that were not pre-approved by the budget holder may not be reimbursed.
Please make sure when claiming for expenses that they are claimed within 3 months of the date of expenditure, or they may not be reimbursed. Noting, however, that the financial year for the University runs from 1st August until 31st July the following year and all expenses must be claimed in the financial year in which the spend was approved.
To get reimbursement for expenses paid in a foreign currency, you must include one of the following with your expense claim:
- A copy of your credit card statement, showing the actual cost in GBP, if you paid by card. You may redact or black out all other transactions, but please ensure that the statement shows your name.
- Evidence of exchange rate applied to GBP exchanged for cash in a foreign currency, for the purpose of paying expenses during your trip (not a 'historic' exchange rate).
- Evidence of the exchange rate For expenses incurred in advance of the trip, a print-out of exchange rate on the date of the expense is required.
For expenses occurred during the trip, you can 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 XE currency converter.
Please make sure when claiming for expenses that you claim within 3 months, or they may not be reimbursed. Noting, however, that the financial year for the University runs from 1st August until 31st July the following year; all expenses must be claimed by the end of the financial year in which the spend was approved.