Faculty & Student Conference Travel Guidelines and Forms

Faculty Travel to Professional Meetings 

The College encourages members of the faculty to attend and contribute to professional meetings.  Since participation in such activity benefits both the individual and (indirectly) the College, expenses are normally shared between the two parties under the guidelines developed below.  Allocations to support faculty travel are provided annually, although, due to the unpredictability of demand, budgeted funds may in some years be insufficient to meet all legitimate needs for assistance.  

A. Eligibility: Three categories of participation by full-time, continuing Faculty members are recognized:

  1. Formal presenter of a prepared paper, or recognized discussant, panelist, or convener for a formal session listed in the meeting program;
  2. Attendee (i.e., non-contributor);
  3. Recruiter (normally, at most two per department with co-approval of the search committee chair).

B. Reimbursement Parameters: Faculty members who meet the eligibility requirements specified in categories 1 or 3 (above) may receive reimbursement for their registration fees, transportation, and reasonable lodging costs.  The College will not reimburse for meals or provide for per diem funds for travel.  Category 2 conference attendees (above) may be reimbursed for 50 percent of their approved travel, registration, and lodging costs.

Normally, faculty will be eligible to have their category 1 and category 2 expenses covered for no more than two conferences per year in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • Expenses reimbursed from this fund per faculty member per year will not exceed $2,000.
  • Funding for a second trip will be considered at year end if funds are still available.  A trip can be designated as a "second trip" even if it takes place prior to the primary trip.
  • For budgetary reasons, faculty members who have access to other funding must use these funds prior to requesting funds from the Dean’s Office. Faculty who have been provided with startup funds for travel and development are not eligible for this funding until those funds have been depleted or committed. Faculty members whose appointments are less than full-time or who are on one-year appointments may also request assistance from the Dean’s Office, but, depending on the budget, assistance may not be at the same levels as above. 

C. Procedures and Practices

  • Application: Faculty members wishing to arrange for support of professional travel should submit an online Conference Travel Request form to the Director of Academic Finance in the Dean of Faculty's Office at least 60 days prior to travel date. The application must specify the name and location of the conference, the title of the presentation or panel assignment (if applicable) of the attendee, and the likely costs which will be incurred. Reimbursement will not exceed the amount approved. Faculty members who fail to apply in advance should not expect reimbursement.
  • Preparing to Travel: Faculty members whose travel includes countries with U.S. State Department Travel Warnings must submit a signed waiver along with their requests for funding. Faculty members planning travel abroad, especially travel to a country with a travel warning, are encouraged to contact Jennifer Summerhays, Director of the Office of Study Away, for information and support as they plan their travel.  Please note that the Office of Study Away is able to enroll faculty, staff, and students on an inexpensive health insurance policy through International SOS (including emergency evacuation) at a discounted rate; it is highly recommended for all Trinity faculty and staff to enroll in insurance such as this that will cover routine and emergency medical situations, as well as evacuations due to political unrest, natural disaster, etc.
  • Reimbursement will be made only upon submission to the Director of Academic Finance of a signed, completed copy of the Travel Expense Report form (available here [page 1, page 2]) within 60 days of return to the College, accompanied by a set of proper receipts (where available) from hotels, travel services, credit cards, etc. (note that the expense report form is an Excel spreadsheet which can easily tally and reconcile expenses).  If receipts are not available, a signed declaration must be attached for each undocumented expense.  Follow this link for additional reimbursement instructions and this link for a list of non-reimbursable expenses.  In addition, a copy of the entry in the official program of the conference listing the faculty member's contribution should be provided.  As a general rule, travel advances will be provided only when absolutely necessary.  Travel Expense Reports for secondary trips, if approved, must be submitted with the accompanying receipts within 60 days of return to the College or conference assistance approval, whichever is later.

Brief Points:

  • Approval of travel support requests are subject to the continued availability of funds.
  • Applications for travel support should be made at least 60 days prior to departure.
  • Submission of expense reports for must be made within 60 days of return or conference assistance approval to qualify for reimbursement.
  • No more than two such trips will be covered in per academic year.

College Support for Student Travel

Conference expenses for students presenting or co-presenting research that they have conducted at Trinity College will be reimbursed at the rate of 100 percent of transportation costs and registration fees, and 50 percent of lodging.  This support must be requested well in advance of the conference and requests must include a letter of recommendation from the sponsoring faculty member.  Support will be limited to one conference per student per year.  Requests should be sent to the Director of Academic Finance in the Dean of Faculty's Office.  Due to the steep increases in airfares and the decline in value of the U.S. dollar, it is unlikely that student travel outside the continental U.S. will be approved.

Students whose travel includes countries with U.S. State Department Travel Warnings must meet with the Office of Study Away to discuss the warning, as well as health and safety conditions in the country.  All students studying, conducting research, or doing other college-sponsored activities in a country with a travel warning must submit a signed waiver (a parent must also sign) along with their requests for funding. Students should also sign up through the Office of Study Away for International SOS, which includes comprehensive medical coverage, including emergency medical evacuation and evacuation for political unrest, etc. This is an inexpensive plan designed to assist students traveling abroad and is very important to have.