I am a PhD student, who has been awarded a young researcher grant, which I intend to use to work at another (host) institute which my home institute is collaborating with. In order to accept the grant and get reimbursed, the institution which rewarded me the grant wants me to fill in a form. It includes personal details, travel/accommodation related information etc, and also requests bank account details (like name of the account holder, bank address, country, IBAN and BIC or SWIFT) for the home institute for reimbursement, as they prefer this.
My supervisor said he doesn't know this information and thus my supervisor contacted the HR head. My supervisor told me afterwards that the HR said that for the lab I (we) work at, they cannot provide that information. When I asked my supervisor why that is the case, he gave a bit of a vague answer that the lab doesn't have an account (or that there is one on a higher level) and he used a little bit of a "none of your business"-argument, which left me in a state of confusion.
For "normal" travel/stays, like conferences/workshops (funded by the lab/institute?), there's a system which takes care of the funding. Any travel related-expenses made by that researcher can be reimbursed after they return the bills at work and the travel/stay has been registered. So obviously there is a reimbursement system and thus a bank account.
My supervisor asked me to instead give them my own bank account details. I guess I wouldn't have anything against this, but reasonably the institute must have a bank account. I have been on more than one trip since the start of my PhD where I have not been reimbursed by my home institute yet, both my supervisor knows it and the HR which handles my requests. Should I try to push my supervisor again, or see some other HR staff/other members of the lab and ask if they can get the bank account details (and also keep my supervisor updated)? I am not sure I can buy my supervisor's argument and then feel ok on following his instructions. I have a bad feeling they are going to mess up again.
EDIT: Thank you all in the community for being so engaging in this matter, and sending me a lot of suggestions and options on how to move forward. It has given me more confidence to confront the people in charge (and make some progress).
After reading the fine print for the research award and contacted the institution for additional information, we found that according to EC regulations, receipts issued from XXX beneficiaries (i.e. institutes participating in XXX either as a partner or as a third party) cannot be accepted, where the institute I work at belongs to XXX. This seem to mean that in order to not violate the EC regulation my home institute cannot send them any expenses (like receipts for paying the accommodation, travel or my daily expenses). I think this is weird... For me this important information should have been mentioned somewhere more accessible or be more clearly specified. The institution replied that in this case they will be in charge of booking and paying for the travel and accommodation, but they need to check if they can reimburse any daily expenses from me (as an individual). If they can reimburse me I will most likely provide my bank account details in the form in order for anyone to not violate the EC regulations (and my supervisor most likely will not need to explain why our lab/institute couldn't give the bank account details when we thought it was necessary). If the daily expenses (local transportation and food) cannot be covered by the funding, most likely my home institute will cover it (and most likely I will not need to fill in my bank account details in the form).
Let's wait for their response and I will give you a final update.
FINAL EDIT: I would like to thank everyone in this community for the support, and for your suggestions in the comments. As several people have pointed out in the comments, since I am a first year PhD student, I should not spend time on acting as an intermediary, but get the respective financial staff in contact with each other. I tried my best to follow it:
The accommodation I am staying at is a university residence/student accommodation of nice quality which we all agreed upon (going for a hotel/airbnb would not be financially plausible). The institution did eventually a good job from their side and took the initiative to contact the student organization managing the accommodations, where they kept me in all email correspondence, and they paid for the stay and travel. However when I needed my supervisor with any type of support in this matter, such as resolving any misunderstandings (dates of the stay, type of payment, authorization of payment etc. ...), I sometimes forwarded to him the emails (financial staff was really out of reach for me, I was never really in touch with any of them during all this time), and he replied to me orally/wrote in the informal "work chat app" what I should email them back in such circumstances, which oftentimes lead me doing things multiple times. When we were both in doubt, I asked if we should contact the HR. According to my supervisor I/we shouldn't really contact ("bother") the financial staff/HR, as I don't speak the language fluently and we encounter oftentimes misunderstandings/no communication (and almost nobody speaks any decent English, yep, and I work in international research environment in a big city in Europe) and the HR staff is understaffed and very busy... According to this mindset, we must help them with their workload as much as possible, which can mean even outside our scope of work and knowledge, and preferably only the supervisor should contact the HR. This ended up with me being the intermediary and putting too much effort into this whole process... Should I have asked higher-ups for assistance?
More details, two events: Event I: The institution claimed eventually that the daily expenses could not be covered by them and said again that's due to the EC regulations, so my home institute will reimburse me for the daily expenses (which I think turned out to be the best outcome: I don't even want to think about sending receipts to the institution abroad, asking for reimbursement and acting as an intermediary again). At some point during this process I got introduced to a HR staff who speaks English quite well, who's been working longer than I have been at my home institute (which got me thinking why I wasn't introduced tho this person before...??) and due to my mistrust towards the specific HR from previous experience on reimbursement, this was perfect to me. She offered the alternative of requesting an advance and got me a form where you request money in advance for a trip, which I have never heard of before. I submitted the document and did get in fact an advance as requested before the trip. She also sped up the process for my reimbursement from my previous trips, which got me all the reimbursement in few days. Thank you!! Unfortunately she left the job recently :'(
Event II: The student organization managing the accommodations, requested also that a home insurance had to be paid. If no home insurance will be provided on time, their policy doesn't allow for a stay. At this point I was too tired to ask the institute why (which in hindsight was maybe not the best option). I then asked my supervisor if the lab could cover it. He asked the HR for the lab we work at, where he informed it's not possible, moreover a reimbursement for this is not possible (The wonderful HR person has left the job by now). "The deal" communicated to me orally through the HR/my supervisor is that they reimburse me one additional meal, as it corresponds to roughly the same price (which is true, so not much money). I asked my supervisor how this deal will be assured, upon my supervisor replied: you will get reimbursed because you'll remember. Given the limited information, I found the offered solution by the HR to be appalling and unprofessional.
I have now arrived to the host institute, found my accommodation and started my work.
This whole experience has learnt me quite a lot about the institute's view on reimbursement/work. Conclusions? Ask AcademiaStackExchange for good advice. Thanks for reading and for any contributions made :)
TLDR: Rant on my home institute, the funding institution managing funding and trip and putting their work on me, and a wonderful HR worker.