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I was awarded travel grant from the conference. I need to write letter that includes:

  • amount of travel reimbursement requested
  • address for the check to be sent to

I have few questions about amount of money I can or should request:

  1. Do I request maximum reimbursement amount (say conference travel grant offers up to $1000, do I request $1000 or less)?
  2. And related, can I request partial reimbursement of hotel stay. For example: Conference registration is $800 and hotel stay during conference is $800, I want to as for $1000 reimbursement.
  • 2
    It probably depends on your organization's policy. I'd assume you would submit for reimbursement after spending the money, and they would reimburse any travel expenses up to $1000. I would assume they would partially reimburse an expense that pushes the total above your limit. But you'll need to talk to someone involved in reimbursements at your organization to be sure. – David L Aug 3 '15 at 2:14
  • @DavidL: s/your organization/the conference organizers/g. "Your organization" sounds like the OP's home institution, whose policies aren't likely to be relevant. – Nate Eldredge Aug 3 '15 at 3:04
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It's certainly fine to ask for the maximum, if your expenses are at least that much. And you can combine multiple expense items, as long as they are all reasonable. In case 2 you can certainly request $1000.

I would actually go further: list all your expenses and request the total amount, even if it exceeds the maximum reimbursement amount stated. You can phrase it as something like "My total travel expenses are $2345.67; I understand the maximum grant offered is $1000.00." Let them take care of capping your reimbursement at their maximum figure.

Part of the reason for this is that organizers sometimes find they have more money, or fewer participants seeking funding, than they expected, and so they can actually give more money to each participant than their originally stated maximum. So if it turns out that they actually have $1200 per person, they know they can reimburse you for $1200 instead. If you only mentioned $1000 in expenses originally, they might think that was actually your total expenditure, and you might miss out on the extra money.

A lesser reason is that it helps keep the organizers informed as to what it actually costs people to attend, and how much of a difference their travel grant is making.

Of course, if your total travel expenses are only $534.63, then you should only request that amount (and make it clear that this represents your total expenses). The point of the grant is to cover your expenses, not to arbitrarily enrich you.

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