157 votes
Accepted

Professor expects me to attend a conference. I can't afford to go,even with 50% funding

I am really hesitant to discuss my financial shortcomings with Prof. M, or else he assumes that I can afford the travel. I think you need to get past this. You do not have financial shortcomings, ...
Patricia Shanahan's user avatar
110 votes
Accepted

A potential PhD supervisor wants me to visit campus for an interview before I know if I'm accepted

The solution here is honesty and candor. You should explain that you would like to visit the campus, but that your financial situation doesn't allow it at the moment. Any reasonable person would ...
MJeffryes's user avatar
  • 3,730
94 votes
Accepted

Is it ethical to refuse a postdoc offer after lab visit

There are no ethical considerations here. They are willing to spend the money to get a look at you as well as let you look at them. Just be honest with them so that you don't seem to be leading them ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 365k
90 votes
Accepted

Is a request to book a business flight ticket for a graduate student an unreasonable one?

In Canada it is illegal to get anything but economy fare (including trains) and charge this to any one of the national tri-Council grants (there are exceptions if there is no other availability but ...
ZeroTheHero's user avatar
  • 27.3k
88 votes
Accepted

Phd interview travel paid by interviewer - Is it bad form to ask to stay for the weekend?

If you make it completely clear at the time of asking that you would cover all additional expenses, then staying for a day or two extra would be regarded as perfectly normal and reasonable. (Academics ...
David Loeffler's user avatar
68 votes
Accepted

Visit to a different university - is it OK to bring my girlfriend along?

It is perfectly reasonable. I have done it a couple of times and I know colleagues that frequently do it. Her presence at work/social events depends on the event and how well you know the host and the ...
StrongBad's user avatar
  • 104k
60 votes
Accepted

As a student, how can I negotiate comfortable and appropriate sleeping arrangements with a stranger for a conference?

You don't mention what country you're in and perhaps it might matter, that what's acceptable in one country might not be in another. Here in the US, it's not uncommon to be asked to share a room at a ...
Nicole Hamilton's user avatar
53 votes

Is a request to book a business flight ticket for a graduate student an unreasonable one?

I worked in the scientific instruments business at VP level for 20yrs and went to many conferences where everyone from PhD students to Nobel Prizewinners were there. I can tell you without hesitation ...
Ian's user avatar
  • 503
52 votes

I am invited to a conference as a plenary speaker, who pays the expenses?

You should ask. And, if you aren't already certain, make sure that it isn't a predatory conference. If they don't cover the costs, then I'd politely decline. They invited you, after all. Give them a ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 365k
48 votes

Profs who have done a full year sabbatical overseas with a family: How did you make it work?

I've taken two full-year overseas sabbaticals, each on my half-salary plus a small ad-hoc stipend from the host institution, the first with just my wife and the the second with my wife and our two ...
JeffE's user avatar
  • 98.6k
46 votes

Professor expects me to attend a conference. I can't afford to go,even with 50% funding

I don't see anybody "forcing" you to do anything. Prof M has given you some reasonable suggestions: apply for funding an offer to fund 50% of your expenses. If the latter option doesn't work for ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 115k
45 votes
Accepted

Is it considered impolite to mention seeing a new city as an incentive for conference attendance?

I don't think it has to do with politeness/offence. Neither do I think it's a big deal. However, many places have very strict rules about how research money can be used, and it is an issue to make ...
Christian Hennig's user avatar
43 votes

How to explain that I do not want to visit a country due to personal safety concern?

If I were you I'd have the same concerns. In fact, I'm not like you, and I have the same concerns. But don't confuse the people of Israel with its government. Certainly there are bad actors there, ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 365k
43 votes

Is a request to book a business flight ticket for a graduate student an unreasonable one?

Yes, the request would be unreasonable.* But let’s try to look at this from a different angle: think about how very fortunate you are to be doing your PhD at a “pretty rich” European research group, ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 190k
39 votes
Accepted

Travel reimbursement for grant: The lab doesn't want to provide bank account details

Assuming all the institutions involved are legitimate (that is, you're dealing with an actual known educational institution and not some scam), I'd recommend you not act as an intermediary and get the ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 115k
38 votes
Accepted

I am invited to a conference as a plenary speaker, who pays the expenses?

So I agree with the other answers, that you are not expected to cover your own expenses. I would actually include the visa in that, it's no less a work related cost. And yes, you should tell the ...
Clumsy cat's user avatar
  • 6,926
33 votes

Pros and cons of booking a hotel through the conference website versus finding your own hotel

When I attend conferences, I rarely use the "official" hotels. Frequently there are better, closer, and less expensive alternatives nearby that are perfectly fine. The only reason to book at the ...
Mekki MacAulay's user avatar
32 votes

What do you say to check-in or passport control when going on fieldwork/research leave?

You will need to check in which category fieldwork falls for the UAE - and in particular, whether it is even covered by the visa-free/visa-on-arrival scheme there or not. It would not surprise me at ...
Arno's user avatar
  • 44k
32 votes

Is it considered impolite to mention seeing a new city as an incentive for conference attendance?

It's kind of an open secret that people participate in business travel for reasons other than strictly business - certainly it isn't something specific to academia. For a conference organizer, ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 115k
30 votes

Is it ethical to refuse a postdoc offer after lab visit

There’s nothing unethical about visiting a lab, giving a talk, and expecting to be reimbursed for expenses you incurred for this visit. The lab will get something out of your visit: the talk and ...
ZeroTheHero's user avatar
  • 27.3k
30 votes

I am invited to a conference as a plenary speaker, who pays the expenses?

This sounds like a scam, or possibly a legitimate but low quality conference whose organizers are taking some creative license with their use of the term “plenary speaker” (and probably with other ...
Dan Romik's user avatar
  • 190k
28 votes

Profs who have done a full year sabbatical overseas with a family: How did you make it work?

I can only speak from my experience as a child, but I'll share that perspective since you have children of your own. My father, a law professor at Notre Dame, took a year's sabbatical in Oxford when ...
BobRodes's user avatar
  • 1,101
28 votes

How to explain that I do not want to visit a country due to personal safety concern?

I work in a country where a few colleagues do not wish to visit, for various reasons. Some of these reasons are based on accurate perceptions and others are not. Some of those colleagues have been ...
David Ketcheson's user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

How to deal with classes that I must cancel due to conference travel?

I do it like this: Try to let a colleague* take over. This almost always works with 'standard' classes (intro to statistics, this kind of stuff) Plan the classes in such a way that the students are ...
damian's user avatar
  • 5,022
23 votes

Pros and cons of booking a hotel through the conference website versus finding your own hotel

Sometimes it's worth booking one of the conference-suggested hotels because the conference itself is in the hotel and you won't have to traipse around the city to get to conference events. This doesn'...
Bill Barth's user avatar
  • 48.7k
23 votes

Professor expects me to attend a conference. I can't afford to go,even with 50% funding

Your professor has made a generous offer if these were personal funds, I think. Your situation is difficult, I also think. It would be good if you could find a way to go, both for now and for your ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 365k
22 votes

Visit to a different university - is it OK to bring my girlfriend along?

We often invite people to our institute, and it's not at all unusual for them to bring their girlfriend/boyfriend/family with them. This is never a problem - we're often asking them to come a long way,...
N. Virgo's user avatar
  • 3,001
21 votes
Accepted

Asking University to reimburse renting a car

Yes, this is acceptable. At many universities, adding a few days stay at your conference location in a far-away country (using your own accommodation arrangements) is allowed and sometimes even ...
VonBeche's user avatar
  • 3,556
21 votes
Accepted

Can principal investigators use leftover grant money to take a vacation with their families?

Without knowing the actual laws or seeing the grant proposal, I think I can pretty definitively say no, you can't do that. If it is noticed, it would likely generate an audit of the entire grant. In ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 365k
19 votes
Accepted

Is it really the responsibility of a conference organizer to provide the necessary letters to the participants for their visa processing?

Is it their responsibility? Yes. I've run into this issue before, but I have never had a conference organizer demur on writing the letters. Not only is it the responsibility of the conference ...
The Pompitous of Love's user avatar

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