2019-20 Graduate Travel Funding Policy
Travel funds are available to assist with travel to conferences and/or to conduct research during the academic year or the summer break.
Submitting an application (along with appropriate justification and budget) for travel funds is mandatory. Advisors must approve the Travel Funding Request before it is submitted for consideration.
Selection criteria (funding priorities) for graduate student research/travel funding in the History Department (as approved by the Graduate Committee on 2/14/18):
1. As a general rule, students seeking funding for their first conference/research travel of the year receive priority.
2. As a general rule, students who have entered Ph. D. candidacy are permitted to seek one conference funding per semester.
3. As a general rule, students must enter Ph. D. candidacy before seeking conference travel funding. Conference travels before entering candidacy may be approved under special circumstances.
4. As a general rule, students must be presenting research that is directly tied to their dissertation project to receive travel funding.
5. To the extent possible, due attention will be paid to an equitable distribution of funds among all students in degree candidacy and in good standing.
6. Cost overruns will not be approved in the absence of extenuating circumstances evidenced by appropriate documentation.
7. Out-of-cycle requests will only be considered if there are extenuating circumstances evidenced by appropriate documentation.
8. Students cannot seek funds to pay for their sixth (and seventh, etc) year tuition.
Applications are considered for approval by the Director of Graduate Studies in conjunction with the Travel Funding Subcommittee, according to the following deadlines:
Requests are due by the 1st of each month at least two months prior to the proposed travel.
For example, an application for research travel in March must be submitted by January 1 at the latest. Earlier submissions are strongly encouraged. Late submissions will not be considered. Students will be notified of the decision on their request no later than the 10th of each month.
NOTE: If a trip is anticipated, but not confirmed (i.e. awaiting an acceptance letter from a conference), a Travel Funding Request should still be submitted within the appropriate round of funding with a statement outlining the circumstances of the request.
Early submissions are accepted and considered for time-sensitive requests in special circumstances with proper justification. Please contact the Graduate Administrator first before submitting..
PLEASE NOTE the following guidelines when submitting an application and calculating a travel budget:
1) With the exception of the Dean’s Conference, Research, and Professionalization Fund, students are expected to apply for outside funding whenever possible to defray costs to the department.
2) The travel budget should be as comprehensive as possible. Submit a budget for the ENTIRE trip, regardless of anticipated outside funding.
3) Outside funding support received after submitting the travel request must be reported to the Graduate Administrator. The amount of outside funding will be deducted from the amount provided by the History Department.
4) If travel dates change or the trip is cancelled after the application is approved, the student must notify the Graduate Administrator ASAP. NOTE: If the trip is shortened by several days, the original funding amount may be readjusted. For example: If a two-week research trip is approved for $2,000, the budget may be readjusted if the actual trip is shortened to one-week.
5) Students are encouraged to share rooms at conferences to minimize costs.
6) Per Diem for meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) is calculated as the difference between Houston’s ($61) and the destination Per Diem. For example: Per Diem for a five-day trip to Boston ($69) would be $8/day or $64 total for the trip. Domestic per diem rates can be found here: https://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/104711. Foreign per diem rates >>
NOTE: If a travel destination has a per diem lower than $61/day, no per diem may be claimed.
7) Mileage is reimbursed per the Rice University Rate.
8) Advances are generally available no earlier than 15 days in advance of departure date.
9) A Rice P-Card is available (and encouraged) for advance purchases for student travel. Arrangements are made with the Graduate Administrator to use the P-Card.
10) ALL advances and reimbursements are processed through Concur. It is the student’s responsibility to follow instructions for submitting Expense Reports via Concur. Errors in Concur reports will delay reimbursements. A separate “Concur Cheat Sheet” with instructions and resources is posted in Owl-Space. The department will host a Concur Training Session at least once per academic year.
11) Per Rice University policy: Travel expenses should be submitted and approved no later than 30 calendar days after the trip. To allow time for review and approval, History graduate students should submit Concur Expense Reports within 10 business days after the end date of the trip.
Rice travelers do not pay state hotel tax in Texas. A tax-exempt form is available on Owl-Space and must be submitted to hotels in Texas to avoid being charged for hotel tax. Students who skip this step will NOT be reimbursed for Texas hotel tax.
Students who travel internationally on Rice funds are required to register their trip with International SOS and the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).