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Travel and Other Reimbursements

Policy on Economics Department Contributions to Professional Doctoral Student Activities

This policy covers any requests by graduate students for contributions from the Economics Department towards: (1) Travel expenses to academic conferences, (2) Journal submission fees (3) Other professional expenses such as software purchases, data purchases and data collection.

Travel Reimbursements to Academic Conferences

The Department of Economics considers participation at academic conferences to be an important component of a Ph.D. student's professional development. Subject to availability of travel funds, the Department will support Ph.D. student conference travel as described below.

Travel reimbursement is governed by State and University regulations. Students should contact the College of Business and Economics Business Office for the necessary Travel Authorization form and guidelines. All travel first requires two forms be completed and approved by the Department Chair: (1) Students must complete this Economics pre-authorization form and must complete College’s travel authorization form. Both are submitted in paper form to the Department Chair for approval. No travel reimbursement will occur unless the Department Chair has approved both forms before travel takes place. This preauthorization should normally be submitted at least 30 days before the actual travel takes place. In addition to the normal State and University travel guidelines, the following departmental rules apply for graduate student travel reimbursement using departmental state funds. Travel covered by grant or other foundation sources is subject to the rules imposed by those providing the funding.

1. Which Conference/Meetings?

To receive departmental support, normally, a student must have a paper accepted on the program for a conference. When making funding decisions, the Department Chair takes into account (1) value to the student's professional development, (2) value to the department, and (3) cost of travel. Thus, students must consult with their advisors to select the most appropriate conferences.

2. What will be covered?

a. Reasonable registration fees are normally fully covered. Association membership fees (dues) are considered a personal expense and are not reimbursable.

b. Lowest cost transportation is normally fully covered. University guidelines limit reimbursement to the lowest cost of travel (e.g., air vs. automobile). When traveling by air, students should compare the cost of flying out of Morgantown vs. flying out of Pittsburgh with the associated mileage and parking costs. Since airfare rates are usually lower months in advance of the flights, students who will need to fly should seek department approval well in advance (much more than the 30 days in advance listed above) of the conference date. When it is feasible and will reduce costs, it is expected that students will car-pool to airports and conferences with faculty or other students. When flying, lowest-cost ground transportation to and from the airport will be covered (sharing a taxi is often faster and cheaper than using a shuttle service). The university will not cover local transportation service around town during a conference.

c. Parking at the airport or at the local hotel/near the local hotel is normally fully covered.

d. Students are expected to share rooms at conferences. Normally the department will cover up to $125 per night per student for lodging. Extra nights of lodging before and after the conference are not covered unless they either reduce the total cost of the trip or are necessary due to an early starting or late ending time of the conference program.

e. Daily food costs will be reimbursed on a receipts reimbursable basis at up to 50 percent of the university's per diem meal rate for the location. See gsa.gov for per diem meal rate estimates by city. Per University regulations, any meals provided as part of the conference program will be deducted from the ADR even if a traveler chooses to eat elsewhere.

Journal Submission Fees

If a student gets a paper accepted by a refereed journal, the Department typically will reimburse the student for 100% of the submission fee up to $150.00. For higher submission fees, the Department may only reimburse a percentage of the fee. Page fees are never covered. For reimbursement, the student must provide the Department Chair with (1) a statement by the student requesting reimbursement (2) a copy of the unconditional acceptance letter/email from the journal (3) copies of refereed reports and (4) receipt or other evidence that the student paid the submission fee himself or herself and did not have another source of funding.

Other Professional Expenses

The student may request that the costs of data collection and/or software necessary for research be funded in part by the Department. To request support, the student must submit a Activities Application Form to the Department Chair.

Based on the proposal and at the discretion of the Chairperson awards may be made to the applicants. The awards typically cover a portion of the estimated cost. When making funding decisions, the Department Chair will take into account (1) value to the student's professional development, (2) value to the department, and (3) cost of the activity.