WVU Family Travel Program
The Faculty Family Travel Fund is aimed at removing travel-related barriers to the professional advancement of faculty and postdoctoral scholars who have substantial childcare, eldercare, or other dependent care responsibilities.
Grants of up to $800 per year will be awarded to reimburse incremental caregiving expenses – caregiving costs not normally incurred, but resulting from travel. Priority will be given to those facing the greatest obstacles to travel and participation in events, and for whom the impact of participation will likely be the greatest.
The need for such a program came from research conducted by the WVU ADVANCE Center. The WVU Faculty Family Travel Fund originated from a state-wide program supported by the Elsevier Foundation (2014-2017). Dr. Tower was Principal Investigator and Drs. Keesee, McLaughlin, and Stores were co-PIs.
Dr. Tower administered the program in cooperation with the Division of Science and Research of the WV Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC). During the grant, Provost McConnell expanded the program to all WVU faculty who were not eligible for Elsevier funding. Provost McConnell directed Dr. Page to institutionalize the program.
How to contact us
For application or program questions, please contact:Dr. Leslie Tower
Eligible Dependent Care Expense
As child and dependent care needs are widely varied, depending on the particular situation, the Faculty Family Travel Fund will consider requests to support reimbursement for:
- Childcare/adult care/eldercare at a remote location
- Travel of a child/dependent to a conference or remote location with a faculty/post-doctoral attendee
- Travel for a caregiver (nanny/sitter/family member) to accompany faculty/post-doc and dependent to a conference or remote location
- A paid caregiver or caregiving service at conference/remote location
- Costs incurred for incremental caregiving – caregiving costs not normally incurred, but resulting from the travel.
What can I expense?
- Incremental travel expenses – Costs beyond what you ordinarily pay for caregiving. The increased costs resulting from travel.
- e.g., airline/train/bus ticket for your child(ren) and/or caregiver
- e.g., a babysitter picking the children up from daycare at 5:00 and staying until the second parent arrives home
- e.g., custodial care for adult dependents such as making meals, shopping, driving, or medication reminders
Incremental Caregiving ExpensesOther reasonable costs will be considered. Normally, family members will not be reimbursed for providing care, as that is part of their role.
- Fee(s) for hotel or conference caregiving services
- Fee(s) for extra or replacement caregiving services
- Public Transportation – Airline/train/bus tickets, Taxi fare, Rental car
- Fuel for car or mileage
- Hotel room for caregiver
- Hotel upgrades to accommodate child(ren) or caregiver
- Charge for crib or cot
- Charge for refrigerator (e.g., for breast milk, medicine, etc.)
- Per diem of caregiver, per diem of child(ren)*
Receipts are optional for meals. For adults and children 12 and older, meals will be reimbursed up to the federal per diem rate. For children 2-11 years old, meals will be reimbursed up to 50% of the per diem rate. For children 1 and younger, meals will be reimbursed up to 25% of the per diem rate.
Whose travel costs may be covered?
If I do not request the entire $800 in my application, may I apply for a second
Yes, you can apply for additional travel support if you did not use the entire $800. You may apply for support for 2 trips in the same deadline, if 2 separate applications are submitted. Or, you may submit different applications at different times.
Can an undergraduate or graduate student apply?
No, the grants are restricted to full-time faculty and post-docs.
How do I document a sitter fee, if it is a private sitter that I am paying on
an hourly basis?
You can submit a copy of the check you used to pay the sitter. You may also submit a signed receipt from the caregiver. You may download the receipt form on this website.
If the dates of my travel change slightly, will it affect my grant?
No, we can be somewhat flexible about your travel dates, as long as it does not fundamentally change the structure of the childcare/eldercare or purpose of your travel.
Am I eligible to apply for family travel if my child is a teenager?
Yes, the child is a minor and cannot be left home alone overnight.
Is my Family Travel Fund reimbursement taxable income?
Yes, but you may be able to write-off caregiving charges.
Can a dual career couple (both are faculty members at WVU) apply to the program
for the same trip?
Yes. But, reimbursement requests must be unique.
e.g., Professor Johnson and Patel are both presenting papers at a conference in Switzerland. Johnson may request reimbursement for their children’s plane tickets. Patel may request reimbursement for meals and caregiving service provided by the conference.