Travel/Training AFPI Admin Session 

September 26, 2018 

Questions and Answers

 

See the presentation PowerPoint here 


Question: If registering for a conference with an organization that we are not a member of, can we get reimbursed for an organization membership if it gets us a registration discount that will save money? 

Answer: Yes, if it is in your first fellowship year or in the first six-months of your second fellowship year. 

 

Question: Do unused travel/training funds carry over to the second year if the fellow renews? 

Answer: Not automatically.Rolling over funds depends on the type of funding agreement, the expiration date of the agreement and agency approval.Note the funds ultimately belong to the agency and it’s at their discretion as to how the funds are expended. 

 

Question: If you are flying out of the country within 15 days, is there any way that it could be approved within a couple of days? 

Answer: It depends on the agency.DOJ and EPA have additional requirements, so more time is needed to garner approval. AAAS usually approves within 24 hours unless the fellow has an outstanding TER, Advance, etc. 

 

Question: I understand NSF employees have to register on site for conferences often at a higher rate. Do fellows have the same requirement? 

Answer: Please note that you are not federal employees, so the same rules may not apply.No, the fellows do not have the same requirement. You may pay for registration upon receiving your approval from your agency and AAAS through the approval portal. 

 

Question: Can we use Airbnb or other similar services for lodging? 

Answer: You may, however there are some fees associated with and Airbnb that are not reimbursable (example: cleaning fee). Please ask before booking. 

 

Question: We may not know if rental car +Airbnb would work better, or, staying at conference hotel and taking cabs from airport is a better option. What shall we do in that situation?

Answer: It is up to the fellow to make the determination. If you get approval and after you receive it you need to make a change or just have questions, please email fellowstravel@aaas.org. 

 

Question: Is it okay to get an approval for rental car but then not end up using? 

Answer: Yes, you will need to note that either via email to fellowstravel@aaas.org or on your Travel Expense Report (TER) as we compare the request to the reimbursement. 

 

Question: Are you able to split lodging (hotel) with another person? What's required for reimbursement? 

Answer: Yes, you may share lodging.The optimal documentation is having the bill split at the facility and each of you have your own proof of payment.If one person pays the facility and is reimbursed by the other, both fellows need to note it on their TERs.The person reimbursing the payor needs to present proof of payment to the person that paid the facility.Both fellows should have copy of the receipt. 

 

Question: When going to a restaurant, do you get reimbursed for the total amount paid, or only for the food and not the tip? 

Answer: Fellows are reimbursed via per diem only, so no receipts are need.

 

Question: Once all information is submitted how long it takes for the reimbursement? Answer: 30 business days is the expectation.Please note, we typically turn them around in less time, but this is dependent on the amount of the reimbursement request as there are different levels of approval. 

 

Question: When you travel, do weekends count as work days? How should we enter that into ADP? 

Answer: You are salaried employees.As such there is a certain expectation of working additional hours as needed.If you are traveling/working over a week-end, you may work with your office to recoup some of that time.Please note there is no comp time policy.As a salaried employee, you should fill out your timesheets for week-days at increments of 4 or 8 hours. 

 

Question: In the ADP app says it is giving a certain amount of $$. Is that semi-weekly or the total? 

Answer: Your pay advice reflects your bi-monthly pay.Your stipend divided by 24 minus taxes and insurance premiums as appropriate.You will see your Gross Pay, Total Taxes, Total Deductions and Take Home (Net). 

 

Question: Do we have to stay at a hotel or can we stay at a friend’s/family house near the meeting? 

Answer: Yes, also, if you stay with a family or friend on fellowship related travel, you may buy them a meal (no alcohol will be reimbursed) and submit that cost for reimbursement (receipt, proof of payment and note to why) as you are not paying for lodging. 

 

Question: What happens if there are delays or cancellations by the airline due to weather or other problems that affect your trip dates and /or hotel reservations. 

Answer: Please let us know as soon as possible, email fellowstravel@aaas.org. We understand that this happens and will work with you if this occurs.If possible, please continue with the travel and contact us as soon as possible. 

 

Question: Is the per diem is paid out regardless of how much of it you use?

Answer: Per diem is paid at 75% on travel days, 100% on conference/training days unless there is a meal provided via registration or the hotel, then that amount will be deducted.You do not have to claim all of the days, but claims should be for whole days as appropriate.Variations should be noted on your TER.