Travel Expenses

Some information on how OPTICON funds are used to support travel:

Observing Travel

If you are seeking travel support for an observing run under the access programme, contact the OPTICON acccess office:

Travel for Networking or JRA meetings

Unlike the arrangements in FP5, where money was held by national agencies, the travel budgets for networks and JRA meetings are held by the person resonsible for that activity (or by an organisation which they have nominated). These institutes will be using whatever rules they normally use for travel claims. Therefore you should contact the organiser of the meeting, before you spend any money, to establish what rules you should use. Click on the links for more information. OPTICON makes no commitment to refund travel claims not pre-approved by the budget holder.

Network Activity
Activity leader
Travel Rules
N1 Management Travel
J Davies (UKATC)/ G Gilmore (IoA)
J Burgos
J Burgos
N3.1 Extremely large telescope Science case
I Hook
N3.2 NUVA (UV Astronomy Network)
A Gomez de Castro
N3.3 High Time Resolution Astrophysics
H Spruit
S Wagner
N3.4 Interoperability
P Quinn
P Quinn
N3.5 Key Technology Working Group
C Cunningham
N3.6 Software
P Grosbol
P Grosbol
N4 Synergy
J-L Puget
Jean-Loup Puget
N5 Interferometry
E Bakker
E Bakker
N6.1 Telescope Directors Forum
J Davies
N6.2 Access Office
J Burgos
J Burgos
N6.3 Enhancement
M Dennefeld M Dennefeld

Rules for travel refunded by the UKATC

Travel must be pre-approved. An estimate of the cost of the trips is required when requesting the travel. An e-mail request and e-mail confirmation is sufficient at this stage.

There are several options available for refunding your travel costs. In order of preference these are:

1) If your own organisation can process your travel claim, using your own local rules for class of travel, subsistence etc, then make a claim to them in your usual way. The project office will then refund the cost of the trip to your institute when they send us an official invoice. This is preferable as you use your own rules and it ensures a clean audit trail. NOTE: The invoice need only indicate the total amount requested and the reason for the trip (e.g. Dr X to Town Y on Dates Z-Z, to attend Meeting Q).

2) If your organisation cannot process your travel claim and you can pay all the bills yourself then the project office will refund your actual expenses provided they are judged to be reasonable and economic. As a general rule, this excludes business class and fully flexible air tickets and very expensive hotels unless there is some special justification (e.g. no practical alternative, or the cheap option requires extra constraints such as inconvenient schedules or unnecessary overnight stays).

Your costs must be set out clearly and be supported by receipts. If you have a convenient claim form you can use that to tabulate the costs (there is no OPTICON claim form). We cannot pay per-diems under this scheme, just those costs set out on the receipts.

3) If neither of these options are possible, the project office may be able to send you travel tickets and pay hotel bills on your behalf. However, this is the least preferred option.

If you have any questions, contact John Davies, Project Scientist, in the Project Office.