Conference Travel

Travel Funded through LBNL

It is important to be connected to the research community. If it is your first year in the group, you can simply attend the conferences and listen to talks. After your first year, you are expected to be presenting talks or posters at conferences. This will ensure that:
  • you keep up to date on developments in the field
  • you will get to know the people in the field
  • you are broadcasting your work to the research community. Many if not most people learn about new research by hearing about it at a conference. Thus, if you want people to know about your work, you must be willing to tell people about it.
You should identify conferences you’d like to attend several months (usually ~4 months, perhaps ~6 months for international travel) in advance. Usually, this is around the same time that abstract deadlines are due.
Once you have identified a conference you’d like to attend, please take the following actions: Tell Kristin about the conference and what project you’d like to present As soon as possible - submit a conference travel request form. This form is a very basic (i.e., 2 minutes to fill out) Google spreadsheet If you do not submit the travel request form several months in advance, you may not receive LBNL approval to attend. If you haven’t done so already, make sure your travel profile (e.g., your frequent flier programs) are completed for the lab. E-mail [email protected] if you don’t have one yet. Work with Kristin to submit an abstract. You should send her the proposed abstract (with all details - title, authors, text, figures, etc.) with at least 3 days advance notice.
Once you have received approval to attend the conference, please take the following steps: Make sure you register for the conference in time to receive any early registration discount (normally on one’s own credit card then reimbursed later) Book a hotel (normally on one’s own credit card then reimbursed later) Book a flight - please do this early to avoid last-minute flight rate spikes (normally booked in coordination with Tracee Tilman with LBNL making the booking. This works better if you identify desired flights in advance, otherwise give Tracee the preferred dates and times.) Note that if for any reason you book your own flights, you should be aware of various LBNL policies on flight booking such as preference for domestic carriers.
If you are planning to combine vacation and travel, remember the lab’s policy of taking only one vacation day per two work days. Note that days spent traveling to and from the conference count as work days.
In terms of travel receipts and reimbursement:
If you are traveling with funding through LBNL (i.e., most cases), you do not need to save receipts for meals. You will receive a per diem instead. You also do not need receipts for taxi rides under $75, although you may want to submits them anyway when you have them. You also do not need to save your actual airplane tickets for lab-purchased airfare, although again you may submit these anyway.
If you are traveling with outside funding (e.g., the conference organizers are going to reimburse you), save all receipts and tickets as they may be needed for reimbursement.
The proper way to request reimbursements for trips within the US is through the esdradmin site’s “Travel:Domestic” tab. If you have trouble, you can email [email protected] As for international trips including Canada, you should get in touch with the ESDR admin person that you work with. That person will provide you a corresponding form and help you through the (more complex) process of international-travel reimbursement.
Pro tip: If you want to see the status of your conference requests, log in to this sheet with your LBNL account
You can filter the sheet to your requests by right-clicking on the name column and choosing the filter option. You should look for the “(ADMINS ONLY) Approval status” column in order to check your status.

Travel Funded through UC Berkeley

ERSO handles administrative matters for the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley. Individuals can pay out of pocket for travel expenses and then submit a reimbursement request through the ERSO intranet. Unlike LBL, approval for attending a conference is not required with UC Berkeley.