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Warwick Conference Support Awards

Contribution to child-care costs associated with conference attendance

Small Awards (of up to £150) are available to academic, research active staff and those in appropriate support or administrative posts to help support the extra child-care costs associated with attendance at conferences. This fund has been established in recognition that conference attendance is important both for individuals and for the wider Warwick community, yet it invariably involves an extra burden of child-care for those with young children. (Please note that claims are limited to one claim per trip and two claims per person per academic year and cannot be claimed retrospectively. Requests for approval of trips should be made at least one week before travel).

See below, comments from two members of staff who have utilized the fund:

“Conference attendance is an essential requirement for anyone in building a prosperous research career …..
This can put me ahead of the field. I certainly find the most challenging juggling act of academia and
family life is the attendance at conferences. This fund can help me and others to relieve a little of this
pressure, and is a very positive step forward for Warwick.”

"Without the money, I would have had to make a choice whether I would attend the workshop leaving my daughter behind or whether not to attend the workshop so I can be with her. Given that she is just 15 month old, leaving her behind would not have been an option for me. Hence, without the money, I would not have been able to go.

Now, the additional child care cost covered by the grant meant I did not have to choose between my daughter and the workshop".

Applications

The fund will be administered by the Athena SWAN Network Group and is applicable for academic staff and post docs. Applications should be submitted on this form below, stating why you need additional support and outlining your normal child caring arrangements. A very brief report will be required as to whether the money actually made a difference to the applicant and whether there are any future funding applications that can be ascribed to it. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the available money is used up. A sub-committee of the Warwick Athena SWAN Network Group will assess applications. The applications will be assessed by : Ann Dixon (Chemistry), Vannessa Goodship (WMG) who may respond to queries. Sandra Beaufoy (s.beaufoy@warwick.ac.uk) is not involved in the decision making and may provide helpful advice.

Claiming the money

Our understanding from the HMRC guidance is that childcare costs can be reimbursed tax and NI-free if they are connected with 'work-related training'. This is defined as any training course or other activity which is designed to impart, instil, improve or reinforce any knowledge, skills or personal qualities which are, or are likely to prove, useful to the employee when performing his/her duties or will better qualify the employee to undertake the employment. As one would presume that the University would only support anyone attending a conference that was intended to impart, instil, improve knowledge etc. we conclude conference attendance qualifies as work-related training.

NOTE: The method to claim expenses has changed since the University has installed the Concur Expense Payment System. To make a claim, please complete the online Concur claim form (https://eu1.concursolutions.com/home.asp), making sure that you write Athena Claim in the comments box. The ledger code to select for the expense is 'Conference Fee' or 'Travel' as the Concur menu does not have a code for nursery/child care expenses. Please use code 69PREQ02 to charge the expenses to. When the claim form is completed and saved, it will automatically be sent to your normal departmental approver of expenses for authorisation. Please ensure that you make your departmental expenses approver aware of this process. Any claimants not following this process may forfeit their right to future claims.


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