Dependent Care Professional Travel Grant Program
Northwestern University offers tenure track and tenured faculty a taxable grant for qualified short-term dependent care expenses incurred when traveling to attend professional meetings, conferences, workshops and professional development opportunities. The grant will be funded at a level intended to provide full compensation for approved incremental expenses, up to a maximum of $750 post-tax per academic year.
Grant funds may be used for either child or adult dependent care, in order to cover expenses incurred for:
- Extra dependent care at home while the recipient is traveling;
- On-site dependent care while at a conference or meeting;
- Transportation of dependent and/or caregiver to conference or meeting location.
This program is intended to encourage the professional development of tenure track and tenured faculty. It is not intended to support costs incurred during travel for research or while on University business. Full description of program.
Grant Amounts and Method of Payment
Tenure track and tenured faculty are eligible to receive $750 in post-tax funding per academic year. Multiple applications per academic year are accepted until the $750 maximum is reached.
Grants are administered as either a reimbursement or a grant in advance. They will be paid as additional compensation, considered taxable income, and included in your monthly paycheck.All approved expenses, regardless of the applicant's tax bracket, will be grossed up by a factor of 1.35 in order to arrive at the pre-tax amount which will be included in your monthly paycheck. For example, an approved expense of $750 will appear on your paycheck as $1,012.50 in pre-tax dollars.
How to Apply for Reimbursement
To receive reimbursement:
- Complete the Dependent Care Travel Grant Reimbursement Form.
- Attach receipts for services listed. Please note that required documentation for reimbursement includes either the social security number or federal tax identification number of the person who provides care.
- Within 14 days of your return, submit the completed form and attached receipts via campus mail, US mail or hand delivery to:
Reimbursements will be paid by no later than the second pay period after submission.
How to Apply for a Grant in Advance
The Grant in Advance is intended to fund your anticipated dependent care expenses that will be incurred while you are traveling to attend a professional conference or workshop.
Step 1 - At least 30 days prior to your travel, you should:
- Submit the Dependent Care Travel Grant in Advance Form to the Office of the Provost; and
- Include a detailed list of anticipated expenses, including, as applicable:
- Description of planned care including the provider's name, relationship to the applicant, and location of care;
- Hourly cost and number of expected hours of use; and
- Other (cost of preserving child care space at home, caregiver transportation, etc.)
Step 2 - Within 14 days of your return, submit your receipts with the Dependent Care Travel Grant in Advance Verification Form. Please note that required documentation includes either the social security number or federal tax identification number of the person who provides care. If the costs incurred are less than the amount you received for the Grant in Advance, repayment will be required.
Step 3 - Submit all forms and receipts via campus mail, US mail or hand delivery to:
Dependent Care Travel Grant Program
Office of the Provost
633 Clark St., Room 1-112
Evanston campus 1119 (or Evanston, IL 60208)
Grants in advance will be paid through the regular payroll system and considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service (see Grant Amounts and Method of Payment section above).
Examples of Allowable Uses of Grant Funds
Below are a few examples of situations in which grant funding would be allowable to cover incremental dependent care costs. These examples are meant to be illustrative, not exhaustive. If you have questions about whether a particular situation is covered under the terms of the policy, please contact the Office of the Provost for clarification.
Example 1: In order to present her work at a conference, the faculty member must travel and stay overnight. No home care for her children is available, so they will travel with her. The faculty member could apply to the DCPTG program to cover the airfare for her children as well as the cost of on-site day-care available at the conference.
Example 2: The faculty member will travel overnight to a conference and could arrange with the daytime nanny that she stay overnight with the children at home. The faculty member could apply to the DCPTG program to cover the incremental cost of the nanny staying overnight with his children.
Example 3: The faculty member, who ordinarily provides care for her father in her home, plans to attend the annual conference of a professional association in her field. The faculty member could apply to the DCPTG program to hire a care-giver to stay with her father during her planned absence.