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Dependent and Elder Care Professional Travel Grants

Northwestern University offers all full-time faculty (permanent status, excluding research 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 $1,000 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 full-time faculty (permanent status, excluding research faculty). It is not intended to support costs incurred during travel for research or while on University business. This grant is also not intended to cover regularly scheduled dependent or elder care, only care necessary for faculty professional travel. Resources for regular dependent care is available here and resources for regular elder care is available here.  Full description of program.

Grant Amounts and Method of Payment

All full-time faculty (permanent status, excluding research faculty) are eligible to receive $1,000 (post-tax) in funding per academic year (defined as September 1-August 31). Grants will be administered as either a reimbursement or a grant in advance, and will be paid as additional compensation, considered taxable income, and included in the monthly paycheck. Payments will be grossed up to cover the applicable taxes, but other deductions may still apply, such as retirement contributions. If expenses are less than $1,000 for a single travel event, more than one request may be submitted for the academic year, until the maximum post-tax amount is reached. The formula used to calculate a full grant reimbursement will also be applied to expense amounts less than $1,000.

Grant type

Reimbursement Request

Grant in Advance


Reimbursement of expenses

Payment of anticipated travel expenses

To apply

1) Complete the Dependent and Elder Care Travel Grant Reimbursement Form

2) Attach receipts for services listed.

1) At least 30 days prior to the intended travel, submit the Dependent and Elder Care Travel Grant in Advance Form to the Office of the Provost.

2) Within 14 days of your travel return, submit your receipts with the completed Dependent and Elder Care Travel Grant in Advance Verification Form.

To submit

Submit form and receipts within 14 days of return to the Faculty Records Office (

Submit form and receipts to the Faculty Records Office (


Reimbursements will be paid by no later than the second pay period after submission.

Grants in advance will be paid through the regular payroll system and considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service (see Grant Amount and Method of Payment 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 or faculty type is covered under the terms of the policy, please contact the Faculty Records Office ( for clarification.

Example 1: In order to present their work at a conference, the faculty member must travel and stay overnight. No home care for their children is available, so the children will travel with them. The faculty member could apply to the DECPTG program to cover the airfare for their children as well as the cost of on-site day-care available at the conference.

Example 2: A faculty member is caring for their mother in their home while she is recovering from surgery but plans to present at a conference during this time. The faculty member could apply to the DECPTG program to pay for a caregiver to stay with their mother during their planned absence.

Example 3: The faculty member will travel overnight to a conference and could arrange with the daytime nanny to stay overnight with their children at home. The faculty member could apply to the DECPTG program to cover the incremental cost of the nanny staying overnight with their children.

Example 4: The faculty member, who ordinarily provides care for their father in their home, plans to attend the annual conference of a professional association in their field. The faculty member could apply to the DECPTG program to hire a care-giver to stay with their father during their planned absence.

Forms and Other Resources