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Dependent Care Travel Grant Guidelines

The Chancellor and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (EVC) are committed to promoting academic excellence by supporting the family needs of UC San Diego Academic Senate faculty. The EVC, therefore, through the Dependent Care Travel Grant program (DCTG), provides $125,000 annually to help offset costs for eligible faculty who incur dependent care expenses related to travel. For the 2020-2021 program, DCTG funds may be used to offset dependent care expenses at an alternate location, such as a hotel or research site, or for dependent care at home while the faculty member is traveling. For pre-approved essential travel, eligible faculty members may receive one EVC-funded dependent care travel grant per academic year, not exceeding $2500 total.  

In addition, this academic year, as a separate provision due to COVID-19, Senate Faculty who do not plan to request a Dependent Care Travel Grant for research-related travel may instead request up to one $600 DCTG each quarter to support dependent care needs that originate from faculty teaching responsibilities or from participation in professional conferences even if remote. Senate faculty may use this grant to offset care costs for dependents in their homes whose care facilities, schools, or daycare's have been closed or remain less than fully operational due to COVID-19 precautions.  To maximize the number of Senate Faculty able to benefit from this expansion, specific open application periods for each quarter have been designated. For this provision, open application periods for each quarter are as follows:

  • Fall Quarter 2020 Open Application dates: 10/13/20-11/19/20 (For service period activities from 9/28/20-12/19/20; retroactivity to 9/28/20 permitted for applications for this quarter)
  • Winter Quarter Open Application Dates: 12/4/20-2/20/21 (For service period activities from 1/4/21-3/20/21)
  • Spring Quarter Open Application Dates: 2/24/21-5/11/21 (For service period activities from 3/24/21-6/11/21)

Restrictions on eligible expenses and caretakers detailed below still apply. For the 2020-2021 AY program, academic year grant applications will be accepted for eligible expenses that occur between  9/28/20  and 6/11/21 via Infoready. All applications are due 30 days in advance of travel or eligible fund use. Except for Fall Quarter 2020 applications, no retroactive applications will be allowed. 

Suggestions and feedback are welcome. Contact the program coordinator Heather Fowler Zion at 858 534-0500 or hzion@ucsd.edu.


Application timelines

  • Applications for the 2020-2021 academic year may now be submitted via the InfoReady link above
  • Applications for grants should be submitted for grant pre-approval no less than 30 days before planned travel or provided home dependent care.
  • Applicants will receive a response within 10 business days in most cases.
  • Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received.
  • Senate faculty who use this grant to offset care costs for dependents in their homes whose care facilities, schools, or daycares have been closed or remain less than fully operational due to COVID-19 precautions, may apply for one grant of up to $600 per quarter, with application windows open as follows, contingent that funding remains available:
    • Fall Quarter 2020 Open Application dates: 10/13/20-11/19/20 (For service period activities from 9/28/20-12/19/20; retroactivity to 9/28/20 permitted for applications for this quarter)
    • Winter Quarter Open Application Dates: 12/4/20-2/20/21 (For service period activities from 1/4/21-3/20/21)
    • Spring Quarter Open Application Dates: 2/24/21-5/11/21 (For service period activities from 3/24/21-6/11/21)
  • Also contingent on funding remaining available, applications for Summer 2020 (June 11, 2021 through the day before Fall Quarter 2021) Dependent Care Travel Grants will be accepted from May 15th through June 30th, 2020 from Senate Faculty members who have not yet received a 2020-2021 grant.

Faculty Eligibility

DCTG funds may be requested by Senate Faculty at all ranks who:

  • are either single caretakers of a dependent, or
  • have spouses or partners unavailable for dependent care during their professional travel or research due to work obligations or extenuating circumstances
  • have requested and received approved academic leaves from chairs or administrators, where applicable, for related travel during the service period
  • have requested and received prior approval for essential travel

Eligible dependents

For the purposes of this program, eligible dependents are:

  • a healthy child (≤ 12 years) who resides with the applicant and for whom the applicant is a primary caregiver; or
  • a child/adolescent (≤18 years) who is physically or mentally disabled, requires assistance with daily activities, resides with the applicant, and for whom the applicant is a primary caregiver; or
  • a disabled adult/elder (child, spouse, parent, parent-in-law or grandparent) who spends at least eight hours every day in the applicant's home and for whom the applicant has arriving responsibility.

Amount and timing of grants

  • Eligible faculty members may receive:
    • One EVC-funded dependent care travel grant per fiscal year, not exceeding $2500 total, 
    • OR, Up to three quarterly grants to fund up to $600 per quarter of above and beyond childcare costs incurred to allow for progression with a faculty member's research agenda (e.g. hiring nanny or tutor supervision for dependents while participating in an online conference or performing research in another location) 
  • Approved grant funding will be processed upon faculty return from travel after faculty member certifies incurred expenses or at the close of each quarter when above and beyond dependent care expenses are certified
  • Priority will be given to awards requested during the academic year; however, funds permitting, awards may be granted for travel during the summer
  • Grants will be approved and disbursed continuously as eligible expense certifications are received until funds are depleted for each year
  • Once program annual funding maximums have been neared or reached, applicants will be placed on a waitlist for consideration if funding becomes available

Eligible expenses

  1. Travel expenses for the dependent
  2. Fees paid to a caregiver (other than a spouse, partner or other immediate family member) for services provided
  3. Travel expenses for a caregiver (either to travel to the faculty member’s home to provide care or to provide onsite care for the dependent) 
  4. Accommodations for a caregiver when s/he stays overnight to care for the dependent
  5. Meals for dependent and/or caregiver during travel to conference or research meeting, or alternate research location
  6. Food for caregiver if s/he must travel to provide at-home dependent care
  7. The cost of shipping breastmilk for a child at home while the faculty member travels for research.
  8. Reasonable dependent care expenses over and above the cost, if any, that the faculty member would normally incur at home (e.g., additional weekend or evening care), or if the dependent must travel with the faculty member during the trip

Ineligible expenses

  1. Dependent care expenses at home that would normally be incurred (i.e., aftercare at school, dependent care that is provided on an on-going basis, or meals/groceries for dependents or caregivers that would normally be incurred)
  2. Caregiver fees paid to immediate family members
  3. Any of the faculty member’s expenses, conference or otherwise
  4. Entertainment activities
  5. First or business class travel tickets
  6. Offsets for any state-funded travel expenses prohibited by California State law AB 1887. Please visit the State Attorney General website for details: https://oag.ca.gov/ab1887 
  7. Alcohol
  8. Above and beyond local childcare costs should care facilities, schools, and daycare centers open at full capacity when COVID-19 related precautions are no longer determined necessary
  9. Other expenses not associated with the additional care or travel of the dependent(s)

Documenting travel plan changes

  • Approved grant funds must be used in the dependent care support manner designated in the application. Funds not certified by applicant as used in the pre-approved manner will not be disbursed.
  • Grant recipients are expected to perform the research and attend the meeting or conference as designated in the approved application. Absent extenuating circumstances (e.g., illness) funds will not be disbursed if the faculty member does not attend the conference/meeting, or engage in scholarly work as described in the application.
  • Significant deviation from planned travel (i.e. substantially different trip or several hundred dollars difference in projected dependent travel expenses) must be approved prior to travel. In the event of a change of travel plans, faculty may submit a revised application to Heather Fowler Zion at hzion@ucsd.edu.  Modifications for pre-approved application expenses will not affect application ordering in queue.
  • In the event of canceled travel or a change of plans, grant recipients must notify the  program coordinator as early as possible to release reserved funds.

Post-certification and request for funds

  • Via the procedure detailed on the InfoReady application, within 30 days of completed travel,  or the last impacted date for which funds were applied in the case of the home caregiver provision, faculty must certify dependent care expenses were incurred.  Expenses not certified within 45 days of travel will be ineligible for funding.
    • While receipts are not required upon submission of certification of expense, they must be available upon request.
    • For approved applications, logging back into your application on the InfoReady site after travel will allow for you to complete your travel expense certification by accessing the Progress Reports menu on the right-hand side and then clicking the Travel/Exp certification tab and certifying expenses. 
  • After a faculty member certifies his/her travel or care expenses were incurred as pre-approved, the DCTG program coordinator will contact the department/unit fiscal contact and arrange for a funds transfer.
  • UC Path payments of funds will be set up by unit or department contacts. 
  • Disbursements after submitted post-travel or quarter's end certifications can take up to 60 days.