What is the travel allowance?

Attending talks, workshops, and meeting other contributors in person is fun and can help you get up to speed faster. As part of your internship, you have a $500 travel allowance, which you can use to travel or gain admittance to a relevant conference or meeting.

Please read the following page carefully before booking any travel to conferences.

Steps to take before and after you travel

1. Make sure your travel will occur no later than one year after your internship began.

2. Confirm with your mentor that the event or conference meets our requirements.

3. Check whether you need pre-approval from the Outreachy PLC for your travel expenses.

4. Apply for any scholarships your conference offers to cover travel costs.

5. Save a flight search screenshot from a widely-recognized airfare comparison site, such as Orbitz, Kayak or Hipmunk.

6. While on your trip, you may need to save some receipts.

7. During your event, take notes about what you learned or accomplished, and how it improved your ability to contribute to free and open source software, for your trip report blog post.

8. Publish your trip report blog post.

9. Submit a reimbursement request within 2 weeks of the last day of travel. If you submit a reimbursement more than 90 days after the last day of your trip, Conservancy will not refund your travel.

When does the travel have to happen?

The travel allowance is available to you for travel that starts between the day the acceptance results are announced and a year from the beginning of the internship. The one year window is provided to make sure that the travel allowance can be used for travelling to any major yearly event.

Active

  • May - August 2017 internship round, the travel allowance is available for travel that begins any time between April 28, 2017 and May 30, 2018
  • December 2016 - March 2017 internship round, the travel allowance is available for travel that begins any time between November 8, 2016 and December 6, 2017
  • May - August 2016 internship round, the travel allowance is available for travel that begins any time between April 22, 2016 and May 23, 2017

Expired

  • December 2015 - March 2016 internship round, the travel allowance is available for travel that begins any time between November 17, 2015 and December 7, 2016
  • May - August 2015 internship round, the travel allowance is available for travel that begins any time between April 27, 2015 and May 25, 2016
  • December 2014 - March 2015 internship round, the travel allowance is available for travel that begins any time between November 12, 2014 and December 9, 2015
  • May - August 2014 internship round, the travel allowance is available for travel that begins any time between April 21, 2014 and May 19, 2015
  • December 2013 - March 2014 internship round, the travel allowance is available for travel that begins any time between November 25, 2013 and December 10, 2014
  • June - September 2013 internship round, the travel allowance is available for travel that begins any time between May 27, 2013 and November 8, 2015 (extended because was not clearly communicated originally; travel allowance availability dates will not be extended for other rounds)

Can the travel allowance be used in parts?

Yes, you can use your travel allowance in parts for multiple trips. While you can combine multiple trips in one reimbursement request, we ask that you submit your reimbursement request within two weeks of the completion of the earliest trip. Note that Conservancy does not reimburse for trips that completed more than 90 days before the request was submitted.

Suggested FOSS events

As the Software Freedom Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) charity in the United States, all activity supported by the travel allowance must forward the organization's mission to promote free and open source software in the public interest.

Each organization that participates in Outreachy has events that are specific to it or the technologies it uses, which might be most relevant for you to attend.

Please consult with your mentor about what is the best and most relevant to your project and organization way to use your travel allowance. Do not book your travel before getting a confirmation from your mentor or organization coordinator that they consider it most relevant and will want your travel allowance applied to it.

Here are some examples of generally themed FOSS events, along with their dates starting in January 2017:

Conference

Location

CFP Deadline

Conference Dates

linux.conf.au

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

August 5

January 16-20

DevConf.cz

Brno, Czech Republic

November 11

January 27-29

FOSDEM

Brussels, Belgium

various, in November and early December

February 4-5

SCALE

Pasadena, CA

November 15

March 2-5

FOSSASIA

Singapore

December 20

March 17-19

LibrePlanet

Boston, MA

November 14

March 25-26

OSCON

Austin, TX

October 25

May 8-11

Open Source Bridge

Portland, OR

March

June

FISL

Brazil

February

July

Texas Linux Fest

Texas

April

July

Software Freedom Day

worldwide

various

mid-September

All Things Open

Raleigh, NC

May

October

SeaGL

Seattle, WA

August

November

More events can be found in the following listing.

What types of travel need pre-approval?

Please read Conservancy's policy carefully for full details on what can be covered and what might need additional pre-approval. For example, you will need to get pre-approval for conference registrations exceeding $100 a day, hotel costs exceeding per-diem for your destination, airfare and train tickets purchased less than 14 days in advance, and car rentals. Conservancy's policy is the final authority on what can be covered.

Do not book your travel before getting any necessary pre-approval from Outreachy and Conservancy.

If a pre-approval is required, it needs to be requested from Outreachy's Project Leadership Committee (PLC), which currently includes Karen Sandler, Sarah Sharp, and Marina Zhurakhinskaya. ONLY in cases that you need to book travel that doesn't comply with the policy, ask outreachy AT SPAMFREE sfconservancy DOT org for a pre-approval in an e-mail with a subject line "[Round Year]-[Round Start Month]: [Your Last Name]: Travel pre-approval needed". For example, if you participated in the round of Outreachy that started in May 2016 and your last name is Smith, you would use the following subject: "2016-05: Smith: Travel pre-approval needed".

What can the travel allowance cover?

Generally, the travel allowance can cover transportation, lodging, visa, meal, internet, or admission expenses for activities through which you can improve your understanding of your project, organization, and free and open source software by working with or learning from other people. You can use your travel allowance to go to an office of the organization you are working with, an event where other contributors from your organization will be present, a place where you can work with your mentor in person, an event where you will present about your project, or any generally themed FOSS event.

Airfare

For air travel, please be sure to comply with Conservancy's low fare policy and be sure to save a screenshot or "print to file" version of your airfare search on a widely-recognized airfare comparison site, such as Orbitz, Kayak or Hipmunk. Such low fare documentation is required for Conservancy to do an airfare reimbursement.

Saving receipts

You will need to save the receipts for travel to get to your destination, for hotel, and for conference registration. Note that you won't need to provide receipts for meals and other incidental expenses like local transportation that are part of the Meals & Incidental Expenses per diem amount

What if my expenses are over $500?

Many conferences offer scholarships and reduced or waived admission fees for low-income participants or diversity scholarships. Please investigate and use these in addition to relying on the travel allowance. Outreachy will not cover more than $500.

How do I get reimbursed for the travel allowance by Conservancy?

Unless you were told otherwise, Conservancy is the organization that will reimburse your travel.

To request a reimbursement, please send an e-mail with the following information filled in:

To: <accounting AT SPAMFREE sfconservancy DOT org>, <outreachy AT SPAMFREE sfconservancy DOT org>
Cc: <my project mentor or coordinator>
Subject: [Round Year]-[Round Start Month]: [Your Last Name]: Travel reimbursement request

Greetings,

I traveled to $CONFERENCE during $START-DATE to $END-DATE. My mentor on $PROJECT-NAME is Cc'ed and, in a prior discussion, has approved this travel for me as relevant.

My trip blog post can be found at: $URL

I'm requesting reimbursement for $TOTAL, which is broken down into:

Flight: $
Per diem: $
Conference Fee: $
...

The following receipts are attached for my reimbursement:

file1 - airfare search screenshot
file2 - ...

I have not included receipts for things that fall under the Meals & Incidental Expenses per diem amount described on https://wiki.gnome.org/Outreachy/TravelAllowance/ConservancyPolicy#per-diem

[INCLUDE PAYMENT INFORMATION OR WHETHER IT IS OK TO USE THE SAME PAYMENT INFORMATION FROM YOUR INTERNSHIP PAYMENTS.]

After this email is sent:

  • Step 10: your mentor or the organization's coordinator has to reply to all and confirm that this was relevant travel
  • Step 11: within 14 days, a member of Outreachy PLC will reply confirming that the request has all the information necessary, Outreachy has corresponding funds, and the reimbursement should be made
  • Step 12: within 30 days of PLC approval, Conservancy will send you the reimbursement

How do I get reimbursed for the travel allowance by my organization?

If a participating organization has a process for reimbursing travelling expenses of its contributors, it might choose to do so itself for its Outreachy interns. In that case the organization will be the custodian of your travel allowance, and you will be notified about it. You will need to follow the reimbursement procedures of that organization, and should ask your mentor or coordinator to let you know what they are.

Outreachy/TravelAllowance (last edited 2017-03-20 23:44:24 by SarahSharp)