Information on Travels (business trips)
Summer Schools / Conferences
IMPRS students participate in an advanced summer school organized by the IMPRS. They may also participate in summer schools offered at other research institutions in Europe or overseas if the topic is relevant to the individual thesis subject. Visits to collaborating institutions to carry out data analyses or theoretical research for a period of several weeks are also possible.
Before graduating, IMPRS students should participate in at least one international conference and/or in one German research conference or meeting to present their thesis results.
The students from the MPIfR and the partner Universities can apply for funding for any of these travels (see below).
We encourage the students who wish to attend conferences to request financial support from the organizers of the conference. Especially in the case of IAU Symposia/Colloquia IAU grants for young scientists are available. Such requests should be made at an early stage, the deadlines generally are 6 months or more ahead of the conference dates. Even if the possibility of financial assistance is not mentioned in the announcements, it is worth to try. Yet the exemption from the conference fee or the offer of free accommodation will be a relief for the IMPRS budget.
Travels to be paid by IMPRS have to be applied for with the IMPRS form “Travel Request” and need a statement by the supervisor. The applications should be made at least 4 weeks ahead of the travel date, respectively any deadlines there may be for registration or pre-payment. It is advisable to attach the MPI form “Reise- und Dienstreiseantrag” (attachment 2) already at this stage. Please submit these forms to the IMPRS Office.
For travels financed through other than the IMPRS budget (also by third parties), only the MPI form has to be submitted to the director in charge.
For all travels holds:
- They should be arranged economically
- Flight and train tickets have to be booked by the directors’ secretaries, the IMPRS assistant or the administrative officer in charge (Mrs. S. Mertens). This is to ensure that
a) Such bookings are in line with our travel regulations
b) Special discounts the MPI gets from travel agents and German Railway can be taken into account
However, before any bookings can be made, the travel application form has to be approved by the director in charge.
- When prepayment is necessary (e.g. conference fee, hotel deposit) you can attach the relevant information to the “Reise- und Dienstreiseantrag”. Payment will then be arranged by the MPI.
- They should be settled within 4 weeks after return (MPI form “Reisekostenabrechnung” — attachment 3). Also if a third party pays the trip but pre-payment is done by the MPI (for example in the form of a flight or train ticket) was made. All receipts should be attached.
If you are granted financial support by a conference organizer (for example free accommodation and/or board), this has to be entered on the application form (“Zuschüsse von 3. Seite” / grants by 3. party).
The expenses for room and board are covered by allowances per day (“Tagegeld”) and per night (“Übernachtungsgeld”), the amount depending on the country.
The daily allowance is composed of 20% for breakfast (deducted if the room rate includes breakfast), 40% for lunch and 40% for dinner. As this amount is fixed, you do not have to collect receipts for meals.
Room rates up to 60 € (without breakfast) are considered necessary, for rates exceeding 60 € (without breakfast) you have to give reasons to ensure full refund. Hotel invoices have to be issued with your name included to the MPIfR.
The cost for a conference dinner will only be refunded if approved by the director. Therefore, please attach a printout giving the cost for this to the Reise- und Dienstreiseantrag. If a conference dinner is refunded, the per diem allowance for this day is shortened by 40% (+ 20% if the breakfast is included in the room rate).
If you tick the box “Ich bitte um einen Vorschuss” (I ask for advance payment), up to 80% of the expected cost – either based on the lump rates or else on the documents you have handed in (see below) – will be paid in advance, provided the amount exceeds 500 €.
In order to make the calculation of an advance payment as exact as possible, please attach as much details as possible (for example, information that the conference fee also covers the cost of accommodation and/or meals, copy of the hotel reservation (confirmation), etc.). This way you can avoid advance payments that are either too high (thus having to return a larger sum) or too low (thus having to wait for the reimbursement until the travel expense claim has been processed).
If a visa is required for such a travel, the costs to acquire it are also part of the travel expenses. Not only the visa processing fee but also the trip to the consulate if personal application or an interview are necessary. For such a trip a separate form Reise- und Dienstreiseantrag should be submitted.
The costs for vaccinations will also be covered if they are stipulated. For all other vaccinations please consult the administration (Mrs. S. Mertens or Mr. B. Büse) first. However, the costs for additional travel health insurance and luggage insurance cannot be claimed.
Changes to travel expense rights
(BRKG) as of September 1, 2005
Reisekostenvergütung/Abrechnung §3 (Travel expense reimbursement/billing)
The policy of a prompt handling of the travel expense paperwork after the business
trip remains unchanged. The right to receive travel expense reimbursement expires if the claim has not been submitted within 6 months after the end of the business trip (this also counts for Effelsberg). An allotted advance is to be paid back if the reimbursement claim was not turned in within this 6-month time period. In principle, business trips should not begin before 6 am and/or end after midnight. An earlier start or later conclusions are, however, possible due to official business reasons. A partial payment up to 80% is possible if the anticipated costs of the trip exceed € 500. Special rules apply to business credit cards.
Erstattung von Fahrtkosten §4 (Reimbursement of travel costs)
For train trips under 2 hours, the costs for tickets in second class will be reimbursed;
for trips over 2 hours, first class tickets can also be reimbursed. In both cases, this also counts for use of ICE trains. Travel times to and from the train station/airport, as well as trips at the place of employment/location of business trip, are not included. For those that are handicapped, first class train tickets will always be reimbursed. With a good reason, a rental car or taxi may be used. The request for the use of a rental car must be handed in to the travel expense office before the start of the trip and with a justified reason. Good/justified reasons are, for example:
o Urgent business reasons
o Urgent personal reasons
o No other timely transportation method available
o Trips between 23:00pm and 6:00am
For the use of a rental car or taxi without justified reason, a compensation according to
§5 Abs. 1 (€0,20 cents/km) will be granted.
Wegstreckenentschädigung §5 (compensation for travel distance)
For the use of a car or motorcycle, the compensation is 0,20 cents per km; at the most
€ 130 Euros. This amount can be raised to € 150 in special business-related circumstances. No reason or permission is needed for such trips, but a clear notification prior to the trip is mandatory – especially due to the limited compensation and the non-present property damage/loss liability. When using a car out of “considerable business reasons”, the compensation is € 0,30 cents/km, without a maximum limit. The considerable business reason must be acknowledged before the start of the trip. The measures for this are to be strictly applied since, as the case may be, a full claim for damage/loss of property may exist for the employer. Under certain premises, compensation can also be given for travel with a bicycle.
Tagegeld §6 (daily allowance)
A minimum distance of 2 km for a business trip has been put into effect since, under the new law, the daily allowance is to be paid without restrictions. A daily allowance will not be paid for distances under 2km. Discontinuation of the 10%-Rule the compensation will now be calculated as follows:
Breakfast = 20% (as before)
Lunch = 40% (before 35%)
Dinner = 40% (before 35%)
This means that when reductions to the daily allowance are made in cases where meals are included in the trip, the 10% for “other purposes” will no longer be paid out.
Übernachtungsgeld §7 (Overnight accommodation/lodging)
A flat rate of €20.00 will be granted for lodging without any verification. If you prove your actual costs
they will be reimbursed. For long stays at the same location – longer than 14 days – the flat rate is no longer applicable. There will be no compensation for lodging when business is taken care of at night and due to this, no lodging is needed or when free lodging is made available. Costs for lodging are seen as necessary when the amount does not exceed €60.00. In this case, a justification is not needed. However, when the costs of lodging exceed €60.00, this should be justified and stated.
o If the travel office has already acknowledged the expected higher costs prior to
the trip, a later justification is not necessary. Room and board will always be
fully compensated, even if they are listed separately on the bill. Exception:
when breakfast is considered a separate, optional service (e.g.: at Ibis Hotels,
overnight costs generally do not include breakfast – it is an extra service).
o The flat rate grant for lodging may also be claimed when free lodging is
available out of private reasons; e.g.: with friends, children with their own
home, ex spouses, etc. When staying with relatives, it must be their own,
Längerer Aufenthalt am Geschäftsort §8 (Longer stays at the same business location)
Starting on the 15th day, the daily allowance will be reduced by 50%. In special cases, this reduction may be waived; however, in such cases, a strict measure is to be applied (if due to the type of business, this reduction can not be contested). This does not apply to lodging costs.
Aufwands- und Pauschalvergütung §9 (Expense and flat-rate reimbursement)
No changes – possible as before
Erstattung sonstiger Kosten §10
Substantial changes to the reimbursement of parking costs
The new law only allows the reimbursement of €5.00 Euros per calendar day.
In compellable situations, the actual price may be reimbursed; e.g. if no timely connection to the airport/train station is available with public transportation methods.
This may lead to more workers relying on taxis or rental cars. This is ok if urgent business or personal reasons exist, a timely connection with public transportation is not available, or for trips between 23:00pm and 6:00am. When using a private vehicle for considerable business reasons, the full parking costs may be reimbursed.
Verbindung mit privaten Reisen §13 (combining with a personal trip)
Applies when the trip is extended due to personal reasons
If the private extension is longer than 5 working days, the complete costs for the travel
will not be reimbursed by the employer