Travel Support

Travel Support

Submitting a Travel Support Request to OCB

The OCB Program has limited funds to support U.S. participation in workshops and meetings that advance the programmatic mission of OCB, help train the next generation of OCB scientists, and strengthen ties to our partner programs (e.g., IMBER, SOLAS, IOCCP, US CLIVAR, GEOTRACES, etc.) communities. Given these very limited resources, we prioritize participation in workshops and meetings that will result in a tangible product or outcome to promote OCB scientific implementation and community building. Meeting organizers may submit bulk travel support requests for US-based scientists to attend OCB-relevant meetings.

The OCB Program occasionally considers individual travel support requests, but only under circumstances in which the applicant meets the following criteria:

  • There is a letter of support from (or the request is being made by) the organizing committee of the event making a clear case for why this person’s attendance is needed (required)
  • The event does not already have participation from members of the OCB community with the specific expertise of the applicant (required)
  • The applicant is clearly going as a representative of the broader community, not just for individual scientific interest (required)
  • The applicant is seeking to attend an event that is a logical extension of prior OCB investments or interests (desired)

The OCB SSC will review travel support requests three times a year (corresponding deadlines for submitting requests in parentheses): Winter/Spring (March 1), Summer (June 1), and Fall (November 1). A travel support request should be ~1-3 pages and include the following information:

  • Description of the meeting and its scientific and programmatic relevance to OCB - i.e. why should OCB support this?
  • Description of who will receive the travel support and why - note that support of early career scientists is a high priority, but not a requirement for submitting a travel support request; if possible, support should be spread across multiple participants (covering partial costs), not covering full expenses for only 2-3 individuals
  • Budget and justification - bulk travel support requests are typically in the $10K range but larger awards can be considered with adequate justification (please include information regarding additional sources of support if appropriate)

In the case of an individual travel support request, the application should include the standard requested information and also provide evidence that the participant's attendance is necessary to represent OCB-relevant interests and expertise via the criteria listed above.  Since OCB is a U.S.-funded program, our priority is to support U.S.-based scientists. Proposals should be sent directly to the OCB Project Office. Please contact Heather Benway if you have questions about developing  a travel support request.

OCB Travel Reimbursement Guidelines

OCB only covers the cost of coach fares. When you book your flight we can reimburse you before your trip or afterwards and it is very important that you use a U.S. flag carrier because of the Fly America Act. Otherwise, we cannot reimburse your flight. There are a few cases in which you can use a non-US flag carrier when traveling internationally because of the Open Skies Agreement, but it is imperative that you check with Mary Zawoysky before you make your reservations. Also, see notes below about passenger receipt. Also we cannot reimburse you for flight cancellation insurance.

Fill out travel expense voucher (downloadable travel expense voucher and sample travel voucher for guidance). Please email with receipts as noted below  to

Domestic Per Diem Rates: Breakfast - $10, Lunch - $17, Dinner - $30; no receipts are needed for meals. For foreign per diem rates, please check with our office or visit State Department website. Here is the meal reimbursement form.

If you will be driving to an OCB-sponsored meeting, any trip over 250 miles one way is covered at a maximum level of the least expensive economy airfare. If driving, we recommend that you check with us prior to the meeting to get an estimate of reimbursable mileage. If you wish to add days to your itinerary for personal travel, you are expected to cover any additional associated costs, including the difference (if any) in the cost of the plane ticket. OCB does not reimburse rental car expenses unless there are no other transportation options available (Lyft/Uber, taxi, bus, etc.) or if all other transportation options actually exceed the cost of a rental car. 

Please attach all original receipts of $75 and over for any other expenses such as car rental, taxi fare, etc. We don’t require receipts for items under $75 such as tips for hotel cleaning staff, skycaps, etc. The air passenger receipt is very important along with baggage receipts, even if less than $75 (the one exception to the previous rule), or anything related to airfare. Without the air passenger receipt, our travel reimbursement department will not pay for anything on the expense voucher. If you have an electronic ticket, we still need an air passenger receipt from travel agency or a receipt from the airline that shows how you paid for the ticket. We cannot reimburse flight insurance. If you have questions, contact Mary Zawoysky at 508-289-2310 or by email.

Travelers should download this form to fill out so we can transfer the reimbursement electronically, however If you have a non-US bank please use this form instead for an electronic transfer.

E-mail your travel expense voucher with original receipts to