Early-career mathematicians are eligible to participate in the AMS-Simons Travel Grants program if they are:
- Engaged in an active research program in a disciplinary research area supported by the Division of Mathematical Sciences of the National Science Foundation (NSF),
- Located in the United States (or are U.S. citizens/permanent residents employed outside the United States), and
- Have completed the PhD (or its equivalent) within the last four years before the start date of their grant.
Grantees are required to notify the AMS Programs staff immediately if their eligibility status changes. Such circumstances include but are not limited to:
- Receipt of substantial external research funding,
- Residence at an NSF institute, and/or
- Relocation from the United Sates (if a non-U.S. citizen/permanent resident).
The AMS needs to maintain a record of each grantee’s home institution. If a grantee’s home institution changes at any time during the grant period, please notify the AMS Programs staff as soon as possible.
The AMS-Simons Travel Grant is a two-year award; each grant year begins July 1 and ends June 30. No expenses incurred prior to the award start date are eligible for reimbursement.
If grantees have any questions about allowable expenses and activities, they should ask the AMS Programs Staff for guidance before making arrangements. Otherwise, grantees may incur expenses for which they expect, but will not receive, reimbursement.
Two types of travel expenses may be funded: travel expenses incurred by the grantee and travel expenses incurred by another mathematical scientist for the purpose of scientific collaboration with the grantee.
Online grant-related activities are also eligible for AMS-Simons Travel Grant funding.
The following expenses may be submitted for reimbursement. Again, if grantees have questions about allowable expenses and activities, they should ask the AMS Programs staff for guidance before making arrangements.
Airfare and baggage
- Economy class tickets and seating, priority boarding, and travel insurance fees are allowed. Business and first-class tickets are ineligible for reimbursement.
- Airline tickets should be bought at the two-week advance purchase rate or lower.
- The AMS encourages the use of a U.S. air carrier whenever possible.
- Flight change fees are not eligible for reimbursement, but if an emergency situation arises, a grantee may submit a justification as part of a reimbursement request.
- Excess baggage fees are allowed.
- Economy class tickets are allowed. Business and first-class tickets are ineligible for reimbursement.
- Ground transportation includes travel by bus, Uber/Lyft, taxi, or subway.
- A grantee may use a private auto for ground transportation to and from their home airport or train station. See below regarding private auto mileage, tolls, and parking.
- Grantees may request reimbursement for no more than four one-way trips: transportation between their home/home institution and their home airport or train station, and transportation between their lodging/host institution and the destination airport or train station.
- Receipts are not required for reimbursement requests of less than \$25 total of a kind. If a grantee’s ground transportation reimbursement request totals \$25 or more, receipts are required.
- Reimbursement for local ground transportation while a grantee is at their destination is not allowed.
- All car rentals must be pre-approved by the AMS Programs staff. Failure to obtain preapproval means that the car rental and associated expenses will be ineligible for reimbursement.
- Insurance fees related to renting a car for grant-related travel are allowed.
- Mileage fees incurred by renting a car are not eligible for reimbursement.
- Rental cars are not reimbursable for ground transportation expenses.
Car rental gas, tolls, and parking fees
- Gas, toll, and parking expenses incurred while renting a car for grant-related travel are allowed if the car rental was pre-approved by the AMS.
- Receipts are not required for reimbursement requests of less than \$25 total of a kind. If a grantee’s gas, toll, or parking reimbursement request totals \$25 or more, receipts are required.
Private auto mileage
- Only mileage incurred while using a grantee’s own vehicle for grant-related travel is eligible for reimbursement.
- A grantee must report the total mileage driven round-trip between their home/home institution and their destination (address to address).
- Reimbursement for local mileage incurred while a grantee is at their destination is not allowed.
- The mileage reimbursement rate is listed in the AMS-Simons Travel Voucher Form. The reimbursement amount is calculated by multiplying the mileage rate by the total number of miles driven.
Private auto tolls and parking
- Toll and parking expenses incurred through use of a grantee’s own vehicle for grant-related travel are eligible for reimbursement.
- Receipts are not required for reimbursement requests of less than \$25 total of a kind. If a grantee’s toll or parking reimbursement request totals \$25 or more, receipts are required.
- Private auto gas and insurance expenses are not eligible for reimbursement.
- Meeting registration fees are eligible for reimbursement.
- Government visa fees required for international travel are allowable.
- If a hotel stay is expected to cost more than \$250 per night, please obtain pre-approval from the AMS Programs staff.
- Room charges plus applicable taxes are covered.
- Meals and other expenses that appear on a hotel bill are not covered.
- Hotel accommodation receipts must show the traveler's name, check-in/check-out dates, and method of payment.
Meals – in-person travel
- Receipts are not required for reimbursement of meal expenses.
- If a grantee is only requesting reimbursement for meal expenses, proof of travel (a flight, train, or hotel receipt) is required to calculate the number of days for which the grantee is eligible for reimbursement.
- The maximum meal per diem for full days of travel is \$50 per day. Grantees should request the total of actual meal expenses up to \$50 per full day of travel, no matter the location.
- The maximum meal per diem for the first and last days of travel is \$37.50 per day. For these days, grantees should request the total of actual meal expenses up to \$37.50 per day.
- Meal per diem allowances are only be paid for trips that include overnight stays.
Meals – online activities
- Receipts are required for reimbursement of meal expenses incurred during online grant-related activities.
- The maximum meal per diem for each day of online grant-related activity is \$50 per day. Grantees should request the total of actual meal expenses up \$50 per day.
Mentor pre-authorization form
An AMS-Simons Travel grantee and their mentor should work together to determine the activities for which the grantee will use their award during the grant period. Once the grantee and their mentor have agreed on a particular activity, the mentor must complete and submit an AMS-Simons Mentor Pre-Authorization Form in advance of the planned activity.
Pre-authorization forms for engagement in online grant-related activities must clearly (1) indicate that the activity is an online event and (2) describe the expenses that will be incurred through participation in the proposed online activity.
All pre-authorization forms must come directly from the mentor. Forms will be rejected if the mentor email address on the form does not match the mentor email address that the AMS has on file, so grantees should ensure that their mentor's email address is up-to-date with the AMS Programs staff. For questions related to mentor contact information, please email the AMS Programs staff.
AMS Programs staff will confirm receipt of pre-authorization forms via an email to the grantee and their mentor. For members of the 2023 cohort whose grants are administered by their home institutions, the AMS Programs staff will also include on the email the institution contact who is responsible for grant administration.
Grantees are responsible for making all arrangements for their pre-authorized travel.
The AMS assumes no responsibility or liability for any risks undertaken by individuals traveling domestically or internationally with support from grants administered by the AMS. Travelers departing from the United States for international destinations are especially encouraged to review the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs’ guidance for Americans Traveling Abroad and Travel Advisories.
The AMS strongly encourages grantees to ascertain their airline’s policies regarding credits, refunds, and insurance and to take the steps that best manage their risk of out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a change in the meeting plans or their own circumstances. Grantees may incur some (nominal) expenses to hedge against these risks.
Members of the 2023 cohort whose grants are administered by their home institutions should work with their institution contact to arrange reimbursements according to their institution’s policies and procedures and in accordance with AMS-Simons Travel Grants program guidelines, as outlined in the terms of award that the AMS provided with grantee acceptance notifications.
The following reimbursement instructions are only for members of the 2023 cohort whose grants are administered by the AMS and for members of previous cohorts whose grants are still active. If a grantee is unsure of their status, they should email the AMS Programs staff for clarification.
Timeline and methods for reimbursement
Starting July 1, 2023, travel vouchers must be submitted to the AMS within 30 days of the last day of a trip, or allowable expenses will not be eligible for reimbursement. After a grantee submits a complete voucher and all required documentation, payment can be expected from the AMS in four to six weeks.
Reimbursements will be delayed if the AMS Fiscal Department does not have a grantee’s W-9 (for U.S. citizens/permanent residents) or W-8BEN (for non-U.S. citizens/permanent residents) on file. In addition, if a grantee’s address changes, they are required to submit an updated form to the AMS Fiscal Department. Complete W-9 and W-8BEN forms should never be emailed to the AMS.
To receive reimbursements via direct deposit rather than paper checks, grantees should complete this domestic ACH form (for U.S-based bank accounts) or this international ACH form (for overseas bank accounts) and upload the appropriate form to the secure website provided at the bottom of the form—never email this form to the AMS. If a grantee is already receiving reimbursements via direct deposit, they should not submit this form again unless their bank information changes.
Links to W-9, W-8BEN, and ACH forms were included in the terms of award that the AMS provided with grantee acceptance notifications.
AMS-Simons Travel Grant voucher form
After travel is complete, the traveler completes and submits an AMS-Simons Travel Voucher Form and supporting documentation for allowable expenses, and the AMS reimburses the traveler directly. Only one voucher may be submitted for each trip, and it must be submitted by the traveler—either the grantee or their collaborator.
The AMS recommends that grantees retain a copy of each voucher and related receipts for possible inspection by the Internal Revenue Service.
After the AMS processes a travel voucher for payment, the AMS Programs staff will email the grantee a notification including the amount of the reimbursement, when to expect the payment, and the balance remaining on the award. Please retain these emails for your records.
Effective with the 2023 cohort, AMS-Simons Travel grantees are required to submit a technical report at the end of grant year 1 and a final report at the end of grant year 2. If a grantee receives an extension after year 2 (see below), they are required to submit a technical report at the end of grant year 2 and a final report at the conclusion of their extension.
At the close of the grant period, all grantees are required to submit a final report in which they detail the research-related activities funded by their grant and the consequences of this support. The AMS will request a grantee’s final report when the last reimbursement of the grant is issued or at the closing date of the grant, whichever comes first. The final report request is sent via an email that contains a link to the final report form. Feedback from final reports is conveyed to the Simons Foundation annually.
If a grantee does not exhaust award funds within the two-year grant period, the grantee may request a one-year extension of the award. Extension requests should be made within the final six months of the original grant period. To request an extension, a grantee must email the AMS Programs Staff and explain (1) why the extension is needed and (2) how the grantee anticipates using the award during the extension period. As part the grantee’s request, the institution that is admnistering the grant must also indicate its willingness to administer the no-cost extension. Details on this process will be shared in grant year 2.
Effective with the 2023 cohort, department awards are only issued to institutions that administer a grantee’s AMS-Simons Travel Grant on behalf of the AMS. These awards will be issued at the end of grant years 1 and 2, upon receipt of the institution’s annual expense reports. AMS Programs staff will communicate directly with a grantee’s department regarding issuance of these awards.
For previous cohorts, at the beginning of grant years 1 and 2, the AMS asks each grantee to provide the contact information of the individual at their home institution who handles transactions of this nature. That person returns required information to the AMS, and the award payment is sent directly to the institution.
Grantees, research collaborators, mentors, and institution administrators are welcome to contact the AMS Programs staff with questions about the AMS-Simons Travel Grants program.