Human Resources

Faculty Dependent Care Travel Fund

Cornell’s Faculty Dependent Care Travel Fund offers tenure-track and tenured faculty up to $1,000 ($1,500 for children with special needs) per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) in qualified, direct expenses. The fund helps alleviate the financial burden of dependent care incurred by single caretakers, dual career couples, or nursing mothers, who often incur dependent care costs above and beyond daily expenses.

Qualifications

 A dependent is defined as:

  • A minor who resides with the applicant and for whom the applicant provides primary support
  • A disabled adult/elder who spends at least eight hours per day in the applicant's home and for whom the applicant has responsibility.
Eligible Expenses

Covered expenses may include dependent care at home while the faculty member is traveling, the cost of transporting the dependent and/or the caregiver to a conference/meeting location or a research site, and/or on-site dependent care at a conference/meeting.

Expenses will be covered for single care takers and for faculty members whose spouse/partner is not available for child care due to work obligations or other extenuating circumstances. Recipients must certify that funds requested for dependent care are due to travel for university business, and are above and beyond normal dependent care expenses (for example, normal day care or elder care costs).

Examples

Example 1: An assistant professor has a child who attends a local child care center on a daily basis, five days a week. He is a single parent planning to attend a 3-day, mid-week conference as an invited speaker. The conference requires overnight travel and the assistant professor must bring his child with him. Conference organizers have arranged for on-site child care for the conference attendees and presenters. In this case, the assistant professor could apply to the Faculty Dependent Care Travel Fund to cover the airfare for his child as well as the cost of the on-site child care at the conference.

Example 2: A dual career faculty family have children who are ordinarily cared for by a live-out nanny who comes to their home. They will both be attending the same conference. Conference organizers have not made arrangements for on-site care, so the couple plans to bring along their nanny to care for the children while they attend the conference. The daily cost for the nanny ordinarily amounts to approximately $200/day, but given that the conference requires care away from home, the cost for the nanny may increase to $250/day. The couple could apply to the Faculty Dependent Care Travel Fund to cover the airfare for their children and the nanny, and they could also request funds for the extra $50/day for the nanny to provide off-site care.

Application Process

Eligible faculty apply either before or after their travel is complete. If travel is dependent on whether an application is approved, the faculty member is encouraged to apply in advance of their travel.  No applications are guaranteed approval. Completed applications should be submitted electronically to Diane Bradac at sdb39@cornell.edu within two weeks of the end of travel. You’ll need to submit the following:

  1. Application Form (pdf)
  2. Travel verification Form (pdf)
  3. All receipts/documentation. Examples: a copy of conference registration, a copy of or link to a program that indicates participation (host, speaker, etc.). In dual caregiver situations, documentation of the reason for the spouse’s/partner’s unavailability must be provided.

If travel is dependent on whether an application is approved, the faculty member is encouraged to apply in advance of their travel. No applications are guaranteed approval. Applicants will be informed of the funding decision within two weeks of their submission.

Deadlines

The Application Form, the Travel Care Fund Verification Form, and all receipts/ documentation must be submitted within two weeks of the end of travel (no need to submit the application form at that time if you have already done so for pre-approval). 

You must submit your travel for the previous fiscal year by July 15 to be eligible for funds. The funds are considered taxable by the IRS, and will be included in recipient’s W-2 form for the calendar year in which the funds are dispersed. Cornell will help defray the taxable costs, by providing an additional 25% of the value of the approved grant in the payment issued.

Failure to submit by the July 15 deadline will result in expenses being applied to the 2016-2017 fiscal year and will count towards the recipient’s $1000.00 cap for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.  If travel is not completed and documentation cannot be submitted by the July 15, 2016 deadline, expenses will be applied to the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

Multiple Requests

Eligible faculty can submit more than one request (and receive more than one grant) within a given fiscal year, up to the annual maximum ($1,000). In situations where both spouses/partners are Cornell faculty, each individual faculty member may apply for the maximum annual grant amount in support of his/her own professional travel.

Payment

Payment will be made after all travel is completed. The funds are considered taxable by the IRS, and will be included in recipient’s W-2 form for the calendar year in which the funds are dispersed. Cornell will help defray the taxable costs, by providing an additional 25% of the value of the approved grant in the payment issued.