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Postdoctoral Professional Travel with Children

The demands of parenting children present special challenges to postdoctoral fellows who desire to participate in academic conferences as part of their research and scholarship. Through its family friendly policies, the Rackham Graduate School and the ADVANCE Program strongly support postdoctoral fellows at the University of Michigan who are working to balance family obligations and scholarly research. The Rackham Graduate School and ADVANCE will provide up to a maximum of $750 per postdoctoral fellow per 12 month period for approved travel expenses for children under the age of six (up to and including age five at the time of travel) that accompany a postdoctoral parent to a professional meeting.

Allowable travel expenses when children accompany postdoctoral fellows to academic conferences may include a child’s airfare, car seat rental, crib rental, or daycare charges. Expenses must be related to the postdoctoral fellow’s approved travel and must include appropriate documentation of the expense.

Requests seeking reimbursement for childcare provided by a spouse, partner, or other family member will not be approved. Questions regarding allowable expenses, or expenses under circumstances beyond those that are considered allowable, may be directed to the Rackham Graduate School at [email protected].

Please note that the IRS considers reimbursed child travel expenses as taxable income. Therefore, reimbursement to the postdoctoral fellow will be processed as Additional Pay.


  1. At least four weeks prior to the planned travel, the postdoctoral fellow should complete a request for pre-approval using the online form. No retroactive requests for reimbursements will be granted.
  2. Postdoctoral fellows will receive a confirmation of pre-approval for travel expenses from ADVANCE ([email protected]).
  3. The postdoctoral fellow must use a personal form of payment for any travel expenses and retain all related receipts. P-Cards may not be used for child-travel expenses.
  4. Promptly after returning from the trip, the postdoctoral fellow should complete a request for reimbursement using the online form, which will require uploading appropriate receipt(s) and a brief explanation for each expense.