International Travel Support (ITS) Scheme provides financial assistance to Indian researchers for presenting a research paper in an international scientific event (conference, seminar, workshop etc.) held abroad. In addition, support is also provided to young scientists (age limit below 35 years as on date of start of the event) for attending training programmes, Short-term schools and Workshops. Economy class air-fare by shortest route, airport-tax and visa fees are provided under the scheme. Registration fee as per actual or Rs. 50,000/- whichever is less will be provided to young scientist (Age< 35 on the date of start of event) in addition to the above support. Applications can be submitted within the window of 60-90 days in advance from the date of start of the event. The system will not accept early or late submission of applications. However, applicant who has already submitted a proposal will not be eligible to apply again within next 90 days from the date of submission of the first application.
The ITS scheme is to provide financial assistance for presenting a original research paper or chairing a session or delivering a keynote address in an international scientific event held abroad (conference/seminar/symposium etc.). This scheme also provides support to young researchers (Age<35 years on the date of start of event) for attending workshop, short term training programmes and schools being organized outside India.
This scheme provides to & fro economic class air fare by the shortest route, airport tax and visa fees for attending the specific event. Registration fee as per actual or Rs. 50,000/- whichever is less will be provided to young scientist (Age< 35 on the date of start of event) in addition to the above support. The support is provided on reimbursement basis as per actual expenditure incurred by the applicant within the guidelines of the scheme. However, Taxi fare will not be reimbursed.
For successful online submission of the application the following points may be noted:
The contact details of Programme Officers are given below:
Dr. Sukumar Dey, Scientist 'C'
Science and Engineering Research Board
3rd & 4th Floor, Block II,
Technology Bhavan, New Mehrauli Road,
Telephone: 011-26552151/2114, 011-26511084
Q1: I was awarded Travel Support to attend an International Conference held in Washington. But, I could not attend the conference due to a delay in getting Visa. Can I use the above support to attend another conference to be held in July 2017?
A1: No. The support given to one event cannot be used to attend another. The Applicant should apply fresh to seek support for another event.
Q2: Do I need to A) book my air tickets with Air India only or any other specific airline and B) Who will provide the certificate for "Lowest Available Fare"?
A2A: There is no specific airline that needs to be preferred while making your travel reservations. The air tickets are to be booked in economy class at "Lowest Available Fare" on the date of booking. The tickets need to be purchased from any of the two authorized agents viz. i) M/s Balmer Lawrie & Company Limited (BLCL) and ii) M/s Ashoka Travels and Tours(ATT). Bookings through any other agency will not be considered for reimbursement.
A2B: While booking your air tickets from any of the two authorized agents viz. i) M/s Balmer Lawrie & Company Limited (BLCL) and ii) M/s Ashoka Travels and Tours (ATT), request them to provide the required certificate.
Q3: What precautions should I take while booking the tickets?
A3: It is advised to book the air tickets only after the issuance of the visa and to keep the validity dates of the visa to avoid deboarding at the airport due to visa validity issues. Visa should be valid on the date when you are boarding the flight. Please make sure that you have a transit visa or other valid documents while booking the tickets and make sure to book tickets at the lowest available fare at the time of booking.
Q4: I have availed of travel support earlier under this scheme and the three years have not been completed (one month is left) yet. I want to apply for another conference now. Am I eligible?
A4: No. You should have completed three years. The duration of three years will be counted from the date of start of the last conference to the date of start of the conference which you intend to apply now.
Q5: What are the criteria for awarding travel support?
A5: The SERB receives a large number of applications. The selection is made based on many parameters. The most important of them is the track record of the applicant as evidenced by the list of publications in SCI journals during the last 5 years and also the importance of the conference. The Committee tries to accommodate candidates from different institutions and different categories (young researchers, women and senior researchers) within the available resources.
Q6: I have been invited by a Professor at MIT, USA to undergo training in his laboratory for 2 months to learn modern techniques. Such facilities are not available in our country, and this training will help immensely in furthering my research skills. Can I avail support to undergo this training?
A6: No. The scientific event should have an international character. Invitation of personal nature such as carrying out post-doctoral work, informal training programmes/courses, internship, observer-ship etc. will not be eligible for support.
Q7: I have been awarded travel support to attend an international conference in London. I plan to spend 2 months in the laboratory of a Professor at Cambridge University immediately after the conference is over. Can I use the travel support to further my research at Cambridge University?
A7: You can use the travel support to hone your research skills at Cambridge University. But you should indicate the plan while seeking the support and should return and settle the travel bill within 90 days of the last date of the event. SERB will reimburse economy class airfare to London and back home only.
Q8: I have been recommended to attend a conference in Chicago, USA from 20-25 May 2017. I have also been invited to attend a 4- day training program in New York before the event in Chicago. Can I also attend the training program in New York and then go to Chicago? Will SERB reimburse the airfare from New York to Chicago?
A8: No. SERB will not reimburse the airfare from Chicago - New York. SERB will only reimburse the economy class airfare by the shortest route to Chicago and back.
Q9: I have been recommended for travel support to attend a conference in Sydney (Australia) from 20-25 June 2017. After the conference is over, a five-day short-term school is scheduled at the same venue. The organizers are charging a separate registration fee for the school. Will SERB provide registration fees for both events?
A9: No. You will be provided with a registration fee for that event recommended by SERB.
Q10: My conference is in Toronto, Canada on 15-18 May 2017. I am already in Vancouver (Canada). I plan to travel from Vancouver to Toronto and then come back to India. Will my airfare be reimbursed?
Q11: My conference starts on June 5, 2017, and I have booked my tickets accordingly. Now I want to reschedule my journey and Airlines are asking for additional charges for rescheduling the tickets. Will SERB provide additional charges?
A11: No. SERB will not provide any kind of additional charges paid by you for cancellation or rescheduling. Also, additional baggage charges collected by the airlines will not be considered for reimbursement. It is advised to book the tickets in advance to avoid escalation in the cost of airfare.
Q12: What, if I have provided incorrect/misleading information?
A12: Application will be cancelled and given support will be withdrawn at any stage and no reimbursement will be made. The candidate will also be debarred for the next three years for availing of support under this scheme. No correspondence will be entertained in this matter. SERB has all the rights to take any action in consultation with the applicant's parent organization/university/institute etc.
Q13: Can I submit my travel claim for reimbursement anytime?
A13: No. You should submit a travel claim (through an online portal and hardcopies of original bills, lowest fare certificate and boarding passes) within 90 days of the last date of the event. Otherwise, your travel claim will not be reimbursed.
Q14: Can I submit my application for travel support and further my travel claim offline?
A14: No. SERB accepts applications for travel support and travel claims through an online portal only. Additionally, SERB requires hard copies of original boarding passes, visa fee receipt, lowest fare certificate and other bills along with a printout of your online travel claim sheet.
Q15: I have been recommended for travel support to attend a conference abroad but due to some reason, I could not attend the conference. Will SERB reimburse my visa fee?
A15: No. Reimbursement of visa fees is subject to attending the conference.
Q16: Does SERB reimburse taxi fare, agent fee, and excess baggage charges?
A16: No. SERB does not reimburse taxi fares and excess baggage charges. In the case of agent fees, SERB reimburses government recognized travel agents fees and VFS charges as applicable.
Q17: As a young researcher, can I get the entire registration fee including abstract submission/dinner, tour, accommodation etc.?
A17: No. The primary registration fee as per actual or Rs. 50,000/- whichever is less (excluding group meetings fee, abstract submission fee, gala/reception dinner, accommodation, tour etc.) will only be reimbursed.
Q18: Does SERB provide support to researchers to attend conferences within India?
A18: No, this scheme is to provide support to attend conferences and workshops outside India and anywhere in the world.
Q19: My event was postponed due to travel restrictions; Can I use the grant for later dates to attend the same event?
A19: No, the grant can only be used for the approved dates based on your application.