DIMACS Workshop Organizer's Guide:
Letters of Invitation

Letters of invitation should go to all invited participants. Any financial offers should be explicit (such as "We can reimburse up to $500 of travel expenses.") and not open ended. The letters can go out be email or regular mail. Copies of all invitations should be kept and forwarded to the DIMACS Financial Assistant (financial-assistant@dimacs.rutgers.edu) at Rutgers. Typically some participants are reimbursed for some of their expenses, and many are not. Sample invitation letters for both cases are attached.

A final list of supported participants should be sent to the Financial Assistant immediately after the workshop in case individual letters of invitation were inadvertently not copied to them. Also, the list should indicate special funding details, i.e. support for grad student, or support for women/minorities if this is a targeted population for support (sometimes funding sources provide funds targeted towards specific groups).

Important Points to Remember:

How Much to Offer:

The question of how much to offer plagues everyone. Since one workshop might have a priority of attracting a certain group of essential speakers, and another workshop targets attracting graduate students, no single answer can suffice. The suggestions here will give a guide to reasonable amounts of money needed for travel and local expenses. Organizers can consider such factors as whether the person is key to the program, other resources for travel available to that person (industry people often have more travel funding; students generally have the least), or other factors. Workshops that receive an additional sum for graduate student support should direct that amount (or more) to supporting the attendance of graduate students.

As a rule of thumb, travel support offered to participants is usually no support for people in New Jersey, about $50 for people in New York City area or Philadelphia; $150-200 for others in the Northeast US; $250 for others in the Eastern US; and $400 for those West of the Mississippi. Participants from Europe might need up to $500-600. Some Europeans (depending on location ) may have to give up salary to attend a workshop. Circumstances vary widely regarding whether attendees have other resources for travel and lodging costs. Preliminary queries to potential participants can ask about needs for participation.

Sample Letters:

Letter with reimbursement:

Prof. John Doe
Any University
Anytown, USA 12345

Dear John:
I am pleased to invite you to participate in a workshop on
The New Computers: Fiction or Fake?
April 1, 1944
DIMACS Center, Rutgers University
Piscataway, NJ 08855
which is part of the 1943-44 Special Year on Computing organized and sponsored by DIMACS.

We have limited support for participants available. We are able to offer up to $600.00 U.S. to reimburse you for travel to and from the workshop and local expenses. I have attached a note with important information about reimbursement procedures. If you are flying and expect to be reimbursed for your airfare you *MUST* fly on a U.S. airline, regardless of cost. Our funding sources require this stipulation and no exceptions can be made.

I am attaching a statement of the workshops goals and plans. Your comments on the plan and additional participants would be most welcome. If you would be interested in giving a talk at the workshop, please let me know by February 1, and I will try to schedule it. We hope to limit the talks to allow sufficient time for informal interactions.

Publicity about the workshop will be at DIMACS WWW site and will give the list of talks, suggested hotels, and travel information. See "http://dimacs.rutgers.edu/Workshops".

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Sally Roe
Other University
OtherTown, USA 54321
encl: reimbursement information; workshop goals



Letter without reimbursment

Prof. John Doe
Any University
Anytown, USA 12345

Dear John:

I am pleased to invite you to participate in a workshop on

The New Computers: Fiction or Fake?
April 1, 1944
DIMACS Center, Rutgers University
Piscataway, NJ 08855
which is part of the 1943-44 special year on computing organized and sponsored by DIMACS.

I am attaching a statement of the workshops goals and plans. Your comments on the plan and additional participants would be most welcome. If you would be interested in giving a talk at the workshop, please let me know by February 1, and I will try to schedule it. We hope to limit the talks to allow sufficient time for informal interactions.

Publicity about the workshop will be at DIMACS WWW site and will give the list of talks, suggested hotels, and travel information. See "http://dimacs.rutgers.edu/Workshops".

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Sally Roe
Other University
OtherTown, USA 54321
encl: workshop goals



Reimbursement Information:

Participant Reimbursement for DIMACS Workshops

Workshop participants who are offered reimbursement should read and follow these suggestions to assure that as much as possible of their expenses can be reimbursed.

As required by the grant sources of DIMACS workshop support and other limitations of Rutgers and Princeton Universities that administer that grant money, the following instructions must be followed.

1. Workshop participants are reimbursed for actual expenses. Expenses are documented by submission of *ORIGINAL* receipts, photocopies are not allowed. The Center cannot give a general "subsistence" allowance or per diem.

2. You *MUST* use a U.S. airline when traveling, regardless of costs. Only travel on a U.S. airline can be reimbursed, no exceptions can be made.

3. Reimbursable travel must be between the participant's home site and the DIMACS center. Extra trips or vacation stops are not allowed for reimbursement.

4. The grant funding requires that coach class airlines and other "ordinary" forms of travel are required. Limos with hot-tubs are definitely excessive; taxicabs are definitely OK. There is no "definition" of reasonable.

5. If a personal automobile is used you can be reimbursed at the University rate of $0.31/mile.

6. Receipts: particpants should get machine printed receipts whenever possible. Hand written receipts can be rejected. Hotel receipts should show a $0.00 balance - it shows that the hotel was paid. All meals should have receipts. Meals costing over $25.00 must have receipts.

7. At the Workshop: while attending the workshop, please check in with the Financial Assistant to get an official reimbursement form and to discuss details.

Mail a signed letter requesting the reimbursement (or a signed reimbursement form) along with original receipts to:
Financial Assistant
DIMACS Center
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
96 Frelinghuysen Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8018
If you have any questions concerning the reimbursement procedure please feel free to call the Financial Assistant at 848-445-4581 or email financial-assistant@dimacs.rutgers.edu.
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Document last modified on July 2, 2013.