Travel Grants FAQ

Answers

Q: Who is eligible for a PyCon US 2024 Travel Grant?

A: The travel grant program is open to all contributors, attendees, students, and speakers; and aims to provide assistance to those who otherwise might not be able to attend the conference.

Q: When/how can I apply for a PyCon US Travel Grant?

A. Here are important dates around the financial aid process:

  • December 13, 2023: Travel grant application opens
  • February 16, 2024: Travel grant application closes at 23:59:59 on February 16th AoE
  • February 26, 2024: Travel grants awarded
  • March 11, 2024: Deadline to respond to accept / decline travel grants
  • April 15, 2024: Receipts and secure document portals open
  • May 16 - May 19, 2024: Disbursement sessions at PyCon US

Please ensure you can receive emails from pycon-aid@python.org; the Travel Grant team will send email communications regarding updates and information about awards, receipt uploads, and disbursement sessions from this email address.

Q: Are there limits to how much funding I may receive?

A: PyCon US strives to provide assistance to as many applicants as possible by optimizing the funds we have available for travel grants. Recipients receive support for some or all of their expenses including travel, hotel, and meal per diems. While we wish we could give grants to everyone who applies, our funds are limited.

Please review your travel plans and adjust the amount requested to $2,000 USD or less for international travel and $1,500 or less for US domestic travel. The online-only option to attend PyCon US 2024 will be offered again for folks who cannot attend in person or require more than the travel grant cap. Please let us know if there are extenuating circumstances that may make the trip more expensive.

Possible ways to reduce expenses:

  • Conference Registration Fees should not be included in your requested amount. If you are awarded financial aid a complimentary conference ticket will be provided.
  • Adjust travel dates to obtain lower airfare.
  • If an in-person visit to PyCon US is still out of your financial means, consider attending our virtual PyCon US or a PyCon local to you.
  • If you have already submitted an initial request, you may adjust it by logging in to the travel grant dashboard. Please make adjustments to your application by February 4, 2024. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Q: If I request more funds after my grant has been approved, will that affect my current grant?

A: If you cannot attend with your current award, you may request additional funds through your PyCon US dashboard, instead of accepting or declining your grant. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate you because our budget is tightly stretched. Requesting additional funds puts you into the second funding round where we distribute remaining funds from people who have declined their awards.

You may also consider attending PyCon US virtually.

Please note that if you are requesting more funds and we are unable to allocate more funds, your previous award will no longer be available; this option is only intended for people who would not be able to attend PyCon US on their current grant.

Q: What kind of costs are covered by the PyCon US Travel Grant?

  • Airfare
    • Economy-class tickets for travel to/from Pittsburgh international airport
    • Baggage fees
    • The travel grant program does not cover upgraded seats including exit rows, business class, first class, or other priority seating
    • Flights with layovers in other cities for 2+ days will not be fully reimbursed
    • Flights with multiple complicated legs will be reimbursed at the rate of a direct ticket
  • Lodging
    • Hotels, motels, hostels, AirBnB, etc. for the days you attend the conference
    • You are welcome to use the PyCon US room booking service, but this is not a requirement for reimbursement
    • If you share a room with anyone else, we can only reimburse you for your portion of the shared room. Travel grants only cover costs for the person receiving the grant.
    • Only lodging in Pittsburgh, PA is eligible for reimbursement. Any lodging costs incurred in other cities due to visa appointments, layovers, driving to the conference, etc, will be the responsibility of the travel grant recipient.
  • Transit
    • Taxi, Lyft/Uber, bus, trains
    • Mileage to/from airport, bus/train station, lodging, or conference center
    • Parking at the airport, bus/train station, or conference center
  • Per diems
    • Per diem covers food during the days you attend the conference, plus a travel day at the beginning and end of your trip. These will be automatically added to your travel grant by the travel grant committee; please do not upload food receipts.
    • Travel days: $48 each
    • Conference days: $32 each
    • Tutorial and sprint days: $48 each
  • Visa/ESTA fees
    • For non-US nationals who must have a visa/ESTA to attend the conference
    • Visa fees should cost around $60 USD, ESTA fees should cost around $21 USD. If you pay more than this you are likely using a visa application service, and those costs are not reimbursable by the travel grant program.
  • Poster printing fees for PyCon US poster presenters
  • Check cashing fee charged by PNC Bank in Pittsburgh

The following costs are not covered in the package:

  • Trip insurance
  • Paid/upgraded seats on airplanes
  • Transportation to/from the visa application center for visa appointments
  • Meals for the days you traveled for visa appointments
  • Airport Lounge Access Fees
  • On-board/Airport/Hotel WiFi Charges
  • Cellular roaming/international charges
  • COVID-19 vaccines, tests, or masks

If you use points or rewards to offset the cash paid for a valid travel cost, the PSF will reimburse you for the cost prior to points or rewards application. For example, if your airfare costs $500 and you use $200 in points and $300 in cash to pay for the airfare, the PSF will reimburse $500 (up to the travel grant award amount).

Any receipt that is in non-USD currency will be reimbursed at the foreign currency amount converted to USD as of the date of the receipt.

If there are any ambiguities, final discretion lies with the Travel Grant Chair.

Q: What if I need help with a US visitor visa?

A: PyCon US can provide you with a “Visa Letter” or an “Invitation Letter” to support a United States visitor visa application. Visa letters can be requested once you have a fully paid and confirmed conference registration. The letter confirms that as a registered delegate, you are invited to attend by the Python Software Foundation (PSF) and the PyCon US 2024 Committee.

Invitation letters can be requested in lieu of a “Visa Letter” if you do not have a confirmed, paid conference registration and are still waiting to register for any reason at the time of your request. The letter serves as an invitation from the Python Software Foundation (PSF) and the PyCon US 2024 Committee to register for and attend the conference, but cannot confirm your participation.

Please fill out this form to request a Visa Letter or an Invitation Letter.

Q: Can I be reimbursed for food?

A: The Travel Grant Committee automatically adds a per-diem rate for food for each travel grant recipient. Please do not submit meal receipts. For 2024, the US GSA (Governmental Services Administration) set the per-diem rate for Pittsburgh, PA at $64 per day. Per-diems only cover the days you are attending PyCon US and one travel day before and after conference attendance. For conference days, because breakfast and lunches are provided, we only provide 1/2 the per diem ($32 per day). For tutorial and sprint days, because lunches are provided, we provide 3/4 the per diem ($48 per day).

Q: How do I provide a hotel receipt when I haven’t checked out yet?

A: A reservation confirmation may be submitted as a receipt. The reservation confirmation should include the name and address of the hotel/motel/hostel/AirBnB, check-in and check-out dates, number of occupants, and the amount charged per day. Reimbursement is limited to the proportionate, per-person cost if the room has more than one occupant.

Q: Can I be reimbursed for auto expenses or mileage if I am driving to PyCon US?

A: Yes. The IRS mileage rate includes cost coverage for maintenance and wear and tear on the vehicle. The 2024 IRS mileage rate has not been published yet. The rate for 2023 was $.625 per mile (https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/standard-mileage-rates). Please provide a PDF or screenshot of the mileage for your trip. Please do not submit gas receipts.

Q: What if my receipt is larger than my grant amount?

A: You can upload a receipt for an amount larger than your grant, but you will only be reimbursed up to the award amount.

Q: Should I register for the conference before I find out if my travel grant application has been approved?

A: No. Applicants do not need to register in the fear that the conference will sell out! We set aside tickets for travel grant recipients.

Q: After my grant is approved, how do I register for the conference at the discounted rate?

A: Registration is separate from clicking the link in the travel grant email you received. To register, log into your PyCon US dashboard and go to the Registration Tab. Enter the Promo Code provided to you in the Travel Grant email on the registration page where requested. You will receive an option for complimentary conference registration.

If you registered prior to receiving a travel grant, please contact the registration team (pycon-reg@python.org) with the email address you used to register. Your existing registration will be adjusted to reflect the Travel Grant Award and you will receive a refund for the amount you paid.

Q: How do I upload my receipts for reimbursement?

A: After your application has been approved, and you have accepted the award, log into your PyCon US dashboard and click on the “Upload Receipt” link on your dashboard.

Receipts must include the following:

  • Your full name
  • Name of the service provider (i.e., hotel name, taxi company, airline name, etc.)
  • The date of the transaction
  • The amount of the transaction
    • Airfare and transit receipts should include your origin and destination locations and dates of travel
    • Lodging receipts should include the dates of your stay and the number of people staying in the room

Q: What if I don’t come to PyCon US?

A: If you do not register and attend PyCon US, you will not receive your grant. Please notify the Travel Grant Committee (pycon-aid@python.org) that you cannot attend so that we can redistribute your funds.

Q: How do I receive my travel grant disbursement?

A: Disbursement of funds will be onsite during the conference in Room TBD at the convention center during one of the following sessions. You must attend a disbursement session during the conference in order to receive your travel grant. If you need to make special accommodations, please contact us at pycon-aid@python.org.

  • May 16, 2024, 9:00 am to 11:00 am EST
  • May 17, 2024, 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm EST
  • May 18, 2024, 10:00 am to 12:30 pm EST
  • May 19, 2024, 10:00 am to 12:30 pm EST

Please bring a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, to the disbursement session so that the travel grant team can confirm your identity. The identity check ensures that the name on the payment matches your government ID to prevent delays in receiving the funds.

Q: What documents are considered government IDs for checking in at the Travel Grant disbursement session?

A: All IDs should be current and include a picture.

If you are 18 years of age and over:

United States citizens: driver’s license, learner’s permit, or picture ID issued by one of the 50 US states, passport, or a military ID

Non-US citizens: a valid passport.

If you are under 18 years of age:

PyCon US requires that you are accompanied by a parent, teacher, or guardian 18 years of age or older.

The financial aid team will verify the accompanying adult’s valid identity proof (see above rules for an adult).

Please bring a valid School Photo ID, driver’s license, learner’s permit, state ID, or a passport for the minor, if available.

Q: What payment options are available?

A: You may choose to receive your travel grant via any of the methods listed on our Payment Options.

Payments will be issued within 7 business days after you have checked in at a disbursement session and the PSF has received complete receipts and payment details. The quickest payment methods are Zelle and PayPal. If you select wire or ACH, your bank may take longer to release funds based on their policy. Please check with your bank to ensure your account can receive an ACH or wire transfer if you select one of those payment options.

Q: Is there a bank near the convention center where I can cash my travel grant check without a fee?

A: The PSF has a banking relationship with PNC Bank which will cash PSF checks for travel grants without charging you a check cashing fee.

When you go to the bank to cash your check, please bring a government-issued ID if you live in the United States, or a passport if you live outside of the United States.

Please let the accounting team know if you have any issues with cashing your check.

Branch location: PNC Bank, 225 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 USA

Branch telephone: (412) 762-2021

Branch hours: 9:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday. Closed Saturday-Sunday.

Bank website: https://apps.pnc.com/locator/location-details/pennsylvania/pittsburgh/15222/00024001/3-pnc?lnksrc=branch-listing