Travel Support

With support from the Elsevier Foundation, the DOE-sponsored Energy Frontiers  Research Center, and the NSF-sponsored Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing, STEM Family Travel Initiative of UMass provides small grants to women and dual career couples who are faculty or post-docs at one of the Five Colleges, and who are primary caregivers to children or elderly family.

Two types of travel grants, to defray the incremental cost of dependent care during travel, will be awarded:

  • Family Care Assistance for overnight trips.  The next deadline is Dec. 15, 2015 (this will cover the period from January - June)
  • Family Care Assistance for day trips that occur on weekends or extend beyond normal daycare hours.   (Rolling Applications considered).

As child and dependent care needs are widely varied, depending on the particular situation, the STEM Family Travel Initiative will consider requests to support child care at a remote location, travel of a child to a conference with a faculty / post-doc parent attendee, travel for a nanny/sitter to go to a remote site, or care for a child/elder at the faculty /post-doc's residence in Western Mass during the travel period.  Other requests will certainly be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Awards are competitive, due to limited funding.  First priority will be given to faculty who have demonstrated critical need, greatest potential impact, and capacity to network with other faculty caregivers at the event of interest.  An example, of the latter is an applicant who has found a second conferee with whom to share a sitter.

Faculty / post-docs must be part of a qualifying department at one of the Five Colleges.  Click here for a list of eligible Departments.  Faculty must be tenure track or tenured.  Applicants may be male or female.

Here is a list of FAQ to help during the application process.  Please contact us if you need additional information.

Additionally, a free Sittercity subscription has been made available to UMass faculty. Sittercity is a service that helps parents and eldercare givers find sitters.  Users specify the locale in which they would like to find a sitter.  To place an ad for a sitter at a remote location, use that zip code.  Click here to connect to Sittercity.

Recently, UMass employees have been given the additional benefit of 20 days child or elder care coverage using Parents in a Pinch. This benefit provides a child sitter at a rate of $15 / hour and an elder sitter at the rate of $16 / hour, in most major cities and conference destinations. (also available in your home in the Amherst area).  Click here to download information about Parents in a Pinch.

Also, important to note is that some professional societies and other organizations already have on-site child care at their meetings, though information about these programs may not be immediately obvious on their websites.  Click on our Professional Societies tab to find out more.


Campus Visitor Program

This trial program targets STEM departmental visitors to the Five Colleges, with dependent care needs.   These include departmental seminar speakers who, for personal reasons, need to travel with their children.  Click here for more information.