Sometimes the only way to be fair is to treat different people differently. We all know how important it is to attend international meetings to help advance your scientific career, but for some people this attendance has extra challenges and costs. One clear example of this is the practical and financial burden of managing small children while you attend a meeting.
Whereas research grants and travel awards, such as the SMBE travel awards
, cover the direct expenses of the person attending the meeting, it is not typical for these to also cover expenses for accompanying children. For a few years now SMBE has provided subsidised childcare at our annual meeting, but this doesn't solve the problem for everyone: perhaps even the subsidised cost is unaffordable (after all, it’s already expensive enough to pay for childcare at home), or perhaps you don't really feel like dragging your two-year-old on a long-distance flight.
Recognising all this, we at SMBE have decided to launch a new childcare travel award
for people attending our annual meeting. We have set aside up to US$50,000 for awards of up to US$1000 each. This is open to anyone who has a child aged five years or under (even if you are the recipient of another travel award) and you may spend it as you wish to make your childcare arrangements.
Yes. You may spend it as you wish.
We felt that we would not really be helping people if we said that the funds were only eligible to defray travel costs of an infant if in fact your preferred solution was to fly a relative in to town to watch over the children while you go to Vienna
Gold Coast meeting in 2016
). Or maybe you’ve got a trusted childminder who could live-in for a few days while you are away. In fact, we're pretty sure that there are a hundred and one different solutions to the childcare issue, and the parents know best what will suit their family.
We have made the application process as simple and unbureaucratic as possible because we want you to apply for this. More information may be found on the SMBE Childcare Award webpage.
Award applications are due by April 1, 2016.