Funding Guidelines for SIAM Sections
Sections are regional or national subgroups of SIAM members that organize lectures, meetings, and other activities to serve members and further the mission of SIAM in their region. In addition, Sections provide an opportunity to encourage and promote applied mathematics and computational science as well as their impacts within the region. Membership in most Sections is free and automatic for any current SIAM member living in the geographical area served by the Section. This document details guidelines for the Sections of SIAM, regarding applications for funding and for the budget approval process. These guidelines aim to be clear and fair, while recognizing that sections vary in size, breadth of geographical area, activity level, and needs.
SIAM financial support for a Section should not be the only source of funds to cover all the expenses of Section activities. Sections are encouraged to secure other sources of funding and/or charge a registration fee for activities. These fees or additional funds can be used to cover event expenses including, but not limited to, refreshments beyond coffee, tea, and water; organizational expenses such as space or equipment rental, etc.; and speaker and student expenses not covered by SIAM funds.
Allowable and non-allowable expenses
SIAM’s intention in granting funding is to help Sections hold successful activities. Below is a list of allowable and non-allowable expenses to assist Section Officers in budgeting for their activities.
- Travel and lodging expenses for speakers to attend Section activities in accordance with SIAM’s travel policy (appendix A).
- Reasonable honoraria for instructors of courses.
- Travel and lodging expenses for students to attend section activities in accordance with SIAM’s travel policy (appendix A).
- Awards or student prizes in accordance with SIAM’s Prize Policy (appendix B)
- Printing and supplies
- Marketing, advertising, and promotion
- In exceptional circumstances, as determined by the Office of the CEO, meeting space rental, though strong preference is for Sections to collect registration fees or seek other funding.
- Digital conference platform for virtual/hybrid conferences, workshops, webinars, and speaker series.
- Refreshments limited only to coffee, tea, and water.
Expenses not allowed from SIAM Funds:
- Honoraria for speakers at conferences.
- Food and beverage for conference participants (EXCEPTION: Coffee, tea, and water is allowable)
- Travel expenses to a meeting not organized by the SIAM Section.
- Support for another organization or its events, unless in exceptional circumstances as determined by the Office of the CEO.
Note that invited speakers at all SIAM conferences generally receive partial or total reimbursement for their expenses, but there is never an honorarium. If a speaker prepares and delivers a series of lectures, an honorarium is allowable.
Request of Funds
Each year, SIAM allots a specific budget for Section activities. This budget will be allocated across all Sections. Funding decisions will be made using criteria related to how effectively the Section has used its funds in the past and whether the proposed activities will effectively further SIAM’s mission of building cooperation between mathematics and the worlds of science and technology within the Section’s region. The proposed budgets will be evaluated for reasonableness and compliance with SIAM policies.
Detailed budget plans and a detailed list of proposed activities are required each year (see Reporting in this document). Among the criteria to be used in funding decisions are:
- The extent to which the proposed events and/or activities will further SIAM’s mission in the region covered by the Section
- The level of participation of Section members in prior activities
- The age of the section (SIAM wants to support the growth phase of new Sections)
- Geographical Area of the Section (that is, how expensive it is to travel to a conference site)
- Record of activities by the Section in the past, including numbers of participants, breadth of topics covered, engagement of a diverse cross-section of members, and recruitment of new members
- Whether the proposed activities reach members unable to participate in other SIAM activities
- Any remaining funds from prior SIAM funding
Section officers are expected to submit three reports annually to the SIAM Section staff, the Year End Activity and Financial Report and the Current Year Activity and Budget Update are both due by Jan. 31 and the Following Year Activity Plan and Budget Request is due by March 31. The reports will be reviewed by the Committee on Section Activities, SIAM Council, and the SIAM Office of the CEO, and approved by the Board of Trustees as part of the larger SIAM budget. The SIAM Vice President-at-Large will facilitate review by Council and Board.
1. Year End Activity & Financial Report (Due: Jan. 31)
a. A detailed list of Section activities completed during the year, including, but not limited to, the following details for each activity: title, date, location, and description of activity; participant list; names of invited speakers (if applicable); photo from event (if applicable); details of any student travel award application and review process as well as a list of applicants and recipients (if applicable); prize winner names and detailed description of prize selection processes (if applicable); and names of prize selection committee members.
b. Section Officer names and contact information and election plans or outcomes.
c. Receipts or proof of payment for any expenses paid directly by the Section, including but not limited to: invited speaker travel expenses; student travel award expenses; prizes; allowable refreshments; digital platform; advertising; and meeting materials.
d. Revenue received by the Section, including, but not limited to the following: SIAM funding; all funding from outside sources, i.e. host university, agency grants, etc.; Section conference or activity registration fees.
e. Current balance of SIAM funds in the Section’s possession.
2. Current Year Activity Plan and Budget Update (Due: Jan. 31)
a. This report is to provide updated details on the Section’s activities and budget for the current calendar year. This report gives the Section the opportunity to provide more details on planned events for the current calendar year. This report should be completed by the current Section Officers and should include: A detailed list of Section activities planned for the current year, including, but not limited to, the following details for each activity: title, date, location, and description of activity; names of invited speakers (if applicable); details of any student travel award application and review process (if applicable); details of prize selection processes (if applicable); and names of prize selection committee members.
b. Updated information about Section Officers with contact information and election plans.
c. Updated budget request (if applicable). If the Section chooses to submit an updated budget, it will be reviewed by the Office of the CEO. Any budget changes should include detailed justification.
3. Following Year Activity Plan and Budget Request (Due: March 31)
a. A list of all known details for proposed Section activities planned for the following calendar year, including, but not limited to, the following details for each activity: title, date, location, and description of activity; names of invited speakers (if applicable); details of any student travel award application and review process (if applicable); details of prize selection processes (if applicable).
b. Detailed budget request for the following calendar year including all expected items that will be funded. Where costs are known, those costs should be identified. Where they are unknown, a best estimate should be given, and it should be noted as an estimate.
c. Check/Wire information
As noted above, reports are due each year by January 31 and March 31. The SIAM Committee on Section Activities, the Vice President-at-Large, and the Office of the CEO will evaluate the reports and make funding decisions within the budgeted allocation for Sections Program funding. Details beyond those in the reports may be requested from Section Officers as needed, and Section Officers will be notified of such queries. Timely responses will allow the funding decisions to proceed as follows:
- Approvals to any adjustments of current year’s budget: Sections will be notified by March 15.
- Approval of the following year budget request: Sections will be notified by August 1.
Appendix A: SIAM Section Travel Policy
Section Officers must collect an expense report with receipts from any person receiving Section funding to travel to a Section activity, including Invited Speakers and Student Travel Award Recipients. Copies of all expense reports and associated receipts should be included in the Section’s Year End Activity & Financial Report.
SIAM Sections have limited funding. Section Officers may choose to allocate Section funding to reimburse travel expenses of meeting co-chairs if no other funding source is available. SIAM does not reimburse Section Officers for traveling to Section activities, however if a Section Officer is also a Co-Chair or Organizer of a meeting, Section funds may be used to support travel, if no other funding source is available. Co-chairs also typically receive complimentary conference registration.
Reimbursement of expenses to Invited Speakers are subject to the following terms and conditions:
SIAM Sections Officers can reimburse expenses up to $1,500 per invited speaker traveling to the meeting location, subject to these guidelines. If reimbursement for an Invited Speakers will surpass $1,500, Section Officers must provide a written justification and receive approval from the SIAM office prior to the travel and include this information in the Section’s Year End Activity & Financial Report. Reimbursement is intended to support conference related expenses including travel, housing, food and incidentals.
Student Travel Award Recipients
Reimbursement of expenses to Student Travel Award Recipients using SIAM Section funds are subject to the following terms and conditions:
Student travel awards in the form of reimbursement of expenses should not exceed $500 per award, subject to these guidelines. Reimbursement is intended to support conference related expenses including travel, housing, food, and incidentals. Student travel awards are meant to offset the costs of traveling to a Section meeting; it is possible they may not cover all expenses. Student Travel Awards may only be granted to students living within the section. Typically, a Student Travel Award includes complimentary registration to the meeting.
The most efficient and economical mode of transportation should be utilized. Reimbursement for travel will only be made for the most direct and convenient route from the principal place of residence to and from the meeting (as long as expenses are within the reimbursement cap).
Air and Train
SIAM Sections will reimburse coach fares only. For the best fares, make a flight or rail reservation at least six (6) weeks in advance.
When an individual uses his/her own automobile to travel to and from the meeting site, SIAM Sections will reimburse in accordance with the allowable IRS mileage rate for a US-based meeting. In other areas, official local reimbursement rules will apply. If it is more economical or efficient to travel by air or railroad, the reimbursement for automobile costs will not exceed the air or railroad costs. Rental costs for an automobile will not be reimbursed except in cases in which it is less expensive than local transportation between the airport/train station and the meeting site. Reasonable parking fees at the meeting site will be reimbursed.
SIAM Sections will reimburse reasonable ground transportation expenses (taxi, bus, Lyft/Uber) between the airport/train station and the meeting site. Specially chartered luxury limousine service is not reimbursable.
Individuals are required to provide payment upon check-out and may be reimbursed in accordance with the guidelines. The number of reimbursable hotel nights should not exceed the length of the meeting plus one night (as long as expenses are within the reimbursement cap).
Individuals can be reimbursed for reasonable costs incurred for meals in traveling to and from the meeting as well as during the meeting (as long as expenses are within the reimbursement cap). Excessive food and beverage charges will not be reimbursed. In addition, expenditures for alcohol cannot be reimbursed.
There are two options for meal reimbursement. Travelers must select an option and use it for the entire trip. Please indicate on the expense report which option is being used. The options are:
For full reimbursement, detailed receipts are required whether the meals are paid for in cash or on a credit card.
Detailed receipts for meals showing the food and beverages ordered are required. If the meals are included on the hotel bill as room service, a detailed receipt is still required. SIAM receives funding from government agencies, and it is mandatory we receive the detailed receipts so unallowable costs can be segregated for government funding purposes.
If a detailed receipt/receipts are not provided to support a meal item on the expense report, the meal/s will be deducted from the expense report and not reimbursed.
Costs vary according to the area of travel; there are no fixed per diem rates. GSA (U.S. General Services Administration) updates the per diem by city periodically (see U.S. per diem rates). If using per diem within the US, the rate for the city should be used. Outside the US, official local reimbursement amounts should be used. Verifiable sources used for determining such amounts should be clearly documented in all expense reporting.
Receipts are required for all reimbursements of expenditures (exception for meals if taking per diem). For minor expenses where no receipt is available, e.g., public transportation, a daily cap of $10 is allowed without receipt.
Reporting of Reimbursable Expenses
Section Officers will provide an expense report template to invited speakers and students who are approved to receive travel reimbursement from Section funding prior to the start of the meeting. All expense reports must be reimbursed prior to submission of the Section’s Year End Activity & Financial Report. SIAM strongly suggests that Officers create a submission deadline to receive expense reports (SIAM uses 30-60 days following the meeting). Upon request, the SIAM office can provide an Expense Report template that Sections can adjust for their meeting.
Expense reports received prior to any deadline should be reimbursed within six (6) weeks of receipt.
Section Officers should send a reminder to turn in expense reports prior to any deadline.
Appendix B: SIAM Section Prize Policy
If a Section wants to institute any prize using SIAM funds or with SIAM’s name, it must go before the Major Awards Committee and, possibly, the SIAM Council and Board of Trustees for approval depending on the level of the prize. SIAM expects an open prize competition and selections conducted with SIAM’s conflicts of interest policy. Any group interested in starting a prize should contact the SIAM Prize Coordinator about the approval process.
Sections may consider student prizes, e.g., for best paper. It is recommended that the prize amount should be $100-$300, adjusted for an amount equivalent to a similar cost of goods and services in the local region. Travel awards to students can reimburse for partial or full reasonable travel expenses to the SIAM Section conference or courses. All expenses for prizes and travel must be included in the budget request.