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"Bring One, Get One” Student Observer Support Program

Statement of Policy and Eligibility

Gemini will subsidize the travel expenses of an individual student, or other early-career observer, when accompanied by an advisor who is an experienced observer on a Gemini observing run. The subsidy amount will be up to $2000. The goal is to help students gain observing experience with the Gemini telescopes. The student is also encouraged to spend time at the base facility before or after the observing run.

Process

Before travel

1. The science program Principal Investigator (PI) should contact the appropriate site Head of Science Operations (Sandy Leggett at Gemini North, or René Rutten at Gemini South) to request participation in the student support program. Early contact is best; a minimum of 45 days in advance of travel is required.

The science program PI should provide the following information in the initial contact:

  • science program identification number e.g. GN-2014B-Q-999
  • requested observing dates in local time
  • senior observer name and institution
  • student observer name and institution
  • student observer location for trip origin and return
  • estimate of student observer travel dates

2. The site Head of Science Operations has the authority to approve or reject the initial request.

3. Following an approved request, the traveler shall work with Gemini travel services to develop a Travel Request. Gemini can book and pay for travel directly, or can arrange to reimburse expenses to the traveler. Either way, the Gemini travel coordinator will submit a Travel Request, which will serve as the basis for all reimbursement or direct payment.

4. The travel coordinator will inform the traveler and advisor of the Travel Request status. If the Travel Request is approved, the travel coordinator will work with the traveler to develop a specific itinerary and other arrangements.

Eligible expenses and policies

All Gemini travel and procurement policies must be followed in order to use Gemini funds. Some highlights are listed here; additional information is provided in the student travel policy. All expenses to be paid for or reimbursed must be planned in advance, through an approved Travel Request.

  • Gemini requires the use of US flag air carriers under the “Fly America Act” with limited exceptions.
  • A Travel Expense Report will be provided by the Gemini travel coordinator, and the traveler must file it within 10 days after completion of travel.
  • Receipts are required for all expenses except meals and incidentals that are part of per diem policies or those charged directly to Gemini.
  • Gemini will not pay for expenses related to personal travel or user preference that are not essential to the scientific program.

Eligible expenses include:

  • airfare or other transportation to Hilo or La Serena;
  • mountain lodging and meals;
  • shared transport to Cerro Pachón;
  • rental of cold-weather gear (Gemini North only).

After travel

The traveler is responsible for filing the complete travel expense report including providing original receipts, within 10 days of completion of travel. These should be submitted to the local travel coordinator.

Additional Information

General instructions for visitors

Student visitors to Gemini should also be familiar with standard visitor procedures, and they must complete the standard safety forms at least four weeks prior to the visit. Information and links to forms are available from http://www.gemini.edu/sciops/science-visitors-gemini/instructions-visitors.