Travel Expenses

DK Students are encouraged to attend conferences and schools, and to make scientific visits.

On this page, we provide instructions for DK students employed at TU Graz. Similar rules apply for the students at KFU Graz and MU Leoben (please consult your advisors or experienced colleagues).

Please note that you are typically expected to pre-finance your trip and to claim reimbursement afterwards. If you follow the guidelines diligently and provide add all necessary documents, reimbursement usually does not take long (one or two months after the request for reimbursement got filed).

If any of the following is unclear to you please contact the DK coordinator BEFORE formally applying for a trip and in particular before your travel!

Sources for travel funds (for students at TU Graz)

Funding can be obtained from many different sources, including the Doctoral School for Mathematics and Scientific Computing and the DK Discrete Mathematics. The office for International Relations is another source for both staff (see here) and students (see KUWI and Erasmus+) that you can take into account. Make sure that you double-check with your advisor and ask for an appropriate way of funding your trip. Finally, if it is possible to get financial support from the conference you're attending, you should apply for it.

IMPORTANT: The following steps only apply if you plan to fund your trip with money from the DK, different rules may apply for other funding sources!

Actions before the trip

NEWS: As of 07/2022 TU Graz has updated both the travel guidelines (German/English) and the way how travels based on leave of absence are handled. The new guidelines can be found TU4U.

MAIN CHANGE: Note that all future trips of up to 30 days both the travel request as well as the travel expense report have to be handled within the travel management system SAP Fiori. Henceforth no separate request for a leave of absence (via PSS) will be necessary.

Before each trip, you have to do the following things:

  1. Ask your supervisor, if it is fine to go on this trip.
  2. Check whether your trip takes longer than 1 month (30 days) and thus counts as an extended research stay. If this is the case please start planning early and consider contacting the DK coordinator for further information.
  3. To apply for the trip follow the instructions for Travel via leave of absence of up to one month or Travel via leave of absence of more than one month depending on the type of your trip.
  4. Note that in both cases the DK speaker has to approve your application. The risk of bookings made before receiving approval lies with the applicant
  5. The estimated costs in your application should be upper bounds on the actual costs. Please still try to be as precise as possible, since unreasonable amounts will not be approved.
  6. Remember to obtain and keep all invoices and documents from your trip to reimburse the costs later. See the section Actions After the trip for details!

Travel expenses such as costs for flights, accommodation, and conference fees may be also pre-financed in case of longer stays and/or expensive trips. If this scenario applies to you please contact the DK coordinator about the details and to find out if it is possible.

Travel via leave of absence of up to one month

If you are away for up to one month, then you can issue a travel request via SAP Fiori. For that, create a new travel request and fill in and submit the necessary online form. Choose "Leave of absence of up to one month" as Travel Activity and Internal Order "D-1507W01230 FWF - Discrete Mathematics" as Cost Assignment (the number is changed in 2023). You will be granted leave of absence automatically as soon as your travel request is approved, do not apply for it via PSS.

In case you experience difficulties with using the travel management system in SAP Fiori which are not DK specific, please consult the secretaries (persons with the role travel assistance/Reiseassistenz) or colleagues at your institute who have already used the system. If this does not solve your issues, please contact the DK coordinator.

Travel via leave of absence of more than one month

If you are away for more than one month, your leave must be approved by the rector.

  1. The application procedure is described here in TU4U, unfortunately the description and the corresponding form are only available in German. Please note that the personnel department should receive your application at least 1 month before the trip, so start preparing early.
  2. After your leave of absence ("Freistellung") is accepted, please send a confirmation to the DK coordinator.
  3. Fill the travel application form.
  4. The travel application form must be signed by you and the head of your DK project, and then sent to the DK coordinator. He will then inform you about the approval of your request for the educational trip by the DK Speaker.

Things to consider during the trip

  • Collect all your original tickets, boarding passes, and original receipts, otherwise we cannot reimburse you. If they are not in A4 format glue them with sticky tape on white A4 paper sheets. Do not staple them! For further information, please also consult the FAQ-section further below, which will be updated regularly.
  • In addition for all bills not paid with cash (i.e. paid with credit card, bank account, ...) in addition to the invoice/ticket you have to submit the credit card statement (or bank statement) of the respective payment. Note that this statement must contain your name, so you should use your own bank account/credit card. You may, of course, hide the irrelevant items on the statements.
  • If you're bringing bills from a country that uses currency other than Euro, you should print out historic exchange rates for the days when you purchased a ticket or paid a hotel, etc. You can do that for instance here. If you paid with a credit card in EUR which automatically converts you should include the credit card statement which will then show the conversion.
  • You should also add an invitation letter, a confirmation of participation to the conference or school or a program of the conference/school/workshop, if possible.
  • The preferred language for all required documents is English. In particular, you might be able to choose a language on websites during a booking process.

After the trip

After the trip, you have to do the following things:

Travel via leave of absence of up to one month

  1. If you applied for your trip via SAP Fiori, you also have to apply for your refund there. For all other trips you can follow the instructions below for Travel via leave of absence of more than one month.
  2. The secretary (person with the role travel assistance/Reiseassistenz) of your institute will help you during the process. In particular it is a good idea to contact him or her if you have not used SAP Fiori before.
  3. After filling in all necessary information and uploading all documents mentioned in Things to consider during the trip, you are free to submit your application for refund.
  4. Give the original documents (print any virtual ones) to the secretary who will check your application and your documents and forward them to the DK coordinator.
  5. After approval, you will receive the refund with your salary. Note that this might take up to two months.

Travel via leave of absence of more than one month

  1. Fill the new form "Refundierung von Barauslagen an Bedienstete" (travel statement form). As this form should only be used in the DK and not be made public, there is no download link available on this homepage. If you do not have the form please ask a colleague or contact the DK coordinator.
  2. Print the travel statement form and sign it yourself to confirm the correctness of the data.
  3. Make a private scan or copy of all the documents if you want to use them for your tax declaration.
  4. Give or send the original documents including the travel statement form to the DK coordinator.

Final Remarks

  • Please note that it is now mandatory to provide additional information for completed trips via the new CO2e app. Please consult the local secretary for additional information about this.


Is it possible to send the necessary documents by mail? +

⚬ A scan of the signed travel application form can be sent by mail.
Receipts/tickets/payment confirmations can only be sent by mail, if you only have a digital version. As soon as you receive a printed version, you have to send the original.
⚬ The form Refundierung von Barauslagen an Bedienstete can only be sent by mail if it is signed electronically (e.g. using an official mobile phone signature).

Can I book and pay a flight/hotel via third party websites? +

Yes, that is perfectly fine. However, please note that we always need receipts directly from the airline/hotel, receipts from third party sites such as or are not sufficient. In cases where you make the payment via the third party website, you may have to ask actively for such a receipt.

Can I book my accommodation via Airbnb? +

Yes, Airbnb is fine. However, you have to make sure beforehand that the provider of your accommodation can provide you an invoice. Additionally you have to provide a VAT invoice for the service fee paid to Airbnb, more information can be found here.

Should I share a room with a colleague? +

We encourage you to share a room with a colleague to save money. In this case, there are several possible ways to get refunded.
⚬ The preferred way is to ask the hotel to split the bill and receive two separate receipts with half the total amount each.
⚬ If this is not possible, the easiest way is that one person pays the total amount and is fully refunded afterwards. To do this, everyone involved should include a signed statement about this fact and a copy of the receipt in his travel documents. Note that this method only works if everyone is funded with money from the DK.

Can I combine my trip with vacation? +

Yes, this is perfectly fine as long as the proportion of your vacation of the total duration of your trip is reasonable (e.g. 3 days conference and 2 weeks of vacation will not make the cut). Note that you should add proof that any changes of your flight schedule caused by a vacation have no substantial influence on your ticket prices. Please include in your travel documents the exact duration of your research stay (without vacation) and only ask for refundment of accommodation costs in this period.

Should my leave of absence also include work-free days?+

Yes, your leave of absence should cover your whole trip, even if this includes weekends and/or holidays. This is true for both, trips booked via SAP Fiori and trips applications via the travel form.

Is it possible to obtain a refund for money spent on meals?+

Usually, money spent on food cannot be refunded. There is one exception: Breakfast which is included in the hotel invoice can be fully refunded.