WORMS Childcare Travel Fund application for the INFORMS Annual Meeting

I am the Past-President of the Forum for Women in OR/MS (WORMS). My last initiative as President was to get the ball rolling on a travel fund for students and junior faculty traveling to the INFORMS Annual Meeting with babies and young children (Fact: I did this once!). The travel fund would help pay for childcare costs at the conference. A student member made the suggestion at the business meeting as a way to support (both literally and figuratively) young women in our field, and I thought it was something we should already have been doing.

Current WORMS President Susan Martonosi (at Harvey Mudd University) agreed that this was a great initiative and ran with the idea when she became President in January. She has established the program this year and seeks to make a permanent endowment for the travel fund. Susan did an amazing job! Susan writes:

On behalf of the WORMS officers, I am happy to announce that we have created a new WORMS Childcare Travel Fund, which will partially reimburse recipients for up to $200 in costs associated with care for children age 12 years or younger traveling with a parent who is participating in the INFORMS Annual Meeting. Approximately five grants will be awarded each year, with the exact number depending on available budget. Please read below for eligibility and application procedures. We are also hoping to establish an endowment that will permanently support this travel fund. If your organization is interested in contributing to this endowment, please let me know.

I am really excited that this travel fund has become a reality. I can’t thank Susan Martonosi enough. The award details are below. Please send this to anyone who could benefit, including dads.

WORMS Childcare Travel Fund [Link]


Recipients must be current members of the Forum on Women in OR/MS (WORMS) who are officially participating in the INFORMS Annual Meeting, including giving an oral or poster presentation, acting as session chair or participating in the Combined Colloquia. Eligibility is limited to current students, post-doctoral associates or early career professionals (e.g. junior faculty or professionals in their first five years of post-graduate employment) who are the parent or guardian of a child age 12 years or younger who is also traveling to the conference. Up to $200 in expenses will be reimbursed upon submittal of receipts to INFORMS staff to cover costs such as travel (transportation, accommodation or meals) for the child, travel (transportation, accommodation or meals) for the child’s caregiver, or payment of childcare services or suitable day-camp program in the conference environs. At most one grant will be awarded per family, and priority will be given to those who have never received the award in prior years.

Application Procedures:

Applications are due September 1, 2014 September 5, 2014. Applicants should email Courtney Biefeld courtney.biefeld at informs.org with the following information:

  1. Subject line should be WORMS Childcare Travel Fund
  2. Statement of need (not to exceed 200 words):
  3. Why is attendance at this conference important to you?
  4. Are you giving an oral or poster presentation, acting as session chair or participating in the Combined Colloquia? (Please provide the title of the presentation, session or Colloquium you are participating in and your role.)
  5. Why do you need childcare?
  6. Why are you requesting travel support?
  7. What childcare do you plan to arrange?
  8. Estimated childcare budget, including travel costs for child and/or caregiver and childcare expenses.
  9. Statement verifying applicant’s eligibility from applicant’s department chair or supervisor.

The President, President-Elect and Past-President of WORMS will appoint the selection committee from amongst the officers of WORMS. The selection committee will assess the applications based on their stated need for travel support. Recipients will be notified by the selection committee no later than September 15, 2014. Recipients should submit all receipts for reimbursement to Courtney Biefeld no later than 30 days following conclusion of the conference.


Childcare must be arranged by the parents. INFORMS and WORMS are not responsible for identifying caregivers and are not liable for any damages.

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