PATT travel claim for competitively awarded observation time

Claim back travel and subsistence costs when visiting an astronomy telescope. The visit must be for competitively awarded science observation time.

You must be a UK-based researcher at an eligible UK institution. You can only claim your own costs.

You must not already hold or have access to a travel grant from the Panel for the Allocation of Telescope Time (PATT).

To make a claim, your trip must be approved in advance. You cannot claim for historic trips that weren’t approved in advance.

We will cover 100% of the full economic cost.

Who can apply

To submit a claim, you must:

  • be based in the UK
  • be a permanent staff member or academic at an eligible UK institution
  • have been awarded observation time.

You must not already hold or have access to a travel grant from PATT.

What we're looking for

You must be travelling for competitively awarded science observation time. Your presence at the facility must be essential to the observing programme.

Your observing facility must be a telescope that’s either:

  • in direct receipt of STFC funds, for example, e-MERLIN, ING and Liverpool Telescope
  • approved by PATT.

Find a list of approved facilities in the applicant guidelines for telescope time (PDF, 172KB)

If your observing facility is not approved, please email us to request approval.

Costs covered

You can claim for travel and subsistence costs.

We consider costs related to data collection, collation or reduction in exceptional circumstances. If you wish to claim for these, please email us to request approval before you submit your claim.

We will cover 100% of the full economic cost.

We administer the funds as non-employee expenses.

If your group’s combined claims exceed £5,000 in a year, it should apply for a PATT travel grant. The PATT travel grant opens for applications each September.

How to apply

Before the observing run

You must submit a request for travel funds. You do this at least four weeks before the observing run.

To submit a request, please email us with these attachments:

If we approve your request, we’ll send you a travel and subsistence claim form. You use this to claim your expenses after your observing run.

We recommend that you don’t make travel arrangements until we confirm approval.

If you change your plans, you must submit a new request for your new plans.

During the observing run

Keep receipts for any expenses you intend to claim. We will not reimburse expenses without a receipt.

After the observing run

Complete and return the travel and subsistence claim form. You must do this within two months of the observing run.

A member of the STFC team will process your claim. This usually happens on the day we receive it.

Find guidance on completing the claim form in the applicant guidelines for telescope time (PDF, 172KB)

Contact details

Justyna Misior
Email: justyna.misior@stfc.ukri.org

Kim Burchell
Email: kim.burchell@stfc.ukri.org

Additional info

The Panel for the Allocation of Telescope Time (PATT)

PATT is an advisory body set up to consider the allocation of telescope time and associated travel and subsistence costs for a range of astronomy facilities for the UK community.

Other telescopes

If you want to apply for telescope time at the ING, Liverpool Telescope and e-MERLIN, you must apply directly to the observatories.

Find more information from each observatory:

Supporting documents

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