Details for requesting and booking travel are given here but to summarise: first you must complete a travel request form so that your travel may be approved by the Sterrewacht. You can do this by using the self-service portal from within the University firewall. The login for this is your ULCN account, which is different to your Sterrewacht account, and you should receive details about it when you sign your contract. To create a request, login, click “Travel expenses” then “Create request”. The rest is hopefully self-explanatory. You can also request an advance here in the case you need to pay for e.g. conference fees. PhD students should also check with their supervisors before sending a request.
Once your travel is approved, you can go ahead with booking it. Leiden University has a framework contract with a large business travel agent, through which all booking of flights should be made. They are very professional and can usually find solutions and deals that you are not able to find yourself online. You can however still let them know if you have a preference for a certain flight or hotel. An other advantage of ATP is that travel bills get sent directly to the Institute. ATP can also book train tickets and hotels for you if you wish.
In order to claim back your expenses, such as food, hotel costs, conference fees, you must create an expense report. To do this, you again log into the self-service portal after your trip is complete, click on travel expenses and then create report. Follow the instructions on screen. You must attach all the receipts you have by scanning them (use computer in room ) and uploading them with the expense report. Be sure to enter all of your expenses, including those that you paid for with the advance, as you are asked to include any advances as part of the report. Once submitted, this will be sent to the Institute Manager for approval, and then to the FSSC (Financial Shared Service Centre) who will then arrange for reimbursement. Usually this is paid directly into your Dutch bank account. Please note that Leiden University covers travel insurance if it is an insurance during the specific period of the work related trip. A continuous (all year through) travel insurance can not be reimbursed. See also http://medewerkers.leidenuniv.nl/p-en-o/salaris-vergoedingen/vergoedingen/vergoeding-dienstreizen-maaltijdkosten-overwerk.html (info in Dutch).
Although you may be hired on a particular grant, you are also encouraged to ask for funds from other sources.
The Leids Kerkhoven-Bosscha Fonds (LKBF) provides support to astronomers working at one of the Dutch astronomical institutes, for participation in conferences and workshops, work visits etc. The LKBF also subsidizes part of the printing costs of astronomical Ph.D. theses defended at one of the Dutch Universities. Note that it does not fund observing trips (see LSF below) and that applicants can receive no more than 1 subsidy for a conference visit per calendar year. The Board of the LKBF meets three times a year, with application deadlines of February 1, June 1 and October 1. If approved, claims must be made not later than one month after the event along with a brief report of the conducted activities.
The Leiden Sterrewacht Fund (LSF) is open to all members of the Sterrewacht for funding e.g. observing trips when no other funding opportunities are available. Contact the secretary of the LSF for more information.