COST Action IS1405 meeting – September 19 to 21, 2016 in Sofia, Bulgaria

Details have been released for the next COST ACtion IS1405 meeting in Sofia Bulgaria. It takes place between September 19 and 21, 2016.

You can download pdf’s of the meeting details here and the draft programme here.

Full details of are published below:

COST Action IS1405 meeting 19th – 21st September 2016, Sofia, Bulgaria.

Venue

The meeting will take place at the Essence Conference Centre.

The address of the venue is37 “6th September” str., Sofia, Bulgaria.

The venue is located at the heart of Sofia and is within very short walking distance from both of the suggested hotels.

Lunch and Refreshments

The conference centre has a fairly spacious front yard and lunch will be provided for those who pre-order from a menu which will soon be sent out. You will need to pay for this yourself and COST-funded members can claim 20 euros for this meal when you fill out your reimbursement form. There is also a variety of eating options around the conference venue because of its central location.

Refreshments will be provided mid-morning and afternoon every day.

Accommodation

Two hotels offer a limited number of rooms at a discounted rate to COST members who book before the end of June. Both hotels are located within walking distance to the conference centre. All prices include breakfast.

  • Central Park Hotel
    The Central Park Hotel requires COST members to fill out a booking form (attached to this email). You can see the perks and pricing of the different rooms on the form (70 euros and 85 euros per night). The hotel is a 15-minute walk away from the conference center. Please book before June 30th.
  • Downtown Hotel

The Downtown Hotel requires COST members to mention the phrase COST meeting when booking in order to take advantage of the special rates: 65 euros for a single room and 80 euros for a double room, breakfast and wifi included. They did mention that they have very little availability for those who wish to stay for the night of the 21st, so if you are leaving on the 22nd, you may want to consider the Central Park Hotel listed above. The hotel is a 10-minute walk from the conference center. Please book before July 15th.

Local Travel

There is one airport in Sofia (SOF – Vrazhdebna) with two terminals located 10-minutes apart by car. Terminal 1 usually serves low-cost airlines and Terminal 2 – all the rest. You can get to the city centre by taxi, by metro or by bus.

The local organizer highly recommends taking a taxi. You can ask airport officials at the arrivals lounge to call a taxi for you or point you to a certified taxi in front of the Terminal. Certified taxis have their company phone number written on the car: 973 2121, 91263, 91119. A ride from the airport to the city centre should cost no more than 15 Bulgarian leva (BGN) or 8 euros. You can withdraw local currency from ATMs at the airport.

Uncertified taxis are rare but they do exist. They will be able to identify you but there is no easy way for you to distinguish them from certified taxis. They charge double or triple prices. The only way to avoid them is by asking airport officials.

Please note the following if you are being reimbursed by COST:

We have had a special dispensation to allow you to use taxis between the airport and your hotel. Please note the comment below from our Administrative officer in Brussels and ensure that you adhere to these regulations.

Dear Marie Clare,

As per the recommendation of the Local Organiser, we can approve the taxis use in this instance only with the taxi fare from the airport in Sophia to the meeting place / hotel of participant never exceeding 15 Bulgarian leva (BGN) or 8 euros as per the quotes provided by you in your email. The standard taxi rules apply in all other cases including returning back from the meeting venue to the hotel. The maximum amount of EUR 80 for taxis for the entire trip must be enforced.

Kind regards

Leo Guilfoyle

If you are staying at the suggested hotels, you will not need to use local transportation to the conference centre.

Financial organisation

Self-funding members

All members of the Action are welcome to attend the meeting on a self-funded basis. Please just let me know if you will be attending so that we can get a clear idea of numbers.

Management Committee members

We can fund some Action members to attend the meeting, based on the COST regulations for reimbursement (see attached document-Vademecum). Once you have received an official COST invitation please respond to this immediately as if you cannot attend we need to relocate your place.

Once you know how many nights you are staying and the cost of your flights please let me know as depending on the budget we may be able to offer funding to more people.

You can be reimbursed for 90 per night for a maximum of 4 nights only. You will be reimbursed for 20 euros for lunch & 20 euros for your evening meal. You will be reimbursed for your travel in accordance to the COST regulations. Everything must be booked and paid for by you in advance, I will not be involved in doing this for you.

You must adhere to all COST regulations regarding reimbursement otherwise we will not able to reimburse you; if you have concerns about this you must contact me in advance. Please take great care with this as I have had considerable problems with some reimbursement claims. I must receive completed, signed and appropriately documented reimbursement claims within 30 days of the meeting as this is the official time limit for reimbursement.

The following issues cause particular problems so please take extra care;

  • Taxis  COST only reimburse up to a maximum of 80 euros for the whole meeting & claims can only be considered for travel where there is no public transport & the travel is early in the morning or late at night. Claims must be submitted with a receipt and written justification to be considered.

Travelling to or from a country which is different to the one that you are registered on ECOST as coming from. You can do this but you must follow the regulations attached & send all documentation in the format detailed in the regulations to me. I cannot reimburse you without this information.

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