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Travel on Sponsored Projects

participant in the driving simulator lab

General Guidelines

Federal funded, sponsored awards are subject to certain federal laws and the guidelines set forth in the Uniform Guidance and adhere to university guidelines on travel and business expenses. Travel must be pre-approved and justified with business purpose description consistent with sponsor regulations. There may be additional sponsor requirements contained in the award terms and conditions.

Upon notification of approved spend authorization, the Grant Shared Services Center will check:

  • for cost allowability
  • availability of grant funds
  • travel occurs within the period of performance

After the trip, the traveler or a department administrator with appropriate access submits an expense report for reimbursement through Workday as described in the Administrative Resource Center.

Air Travel Requirements

  • Purchase airfare through the designated travel agency, identify the purchase as Office of Sponsored Programs funded.
  • Reservations must be booked as coach or economy fare, unless unavailable at the time of the required travel.
  • A memo of explanation is required with any deviation from economy fare.
  • Travelers must comply with the Fly America Act requiring travelers to use:
    • a U.S. flag air carrier (an airline owned by an American company); or
    • a foreign carrier that operates under a U.S. flag air carrier code-sharing agreement and identifies the U.S. flag air carrier’s designator code and flight number.

Business Meals

Business meals constitute an exception to the federal per diem rates. Expenses may be reimbursed for properly documented business meals while on travel status. The primary purpose must be a business discussion:

  • At least one non-university employee, whose presence is necessary for the business discussion, must be present.
  • Expenses may be incurred only for those individuals who are necessary to the business discussion.
  • In addition to an itemized receipt, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules require documentation of the time, date, place, business purpose and attendee names.

Documentation must include an itemized receipt and the completed Business Meals Documentation for Sponsored Projects form with per diem allowance reduced appropriately. Gratuities not exceeding 20% of meal cost for business meals are reimbursable. Alcoholic beverages and entertainment costs may not be charged to a research grant.

Split Funding

The process for documenting travel involving a combination of university and sponsor funding and/or between two different sponsored grants in Workday is done with the “Itemization” feature while creating an expense report. The full process is described in the Administrative Resource Center