Travel on Sponsored Awards

Travel funded by sponsored awards often presents unique spending challenges: participants submit eligible reimbursement requests long after the activity period has ended and award funds have been fully expended, exempt participant-travel costs are improperly coded in BFS and consequently included in the indirect cost rate calculation applied to other spending on the award, and payments prepared in the campus TRV system are rejected as disallowed costs by an auditor at award closeout due to incomplete or inaccurate information about the trip in the official record.  

Our CSS RA Liaison can advise Principal Investigators about options for describing and estimating travel-related costs in proposal budgets, proactively addressing and mitigating spending challenges well before award activity commences.  

TRAVEL STRATEGY FOR PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

Our CSS RA Liaison can provide Principal Investigators with participant travel materials at the appropriate time: 

UC Travel Policy
– since all travel supported by University funds is subject to UC travel policy, regardless of the traveler’s affiliation or home institution, our CSS RA Liaison can prepare a customized nutshell flyer for distribution to hosted project participants.  

Traveler instructions and taxpayer information
– explains how trip-related costs for a sponsored activity will be handled by the PI and how reimbursements will be issued by the University.  For example, should travelers use the campus travel agency to arrange an airline itinerary that can be billed directly to the University, or will they be reimbursed for this cost?  Will the host provide pre-paid lodging and meals during the event in lieu of individual reimbursements for these costs?  Is there a maximum amount to be paid to each participant (stipend) in lieu of out-of-pocket expense reimbursements?  When and to whom should reimbursement requests be submitted? Can reimbursements be made directly to the traveler’s employer?  

Customized travel reimbursement form – a customized template can be pre-formatted with the appropriate award number, award project title, event title and date(s), business purpose and full award chartstring. Fields on this form can be limited to only those trip costs eligible for reimbursement with award funds. The traveler can complete this form by hand and scan/send the signed form and receipts to our CSS RA Liaison for processing.