Submitting Reimbursement for Post-Award Travel

Applying for local and international travel reimbursement requires the traveler to submit a completed, signed, and dated Travel Expense Voucher form with supporting documentation (e.g., airline boarding passes, train ticket stubs, taxi receipts, lodging receipts, car rental bills, meal receipts, and all other receipts) to RFCUNY within five (5) days after the trip. Detailed or itemized receipts are required to review individual expenses for cost allowability. Reimbursement for travel expenses is submitted electronically and processed through the e-Payment Request system. The traveler must sign and date the Travel Expense Voucher form to certify the reported expenses are accurate and correct. A principal investigator, project director, or other account signatory is not allowed to certify on behalf of the traveler.

In cases where a travel advance was issued to the traveler, the amount of the advance must be indicated in the appropriate field on the Travel Expense Voucher form. If the total allowable expense for the trip exceeded the advance amount, the traveler is reimbursed the difference. If total allowable expense for the trip was less than the advance amount, the traveler must return the difference to RFCUNY by submitting a check payable to the Research Foundation, CUNY (including the project number against which the advance was processed).

Federal Per Diem Allowance

The federal per diem allowance (also referred to a subsistence allowance) is a daily payment instead of reimbursement for actual expenses for lodging, meals, and related incidental expenses. Lodging taxes in the U.S. are excluded from the per diem allowance. For non-U.S. locations, lodging taxes are part of the per diem allowance. 

The per diem allowance covers:

  • Lodging- Includes expenses, except lodging taxes in the U.S. for overnight sleeping facilities, baths, personal use of the room during daytime, telephone access fee, and service charges for fans, air conditioners, heaters and fires furnished in the room when such charges are not included in the room rate.
  • Meals – Expenses for breakfast, lunch, dinner and related tips and taxes (specifically excluded are alcoholic beverage and entertainment expenses, and any expenses incurred for other persons).
  • Incidental expenses – Includes fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, hotel staff and staff on ships.

Methods of Reimbursement

Un-Receipted and Receipted reimbursement methods are available: 

  • Un-Receipted Method (Lodging with friends, family, or other unpaid accommodations) - This method provides for a fixed rate allowance for meals, lodging, and incidental expenses regardless of where lodging is obtained, including lodging with relatives or friends. Rates are based on the city or county where lodging is obtained or the location to which the individual was traveling. If using this method, receipts are not needed to be reimbursed. This method is applicable for U.S. domestic travel only. Transportation costs are allowable subject to restrictions. The current rates are as follows:


    Per Diem

    New York City and Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester Counties


    Cities of Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and their respective surrounding metropolitan areas



    All other locations in New York State


    Out of State (this includes any out of state tax on lodging)


  • Receipted Method (Lodging in hotels, motels, or other paid accommodations)- This method provides reimbursement of actual lodging costs and an allowance (per diem) for meals and incidental expenses for locations throughout the continental U.S. and non-continental U.S. Receipts for lodging must be submitted. Receipts for meals may be submitted. In lieu of meal receipts, the traveler may request the meals and incidental per diem.

Other Considerations

  • Copies of credit card receipts are always required. Credit card slips or statements are not adequate documentation for travel expenses, proof of travel, business meals, or other travel-related expenditures. Retain all original documentation.
  • The reimbursement amount will be based on the actual allowable expenditures.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not considered allowable travel expenditures.

Essential Forms

Travel Forms

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