Adhering to Travel Guidelines

A principal investigator (PI) authorizing travel on their project for themselves, their staff, or an external entity is expected to be thoroughly familiar with RFCUNY’s travel policy and communicate the policy regarding allowable expenses and restrictions to prospective travelers. All travel arrangements for guests and staff must be made under the name of RFCUNY for travelers to benefit from RFCUNY’s tax-exempt status as applicable. A Purchase Card (P-Card) may be used for travel-related expenditures, subject to the expenditure guidelines in the P-Card policy. Any charges to a P-Card in excess of allowable expenditures must be reimbursed to RFCUNY. Before traveling, a PI should ensure the P-Card contains a balance sufficient to cover the costs associated with the travel.

Government regulations require that all funds administered by RFCUNY adhere to a uniform set of guidelines for travel, regardless of the sponsor funding any particular award. Sponsors and/or an award agreement may have further restrictions.

Travel Expenditures

Allowable travel expenditures include: transportation costs, lodging costs, sustenance cost (meals), conference registration fees, and visa fees. Personal expenses incurred during travel such as laundry service, valet parking, entertainment, and transportation to and from meals are not reimbursable costs. The cost of alcoholic beverages is not reimbursable. Failure to comply with RFCUNY’s travel policy will result in denial of reimbursement for out-of-policy expenditures.  

Travel Ban to North Carolina & Mississippi

During March 2016 and April 2016, Governor Cuomo issued executive orders requiring all New York State agencies, departments, boards, authorities, and commissions to bar any requests for publicly funded or publicly sponsored travel to North Carolina or Mississippi.

CUNY has interpreted the executive orders to include a ban on travel to those states by CUNY employees "using funds that come from outside sources such as grants, MOUs or contracts, including funds administered by the CUNY Research Foundation..."

RFCUNY understands that sentence to mean that CUNY employees may not direct or allow RFCUNY employees working with them at a CUNY campus to travel to North Carolina or Mississippi "in connection with [the] work they are doing for CUNY". Thus, all travel by either a CUNY or RFCUNY employee to North Carolina or Mississippi using RFCUNY held funds is banned irrespective of the source of the funding (Federal, State/City, private or college funds).

Any exception of the ban must be authorized by the Office of the General Counsel (Joan Margiotta, 646-664-9235, or by the University.

Other Considerations

  • The travel expense must be appropriate, reasonable, and necessary to the project.
  • The purpose of the trip must be indicated on the Travel Expense Voucher form.
  • The appropriate supporting documentation (invitation, conference brochure, proof of travel, documentation of expenditures, etc.) must be included.
  • An individual must be in travel status, 35 miles or more from their designated place of business and residence.
  • Travel reimbursement on New York State-sponsored awards and on College Recovery and Recovery-Derived Accounts is governed by New York State Travel Guidelines.
  • RFCUNY maintains a Travel Accidental Death and Dismemberment policy for RFCUNY employees traveling both domestically and internationally.
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