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Grant Travel Policy

When travel expenses are reimbursed by grant funds, reimbursement procedures must adhere to NIH contract rules. Some of these are:

  • Airfare: All flights must be booked using a domestic carrier, even when traveling overseas. The only exception is if no American carrier is available to your destination. PLEASE CONTACT THE DEPARTMENT TRAVEL COORDINATOR before making overseas flight reservations that will be charged to federal grant funds.
  • Foreign currency: Please provide proof of currency conversion when changing USD to foreign currency. This will ensure that you are reimbursed at the actual rate you received. You should be able to get this receipt from the hotel or bank. If no such proof is supplied, travel accounting will use the online exchange rate for the day of the transaction.

UC Irvine policies are determined by IRS requirements. Individual department policies CANNOT be more lenient but may be stricter than UC Irvine policy.

View the university travel policies ›

If you have questions about any of these policies, you may call the physiology travel coordinator, at 949-824-5863.

All travelers must pay for ONLY their own travel. If you do not have adequate funds to cover your travel expenses please come to the Travel Coordinator prior to your trip. 

Car rental

The university will not reimburse for extra insurance on a rental car. UC Irvine has agreements with all major rental agencies, which include insurance in their rates. When you rent a car, tell them you are a university employee and give them the UC Irvine account number. This will be different for each agency. You can get this information by contacting the travel coordinator.

If you rent a car with the UC Irvine VISA card, rental car insurance is automatically included. If they offer you a “special deal” with an insurance fee included, the university will not reimburse for that insurance.

If you choose to drive a private car, private car mileage as of July 2012 is 55.5 cents per mile.

Policy exceptions

Any exception to university policy must have a written explanation from the traveler and be approved by the dean of the school with signature.

Exceptions will be given for business reasons only. The travel coordinator can help you with any questions you have regarding what constitutes correct documentation and what may be required for an exception. The coordinator will ask for a written explanation from the traveler for exceptions.

Some examples of situations requiring exception letter:

  • The original receipt is not available, particularly in the case of airline tickets.
  • The most economical fare is not used, such as when Saturday overnight stay is not possible.
  • Paying for other employee's expenses.

Prior approval of exceptions: If you know you will have an exceptional situation (for example, if you are paying for another traveler), you must have prior approval from the Department before you incur any expense.

When in doubt, or if you have any questions that you may need prior approval, you may call us at 949-824-5863.

Department policies

  • UC Irvine policy does not provide per diem for domestic travel.
  • You must retain ITEMIZED receipts for all meal and incidental expenses.  If you do not have a receipt for a meal or incidental expense, you will not be reimbursed for that expense. There are no exceptions to this policy. Incidental expenses include tips and fees for services, e.g., for waiters, baggage handlers, etc. View the policy ›
  • As per IRS restrictions, travel accounting considers 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. a full business day and they will be looking for this detail. Therefore, if you leave before 7 a.m., breakfast will not be included. If you return before 7 p.m., dinner will not be included. The amount to be subtracted will be $26 for breakfast; $45 for lunch; $78 for dinner.
  • If any meals are included in registration fees, that meal will be subtracted from the per diem amount. The amount to be subtracted will be $26 for breakfast; $45 for lunch; $78 for dinner.
  • 4. Please include the registration form or documentation indicating what is included in the registration fee.  In most cases, you can print this information from the conference website.


Travel advances

For UC Irvine employees only; not for recruitment candidates:

Please provide the following items to the department travel coordinator:

  • Completed department travel form with PI signature and account/fund
  • Proof of airfare charged to credit card
  • Proof of registration/abstract fees charged to credit card

For exceptions, please see the department administrator.

Travel expense voucher

Please provide the following items to the department travel coordinator:

  • Department travel form with PI signature and account/fund
  • Airline receipt and itinerary, including ticket number
  • Hotel itemized receipt showing zero balance
  • Car rental receipt
  • Registration receipt and documentation indicating what is included in the registration fee
  • Meals and incidental expense receipts
  • Mileage (if using own car for travel, please provide total miles driven for trip and your license plate number)
  • Gas reimbursed only if using a rental car (you cannot be reimbursed for both mileage AND gas)
  • Original receipts for any tolls, taxis, etc.

Foreign visitors

A foreign visitor must provide the following documentation for reimbursement:

Permanent Resident:

  • Social Security number
  • Copy of P.R. card.


  • Copy of visa
  • Copy of front and back of I-94

Reimbursement will be issued approximately two weeks after receipt by the department office. If any of the items listed above are not provided, this may delay or prevent reimbursement for the missing item(s).