Domestic & Foreign Travel for Sponsored Programs

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Domestic and foreign travel is a common activity that Principal Investigators (PI's) and research staff may engage in during the course of an award. Travel expenses include airfare, ground transportation, lodging, meals and other travel-related expenses.

NYU Approach

New York University's (NYU's) travel policy applies to all sponsored programs unless the sponsor’s requirements are more restrictive; if they are, then the sponsor rules must be followed.  Travelers should familiarize themselves with the Business Expenses Policy, available online in the NYU Policy Library.

Travel costs must be:

  • Allowable: Travel must be allowed under the terms of the award.
  • Allocable: The travel is necessary to fulfill the programmatic objectives of the award charged for the travel expense.
  • Reasonable: The travel costs are reasonable and not excessive; examples of excessive include stays at luxury hotels, expensive restaurants, the use of limousines, etc.

Domestic & Foreign Travel for Sponsored Programs Includes:



Include in the proposal estimated foreign and domestic travel costs. Identify all costs for the proposed travel such as airfare, ground transportation, lodging, meals and per diems. The proposal must explicitly state the reason why the travel is required.

Travel Advances

The traveler who seeks a travel advance must complete a travel advance form and submit it to Accounts Payable through the University's Accounts Payable payment system at least 10 days before travel dates.

Foreign Travel

For foreign travel, U.S.-flag air carriers must be used regardless of cost, convenience, or personal travel preference. There are a few exceptions under the Open Skies Agreement and Fly America Act. Please refer to the Domestic and Foreign Travel Policy for Sponsored Programs.


Original itemized receipts are required for actual cost reimbursement. Original receipts are not required for Per Diem reimbursement. In all cases, ALCOHOL is not a reimbursable expense on an award.


Entertainment is NOT reimbursable.

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Travelers will be reimbursed for the actual cost of lodging. The University’s general guideline is that total expenses for lodging and meals should not exceed $350 per day. Exceptions will be granted if the expense is necessary, documented, and approved by the appropriate school/department representative. Conference-site hotels will be reimbursed at the actual cost.


Travel expenses for conferences or meetings should include original receipts for documentation, including the conference agenda, purpose of travel, hotel receipts, airline boarding pass or itinerary, and other receipts for ground transportation.

Preferred Vendor

When planning travel for sponsored research awards, travelers are encouraged to consult NYU Traveler for potential discounts with particular vendors to optimize financial resources and ensure proper stewardship over federal funds. For assistance with travel arrangements, please visit NYU Traveler.

Use of Personal Credit Card or Department Travel Card

Employees and students that are traveling on sponsored research awards are encouraged to use a department’s travel credit card, when available, for their purchases and minimize carrying large sums of money for paying expenses.

Cancelled trips

In accordance with NYU’s travel policy, employees and students who have purchased tickets or incurred expenses for travel on sponsored research awards and that are subsequently cancelled should inquire about using the same ticket for future travel. If the travel is not postponed to a future date, then the expenses should not be charged to the grant, but rather a discretionary chartfield; unless the travel has been cancelled for reasons beyond the employee’s control. Fees associated with changing reservations and late fees for credit cards should not be charged to sponsored projects. See the Business Expenses policy for additional guidance.

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