Tufts University faculty, staff, and students routinely travel in support of sponsored activities. The University reimburses travelers for necessary and reasonable business expenses incurred while traveling. Reimbursable expenses must conform to university policy, federal and state law, if applicable, and the restrictions placed upon sponsored awards.
Domestic and foreign travel charged to sponsored projects should follow the guidelines set forth in this document, unless federal regulations or the funding agency imposes greater restrictions.
Travel is allowable as a direct cost when such travel will provide direct benefit to the award. If federally funded, sponsored awards are subject to certain federal laws and the guidelines set forth in the Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR Part 200—uniform administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements for federal awards. All awards are subject to specific agency restrictions, as well as Tufts University’s Travel Policy. The terms and conditions of the individual agreement should be reviewed prior to incurring and/or submitting any travel cost for reimbursement. When there is a conflict between University policy and award requirements the more restrictive policy applies.
The following list highlights some common sponsored travel restrictions. Some awards may:
Sponsored travel must be justified, well documented, in compliance with the sponsor requirements, and incurred within the period of the award. If this travel is either a requirement stated in the call for proposals, or clearly documented in the budget justification, no further documentation is required. Please see Allowability of Costs for additional guidance.
Travel documentation must provide sufficient clarity so that anyone reviewing the transaction can verify that it is allowable, allocable, and reasonable. Charges that are split between two or more projects must demonstrate how the trip specifically benefited each project respectively. Please refer to Allocating Expenses to Sponsored Awards for additional detail.
All foreign travel reimbursements are reviewed and approved by Central Post-Award prior to processing by the Finance Division. In addition, a post audit of domestic travel is conducted on a monthly basis.
The definition of foreign travel may differ from sponsor to sponsor and therefore each award must be reviewed for this definition. For example, many agencies do not consider travel to Mexico and Canada to be foreign travel. The award must also be examined for any applicable prior approval requirements.
Under the Fly America Act (see link below) travelers are required to use United States (US) air carrier service for all travel funded by Federal agencies. An exception to this requirement is the Open Skies Agreement (see link below). Currently, there are four Open Skies Agreements with the US in effect: European Union (EU), Australia, Switzerland, and Japan. Excluding the EU, check to ensure there is no city-pair contract fare (see link below) in effect in order to use a foreign carrier. If there is a city-pair contract in effect, a US carrier must be used.
The Open Skies Agreement exception does not apply to travel funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.
Please see the Fly America, Open Skies and City Pair Matrix and Fly America Act and Open Skies Agreement Decision Diagram for additional guidance.
There are other exceptions to the Fly America Act which may be appropriate as well. A list of exception criteria may be found in the Federal Travel Regulation Guidelines – FTR sections 301‐10.135‐138. Please note that lower cost and personal convenience are not acceptable criteria for justifying the non‐utilization of a U.S carrier.
For all sponsored travel the following steps must be completed in Apptricity travel and business expense system:
It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to ensure that the expenses follow applicable policies for allowable costs and that the proper authorizations have been made. User approval in the Apptricity travel and business expense system signifies compliance with university policies & procedures, federal cost principles (if applicable), sponsored agreement guidelines, and confirmation that no unallowable costs are included on the report (i.e. alcohol, entertainment, etc).
Please refer to the Post-Award Travel Audit Checklist to ensure that all questions that will be considered by the reviewer and approver of travel reimbursements are addressed.
Please contact your Post-Award Specialist for questions concerning travel requirements and restrictions on specific sponsored agreements.
Allowability of Costs
Allocating Expenses to Sponsored Awards
Corporate Travel Card Policy
Domestic per diem rates
Foreign per diem rates
Federal Travel Regulation Guidelines – FTR sections 301‐10.135‐138
Fly America Act Exceptions Form
Fly America Act and Open Skies Agreement Decision Diagram
Fly America, Open Skies and City Pair Matrix
Post-Award Travel Audit Checklist
Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR Part 200—uniform administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements for federal awards.
Login to RAS by clicking here.
Submit Post-Award documents for processing: email@example.com.