Travel Reimbursement Policy
The Engineering Biology Research Consortium is pleased to be able to provide financial support for travel to some events and activities.
Travelers may fall into one of three categories:
1. Flight & Hotel Only
2. Full Reimbursement
3. No support available
Any individual event may have travelers falling into more than one category. EBRC endeavours to provide clear guidance as to which category is in place for a particular traveler and event.
It is the policy of Engineering Biology Research Consortium to support the (invited) traveler for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred during EBRC-related travel. Funded Travelers should incur the lowest reasonable travel expenses and exercise care to avoid impropriety or the appearance of impropriety. Support is allowed only when support or reimbursement has not been, and will not be, received from other sources. The majority of EBRC travel support is provided though federal awards managed at the University of California, Berkeley. As such, the guidelines in this document are to supplement UC Berkeley travel policy. In the event of conflict, the most stringent policy applies.
- Flight & Hotel Only: The EBRC will provide instructions to book flights and hotel for an event. Both will be paid directly by EBRC and the traveler should not require reimbursement after the event. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis in advance of the event.
- Full Reimbursement: The EBRC will generally provide instructions to book flight and hotel and be paid directly. Following the event, documentation for reimbursements must be submitted within 30 days of the last day of travel. Only actual expenses with receipt documentation can be reimbursed. EBRC does not provide a flat per diem.
Transportation expenses will generally be supported based on the most economical and commonly used mode of conveyance taking the most direct route during the authorized travel dates (the days of the meeting and one day before and after the meeting). If you need to make an additional stop or stops en route to the meeting or after the meeting or travel outside the travel dates, please contact us at [email protected] in advance of booking.
- Airfare Guidelines
EBRC will provide an approved travel agency with flight limits for the traveler to contact. Payment will be made directly by the EBRC to the travel agency. We cannot guarantee full reimbursement for air travel made outside of our agency. If you are not able to book through our travel agency, please contact EBRC at [email protected]
– Only coach/economy class tickets at the lowest reasonable fare and non-refundable tickets are reimbursable. First class, business class, full-fare economy class, and unrestricted/refundable tickets are not reimbursable without advance written approval. All travel should be planned and booked as far in advance as possible to take advantage of the least-expensive fares available. Ancillary fees charged by airlines (i.e., seat assignment, excess baggage) are not reimbursable.
– If the approved travel agency is not used and EBRC has not directly paid the airfare, comparative costs upon which airfare reimbursement can be based must be obtained. This means you will be reimbursed for the cost of a direct round-trip between your place of work and the EBRC event meeting place or the face value of the ticket, whichever is less. If the constructive cost is not determined in advance, our travel office will reference the lowest reasonable fare after the fact, and this may lower your reimbursement. If you expect to be reimbursed by a third party for any part of your travel, costs should be allocated appropriately.
– The EBRC cannot pay airline change fees after reservations have been ticketed. Except for emergencies, the traveler will be responsible for change fees should changes arise after flights have been confirmed by the traveler and booked by the EBRC-approved Travel Agency.
– If you are unable to honor a flight reservation, you are responsible for cancelling your reservation and notifying EBRC at [email protected] before the departure. You must cancel your ticket directly with the airline or with the EBRC-approved Travel Agency. Do not rely on email to cancel your ticket. Please call the emergency number of the Travel Agency can cancel over the phone. EBRC will be provided a partial credit can be applied to the unused ticket. Cancellations arising from non-emergency situations may require reimbursement of EBRC’s costs or restrictions on future travel with EBRC.
- Ground Transportation
– If driving your personal vehicle, you may be reimbursed the standard UC Berkeley per-mile rate based on the most direct route. To determine the number of miles, use an online mapping tool (MapQuest or Google Maps). The standard mileage rate includes fuel, as well as wear-and-tear on the vehicle. You will be reimbursed the lesser of mileage based on the most direct route or an amount equal to the cost of flying coach/economy with advance booking.
– Rental cars generally not necessary for EBRC events and will only be supported with explicit notice in advance of an event. If a rental car is allowed, you can rent up to an intermediate size car. When traveling by train or Amtrak, you must use coach-class accommodations.
Travelers will be invited and encouraged to stay in hotel blocks booked and paid for directly by EBRC. Room incidentals are not reimbursable and are the responsibility of the traveler.
Meals & Incidental Expenses
If a trip is less than 24 hours, meals are not reimbursable, unless there was a need for an overnight stay. Most EBRC meetings include catered meals during the meeting. No reimbursement will be allowed when catered meals are provided. The meeting agenda will indicate when meals are provided. If there is an overnight stay where dinner is not provided for, EBRC will reimburse up to $31.00 per day actual expenses with receipt submission. Meals will only be reimbursed for events with full reimbursement travelers. For EBRC annual retreats and annual meetings, meals are not reimbursable.
Reporting Travel Expenses for Reimbursement
Save your receipts. Business-related expenses can be claimed for actual amount spent, with submission of itemized receipts for all transportation and meals. A valid receipt contains payee’s name, amount, date, place, identification of what was purchased and proof of payment. If you lost a business receipt and have exhausted all efforts to obtain a copy from the merchant, provide an explanation with your reimbursement request including the details of the purchase and your declaration that the amount claimed is the amount actually paid by you and that you have not and will not seek reimbursement from any other source.
Request for exceptions to this policy should be made as soon as possible. To request an exception, please contact Angela Lee at [email protected]. This includes questions or deviations for complex travel situations.