Sponsored Program Travel

Emory A "Sponsored Program" is when an Emory faculty member and/or graduate student has obtained funding to pursue their research or area of interest.  This funding source may be federal, state or local governmental entities or can be foundations, associations and other non-profits.  The term "Sponsored Program Travel" is referring to travel when using Sponsored Program funding.  

When a traveler is traveling on behalf of a Sponsored Program or when using Sponsored Program funds, they are subject to different requirements than the ones in the general Emory University Travel Policy.  It is the responsibility of the traveler, prior to arranging travel, to know the terms set forth in the award of their sponsored program.


It is the responsibility of the traveler and the principal investigator to know the terms set forth in the award of a sponsored program with reference to allowable travel expenditures. 

Higher Level Approver must ensure that the: 

Sponsored programs often have travel requirements that differ from the Emory University Travel Policy. In particular, federally funded sponsored programs are subject to certain Federal Laws; the guidelines set forth in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21, Section J 53, Travel Costs; specific agency restrictions as well as Emory Travel Policies.  The terms and conditions of the individual agreement should be reviewed prior to incurring and processing any travel cost.  When there is a conflict between University policy and award requirements, the most restrictive policy applies. Sponsored program travel has a high audit profile and can be examined by both internal, external and sponsor auditors.

Sponsored travel must be justified, well documented and in compliance with the sponsor requirements.  Charges for travel under a sponsored program must be reasonable, necessary, allocable, allowable and appropriate to and specifically benefit the intent and purpose of the award.  Travel cost must be incurred within the period of the award or any authorized extension. 

Because each award has unique requirements, it is impossible to provide a comprehensive list of sponsor restrictions. The following list only highlights some common concerns, requirements and University procedures:

1) Prepaid travel costs (e.g., airfare and registration) may not be charged to a sponsored program when the actual travel or training will occur after the termination date of the award. 

2) Travel advances are not authorized on a sponsored account.  Travel advances should be funded from an unrestricted account and then reimbursed when the trip is over and the expenses are charged to the appropriate sponsored programs.

3) First Class, Business Class or Coach Upgradable fares cannot be charged to sponsored programs.  There is no benefit to the award for the extra expense over regular coach fare.  The only benefit is to the traveler.

4)  Fly America Act:  Federal awards require air travelers to use U. S. Flag Carriers regardless of cost savings under the "Fly America Act" except when:

a. A U.S. carrier does not provide service to a destination; however, a U.S. carrier must be used for any leg of travel, when available.

b. Use of a U.S. carrier would delay travel time by 24 hours or more; would require a layover of six hours or more; or would extend the total travel time by six hours or more.

c. Travel by a foreign carrier would eliminate two or more aircraft changes en route.

d. For short distance travel, regardless of origin and destination, a foreign carrier is only permissible if the travel time on the foreign carrier is three hours or less and service by a U.S. carrier would double the travel time.

e. Documentation supporting a justification for any exception to the federal requirements must be provided with the expense report. 

5)  Some awards may:

a. Prohibit foreign travel;

b. Require pre-authorization for each trip;

c. Restrict the number of trips that can be taken;

d. Restrict the number of travelers on an authorized trip;

e. Set a maximum dollar value per trip, 

f. Limit travel to a specific destination or purpose, or

g. Specify maximum meal, mileage or other cost rates (e.g. State of Georgia).

6)  Meals provided by commercial transportation carriers, training sites or conferences the traveler uses/attends are not reimbursable.  Thus meal allowances should be prorated using 20% for breakfast, 20% for lunch, and 60% for dinner. 

7)  Personal meals should be prorated based on when the traveler departs from home on the trip and when the traveler arrives home at the end of the trip.   

8) Charges for alcohol or for items that could be considered as personal costs (calls home or laundry, etc.) or entertainment are not allowable.

9)  Charges for individuals not specifically working on the project or covered by the intent of the award are not allowable.

10)  Tokens of appreciation to a individual in lieu of lodging cannot be charged to sponsored programs.