Travel costs ordinarily include all reasonable business costs incurred by University employees while traveling on authorized University business. For a sponsored project, such expenses would include the means of transportation, food and lodging and other items associated with travel-related expense. Entertainment costs and personal items are unallowable. Travel costs of family members may be allowable in some circumstances, such as research projects abroad with long duration. Consult sponsor’s guidelines for assistance.

The reasonableness and necessity of travel costs should be explained in detail in the budget justification, including the number of travelers, round-trip economy airfare and ground transportation costs, conference registration if applicable, and number of nights of stay lodging and meals (if not included in conference registration).

Economy air-fare

Use Travelocity or some similar search engine to estimate costs of economy air travel. Sponsors recognize that airfare can vary widely and most allow re-budgeting across budget lines to accommodate changes in cost.

Conference fees and lodging costs are generally known in advance and available for budgeting purposes. Syracuse University’s travel policy applies, unless restricted by the sponsor (e.g., New York State or some federal cooperative agreements).

While the SU travel policy does not use government per diem, these rates can be used to assess the reasonableness of proposed lodging costs as well as meals and incidentals.

Ground transportation or mileage

Use estimates based on web-sites for ground transportation costs such as cabs, overnight parking, light-rail costs and the like.

Mileage for personal car use for University business follows IRS rates, which are updated at least annually; travel policy is under the auspices of the Comptroller’s office.

Foreign Travel

Please be advised that sponsors may differ in what is considered domestic or foreign travel.  Pay particular attention to the sponsor’s definition of foreign travel (e.g., NSF considers travel to Canada and Mexico domestic travel). Check with OSA with any questions or if you are in need of clarification on the policies and what is or is not permitted.

For federal awards, US air carriers or code-share arrangements must be used for all possible legs unless certain exceptions apply or the country or region has an Open-skies Agreement (Not applicable to defense sponsors).