The department makes every effort possible to support student travel to conferences. Levels of support are determined annually, depending on the budget. In the 2017-18 academic year, we will try to support students with the following:
- up to $500 reimbursement of travel to a conference where the student presented a paper on which they were author or co-author
- up to $500 reimbursement of travel to a second conference where the student presented a paper on which they were author or co-author
- funding of up to $300 reimbursement for travel to each of two conferences during a student’s five-year program (the student is not required to present at these conferences)
Pre-Trip Travel Authorization Required
To qualify for travel reimbursement, students must fill out a Pre-Trip Authorization Form (even if the conference is at MSU). This needs to be done at least three weeks prior to the requested travel and four weeks prior to international travel. Please fill out sections A, D and the description of your intended travel. Submit the form to the program secretary and be sure to respond quickly to the program secretary’s questions about your travel request.
Completion or submission of a Pre-Trip Authorization form is NOT OFFICIAL APPROVAL of the travel request. After a pre-trip authorization form has been submitted and processed, the traveler will receive an approval or denial notification via email from the program secretary. The pre-trip authorization approval email will include an attached copy of the signed authorization.
All university travel, even if no reimbursement is being requested, must be approved prior to travel. This is a university requirement that also extends your insurance during travel. Each travel destination is processed on a separate authorization form (unless the travel is back-to-back).
Multiple Funds for Travel
If you will be requesting reimbursement from CITE funds and another funding source (grant, faculty account, grad school, etc.), please inform the program secretary when your pre-trip authorization is being processed and also when you submit your travel reimbursement request.
Reimbursement will not be given for travel that has not been authorized and approved.
- Receipts must be original and contain the amount, the form of payment and the name of the student requesting reimbursement.
- Save all receipts that may be pertinent to your travel (airfare, hotel, conference registration, parking, taxi/shuttle, etc.) until you receive reimbursement.
- Submit your Travel Approval Email, receipts, conference agenda (showing if meals were provided or not), Airfare Equivalency Worksheet (if applicable) and Travel Reimbursement Worksheet (if you wish to use it) to Karen Gray within two weeks following your return from the conference.
A delay in submitting receipts requires a written explanation of why the receipts are late and could result in not receiving reimbursement, so please make sure you submit your receipts promptly.
Driving VS Flying
If you prefer to drive to a conference rather than fly, please be aware that you can only be reimbursed for driving up to $500 total. No one riding in the vehicle can claim gas reimbursement or mileage.
AIRBNB & Private Rentals
When renting a room/house from a private person to attend a conference, you must get a receipt showing dates, cost, payment method, the person(s) name you rented from, the person’s home address and the person’s social security number or federal ID number showing they are allowed to rent property (AIRBNB). If they refuse to give you any of this information, you will not be reimbursed your expenses. MSU will not allow you to get reimbursed because the person that is allowing the rental to happen has to claim that expense on their income tax. MSU at the end of the year will send them a tax receipt that they have to claim on their taxes.
If you plan to share travel expenses with colleagues, please get separate receipts. For example, many hotels will print each person a receipt for their share of the hotel bill. You may need to request this before checkout time so that the hotel has time to prepare the receipts. If you cannot get separate receipts for a shared expense, all people seeking reimbursement from a shared receipt must submit their reimbursement request in one packet. This one packet should contain all the receipts from all the people who shared the bill. Any payments given/received should be documented with either copies of cancelled (cashed) checks (front and back) or written statements from those involved. Please contact Karen Gray prior to expense sharing for a full explanation of how to properly document payment of shared expenses.
Use Your Own Credit Card
The university will only reimburse receipts that you paid. Example: If you submit an airfare receipt that your friend arranged and paid for with his/her credit card and this credit card appears on the airfare receipt with the friend’s name as the purchaser, you cannot be reimbursed for the purchase.
Example Of Perfect Receipt
Please contact Karen Gray if you have any questions about what an appropriate receipt should contain or when it is needed.
- A perfect airfare receipt includes the travelers name, the amount, the itinerary of travel (cities, dates and times) and the form of payment along with the last 4 digits of a credit card charge.
- A perfect hotel receipt shows the amount due, the amount paid and the new balance displaying zero.
- A perfect conference registration fee receipt includes the registrant name, the amount for registration and confirmation that the fee was paid. Often included with this confirmation is a conference agenda and any fee(s) that were charged for a special dinner. You will need to submit this agenda with receipts to prove that meals were (or were not) included with your conference registration fee.
- Meal receipts are usually not needed because the university reimburses a daily per diem amount for meals. The only exception to this would be a dinner meeting that would require pre-approval by the department and rarely applies to CITE travel.
University Vehicle and Car Rental
The University Transportation Services department vehicles cannot be used for CITE conference travel. The only exception to this rule is if you are using grant funds for conference travel and the grant allows you to use a university vehicle. If you need a vehicle, you must arrange for a rental vehicle and you must provide a letter with your receipts stating the business reason that you needed to rent a vehicle. MSU does not reimburse gasoline purchased from the rental agency, rental of GPS or additional rental insurance.