Overview of Travel

Travel associated with sponsored projects is governed by The Research Foundation’s Travel Policy. That policy incorporates the broad Federal regulations that govern travel. Sponsors may impose additional constraints on travel. Investigators must be aware of the constraints imposed by the Fly America Act which requires the use of American carriers except under very strict circumstances.

The research community can take advantage of the Citibank Central Travel Account (CTA).  See Credit Card Programs on the Procurement Office website.

OVPR Travel Guidance on COVID-19

UPDATED as of March 13, 2020

Under further notice, all university-related travel, regardless of funding source, is strictly prohibited except for regional travel utilizing a personal vehicle. 
Travel can increase the risks of exposure to you and the community. Government restrictions and public health measures are changing fast. If you travel, those changes may make it hard for you to return to campus and resume activities.
Exceptions to this Advisory will be rare. A request for approval of regional travel or an exception to this advisory must be approved by the employee’s immediate supervisor, Vice President and Senior Vice President or Provost.  Travel to Brookhaven National Lab and to other SBU locations does not require pre-approval. Faculty, staff and students requesting this exception must use the pre-approval form located at:

Travel undertaken without the appropriate pre-approvals will not be reimbursed and other disciplinary actions may apply. 

POSTED on March 6, 2020

In light of the unique circumstances presented by COVID-19 virus with respect to previously arranged travel reservations, OVPR offers the following guidance for travel on externally sponsored awards.

This guidance reflects current information from federal funding agencies which indicates that award recipients should continue to follow all relevant policies and procedures and to apply these practices consistently. As new information becomes available, we will disseminate to our research community.

As a reminder all travelers are strongly urged to purchase refundable airline tickets when making travel arrangements, so that if or when a trip is cancelled, the only cost incurred would be the potential cancellation fees. Unused nonrefundable airline tickets cannot be charged to sponsored awards.   

If nonrefundable tickets were purchased, every effort should be made to obtain a credit for the cancelled travel with the respective carrier. If the airline carrier agrees to a credit, and an alternate directly related travel event can utilize the credit within the active award period, the cost can be included in the travel reimbursement request for that trip.  

If travel arrangements were made through Euro Lloyd, contact them immediately to determine what options may be available through their services.

In the instance where the respective carrier will not issue a refund or when a credit cannot be used for other related research travel, Principal Investigator's should seek approval for reimbursement from the sponsor, specifically from the financial official for their sponsored award.  This approval from the sponsor should clearly articulate that the charges for the cost of tickets and/or associated fees related to the cancellation are allowable.  

If after taking each of these steps you do not have a solution, please Sheila Routh directly with the specific travel details and outline of unresolved costs.


Procurement Office

For additional guidelines, see the Procurement Office’s Travel Policies.

Fly America Act

Except under specific circumstances, U.S. flag air carriers must be used to transport personnel and property when the costs of transportation are charged to federal grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements. This requirement applies to transportation to, from, between, or within a country other than the U.S., when U.S. carriers are available without regard to cost or convenience. For specific exceptions and definition of available, see The Research Foundation Travel Policy, copies of which may be obtained from your Grants Management Specialist at ext. 2-9038.

Electronic Foreign Travel Request


SBU’s eFTR system is a web-based system designed to replace the paper process for faculty, staff and students to request and obtain approval for foreign travel when charging the trip(s) to any Research Foundation account. In addition, tracking, status checks and reporting on authorizations for foreign travel will be completed through eFTR.  The system is accessible at:

Regulatory and sponsor compliance requirements as well as the University’s export control program guides the Research Foundation’s policy on foreign travel, which calls for  approvals for persons traveling on Research Foundation business to a country appearing on the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Warnings List (

eFTR can be accessed by any user with a NetID and password at any time.  Department members—faculty, staff, and students—can initiate a new foreign travel approval request in eFTR (documenting, among other things, the data devices that the traveler plans to carry so certification and securing proper export control licenses pre-travel can be completed).  The request is routed to the traveler and then the project director for traveler certification and then verification.  Following that, the request is routed to the appropriate administrative offices for review and approval.  The request initiator, traveler, and project director are notified via email when all approvals have been obtained. Features including drop down lists, auto populated fields and the ability to copy information from a previous request into a new request all make the eFTR system easy to use.

For training contact OGM at 2-4886

Let us know what you think! Feedback welcome at

Travel Advances

Travel advances are available to project directors and project staff, with PD approval, for allowable trips associated with research grant activity. Travel advances are limited to 80% of the maximum per diem allowance for meals and lodging and 100% of transportation costs payable to common carriers. Only one travel advance will be issued at a time with the exception of continuous travel status or unusual circumstances. Travel dates must be within the approved period of the award. Upon return, advances must be accounted for promptly (no longer than 2 weeks) with original receipts.

Below please find a url link to a newly created "Travel" form that may be used to reimburse travel expenses to Employees, Non-employees and Students. This form is located on the Procurement website under forms -> travel, and may be used to reimburse travel expense reimbursements only. It is not used to pay fees to independent contractors. Fees for service are paid using the Independent Contractor form and is approved by HR prior to OGM approval.

Travel Voucher for State/ RF/ SBF Employees

Travel on NSF Awards


Travel Guide

The Research Foundation has issued a travel guide to serve as the travel requirements for the Research Foundation for SUNY. The information provided governs the use of travel funds from sponsored program, administrative, and agency accounts. It is intended to be used by operations managers, principal investigator, RF personnel administering travel, and travelers.

It covers all travel undertaken in connection with RF business functions; specifically, 

  • the performance of operational or administrative RF functions to fulfill the mission of the RF or SUNY 
  • sponsored programs administration

Travel costs directly attributed to specific work on a sponsored project are generally allowable. 



Grants Management
Phone: 631-632-9038


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