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June 2023 Notice: Travel will require you to justify using your personal car for any trip over 100 miles.

If you have questions or find this page too confusing, please get in touch with your contact (see the table below).

Beginning a Travel

  1. Fill out the “Trip Information” of the ESE Student Pre-Authorization Travel Form and submit it to the faculty member who is paying for your trip. Certain parts of the form will not work in a browser. Please download it and use Adobe Acrobat to fill it out. The form will change over time, so please always come back here to get the latest version.
  2. When they return it, make sure their section is filled out and signed. Answer the question about your Cost of Attendance and sign the form.
  3. Depending on your faculty member’s answer to the question, choose the appropriate travel process tab below (under the “Your Contact” table). When you fill out the pre-trip prompter, make sure to upload the signed form.

Your Contact

GroupTravel ContactEmail
Center on Financial Risk in Environmental Systems / Characklis LabDeb Simonedsimone@unc.edu
ESERobin Whitleyrobin_whitley@unc.edu
Institute for Environmental Health Solutions / Fry LabDeb Simonedsimone@unc.edu
OSHERC/NIOSH training grant (Nylander-French)Julie Myersjmaness@unc.edu
Water InstituteTBD, Robin Whitleyrobin_whitley@unc.edu

Travel Process – Choose a Tab

Look at the finished Pre-Authorization Travel Form. If the faculty member chose “Student” as the Primary Beneficiary, follow the instructions on this tab. If they chose “University,” please choose the other tab.

The Basics

  • This travel is considered financial aid and will be processed via GradStar. All money will go through your student account.
  • You are responsible for deciding if you need an increase in your Cost of Attendance. Please consult https://studentaid.unc.edu/graduate/what-aid-is-available/department-funding/ or email OSSA at aidinfo@unc.edu
  • The department will issue payment to your student account and you will be responsible for all expenses, including airfare and registration.
  • Any money you receive before the trip must be accounted for after the trip.
  • You can receive money before the trip for actual and/or estimated expenses. See “Before the Trip” below.
  • Make sure to get receipts for everything (except meals). Credit card statements will be rejected!
  • You can only be paid back for your own travel expenses, meaning your plane ticket, your hotel room, etc. If you pay for someone else’s hotel room/flight/etc., you will not be paid back, although it’s possible they could be. If you split a hotel room, you can only be reimbursed for half the expense.

Before the Trip

  • Plan as far in advance as possible!
  • If you want money before the trip, please submit your request through the Travel Prompter (pre-trip).
    • This money can be used before or during the trip.
    • If you have already paid some expenses (such as registration), you can still request money for them before the trip.
    • If you have not paid any expenses, you can still request money for them before the trip.
    • You do not have to provide exact amounts, just estimates.
    • You do not have to provide receipts, but you can if you have them.
    • You will need to provide receipts after the trip.
  • Don’t assume you’ll be paid back for a non-standard expense; please ask your contact. Example: coach airfare will be repaid, but not flight insurance.
  • Please read the Maximum Rates for Travel for information about mileage, hotel rates, and meals. There are limits on what you can claim for lodging. See Understanding Per Diem if you need more details on meals.
  • NOTICE RE: AIRBNB – If you plan to use Airbnb or any other non-hotel lodging, you must fill out the Third-Party Lodging Request Form, follow the instructions, and include both the form and the approval from travel in your Travel Prompter request.
  • International Travel – Extra steps required for international travel. Approvals must be provided in order for you to receive any funding.

After the Trip

You have 30 days from the end of your trip to request reimbursement.

See below to learn which expenses you can claim.

If you received money before the trip, you must provide documentation for all the money you received.

  • If you spent more than you received, you will be paid the difference.
  • If you spent less than you received, the cashier will bill you and you will have to repay them to avoid having a hold placed on your student account.

All receipts should have your name and show that the bill has been paid. A credit card or bank statement by itself is not sufficient documentation for anything other than exchange rates.

Provide

Post-trip travel prompter (International Travelers should use this Travel spreadsheet instead. Make sure to check all the tabs!)
Backup documentation (See below)

Documentation breakdown

Airfare: Provide the receipt showing how much you paid. The flight must be in your name.

Ground transportation: If you drove your personal car, provide the origin, destination, and mileage of each leg of the trip. For rental cars, provide the rental receipts, any gas receipts you paid for, and a justification for renting a car rather than using public transportation or taxis. For taxis or rideshares, list the origin and destination of each trip and include receipts if you can.¬†Write the tip on the receipt if it’s not already included.

Hotel: A booking or reservation is not a valid receipt. The hotel receipt should have your name as the occupant and list out the charges. If you used an AirBNB and have not already given the travel preparer the Third-Party Lodging Request Form, you will need to.

Meals/Per diem: Meals are reimbursed at a fixed rate called per diem. List your location on each date and which meals out of breakfast, lunch, and dinner you are claiming on that date. Do not claim any meals that were provided by the hotel, the conference, or a host organization. No receipts are necessary unless the sponsor itself requires them. For a more in-depth explanation, see Understanding Per Diem.

Medical: If you are traveling internationally, you may be reimbursed for necessary vaccinations and prescriptions (such as antimalarial drugs). Provide receipts.

Other: Baggage fees, internet access, laundry (only for long international trips), parking, phone calls, phone cards (international only), poster printing, and other miscellaneous expenses must be accompanied by receipts. Tips to airport employees are reimbursable at $2 a bag; no receipts are required.

Passport/visa fees: Provide receipts as best you can. This may include photo fees, mailing/shipping fees, etc. Multiple-entry visas will be reimbursed via a different mechanism and can be reimbursed before the trip.

Registration/Abstract submission: Most conferences send email confirmations when you pay. You can print those to PDF to submit as receipts.

Look at the finished Pre-Authorization Travel Form. If the faculty member chose “University” as the Primary Beneficiary, follow the instructions on this tab. If they chose “Student,” please choose the other tab.

The Basics

  • This travel is not considered financial aid. UNC can pay for your airfare and registration directly.
  • Any money you receive before the trip must be accounted for after the trip.
  • You can receive money before the trip for actual and/or estimated lodging and meals. See “Before the Trip” below.
  • Make sure to get receipts for everything (except meals). Credit card statements will be rejected!
  • You can only be paid back for your own travel expenses, meaning your plane ticket, your hotel room, etc. If you pay for someone else’s hotel room/flight/etc., you will not be paid back, although it’s possible they could be. If you split a hotel room, you can only be reimbursed for half the expense.

Before the Trip

  • Plan as far in advance as possible!
  • Don’t assume you’ll be paid back for a non-standard expense; please ask your contact. Example: coach airfare will be repaid, but not flight insurance.
  • Please read the Maximum Rates for Travel for information about mileage, hotel rates, and meals. There are limits on what you can claim for lodging. See Understanding Per Diem if you need more details on meals.
  • NOTICE RE: AIRBNB – If you plan to use Airbnb or any other non-hotel lodging, you must fill out the Third-Party Lodging Request Form, follow the instructions, and include both the form and the approval from travel in your Travel Prompter request.
  • International Travel – Extra steps required for international travel

Advances

An advance is a loan given before the trip. It is mailed as a physical check to the address you have listed in Connect Carolina.

  • If you want money before the trip, please submit your request through the Travel Prompter (pre-trip).
    • You can request money for: meals, lodging, and local air trips only (only for airfare that cannot be booked via World Travel.)
    • You do not have to provide exact amounts, just estimates.
    • You will need to provide receipts within 30 days of the end of the trip.

Airfare

UNC can pay airfare directly on behalf of a student.

  1. Fill out the travel prompter.
  2. Wait for a response from your contact.
  3. Contact World Travel at uncch_travel@worldtravelinc.com to arrange your flight. They will ask for a CABS number; see step 4.
  4. Once you have chosen your flight from the options World Travel provides, send the itinerary (with cost estimate) to your ESE travel contact. They will provide the agency with the CABS number.

Registration

UNC can pay your registration directly. You will need to coordinate with your travel contact if you wish to use their pcard.

After the Trip

You have 30 days from the end of your trip to request reimbursement.

See below to learn which expenses you can claim.

If you received money before the trip, you must provide documentation for all the money you received.

  • If you spent more than you received, you will be paid the difference.
  • If you spent less than you received, you will need to pay the difference back by writing a check to UNC and giving it to your travel contact. Wait until they tell you the amount.

All receipts should have your name and show that the bill has been paid. A credit card or bank statement by itself is not sufficient documentation for anything other than exchange rates.

Provide

Post-trip travel prompter (International Travelers should use this Travel spreadsheet instead. Make sure to check all the tabs!)
Backup documentation (See below)

Documentation breakdown

Airfare: If you paid for your own airfare, provide the receipt showing how much you paid. The flight must be in your name.

Ground transportation: If you drove your personal car, provide the origin, destination, and mileage of each leg of the trip. For rental cars, provide the rental receipts, any gas receipts you paid for, and a justification for renting a car rather than using public transportation or taxis. For taxis or rideshares, list the origin and destination of each trip and include receipts if you can.¬†Write the tip on the receipt if it’s not already included.

Hotel: A booking or reservation is not a valid receipt. The hotel receipt should have your name as the occupant and list out the charges. If you used an AirBNB and have not already given the travel preparer the Third-Party Lodging Request Form, you will need to.

Meals/Per diem: Meals are reimbursed at a fixed rate called per diem. For domestic travel, list each date and which meals out of breakfast, lunch, and dinner you are claiming on that date. Do not claim any meals that were provided by the hotel, the conference, or a host organization. For international travel, include the city and country you were in on each date. No receipts are necessary unless the sponsor itself requires them. For a more in-depth explanation, see Understanding Per Diem.

Medical: If you are traveling internationally, you may be reimbursed for necessary vaccinations and prescriptions (such as antimalarial drugs). Provide receipts.

Other: Baggage fees, internet access, laundry (only for long international trips), parking, phone calls, phone cards (international only), poster printing, and other miscellaneous expenses must be accompanied by receipts. Tips to airport employees are reimbursable at $2 a bag; no receipts are required.

Passport/visa fees: Provide receipts as best you can. This may include photo fees, mailing/shipping fees, etc. Multiple-entry visas will be reimbursed via a different mechanism and can be reimbursed before the trip.

Registration/Abstract submission: Most conferences send email confirmations when you pay. You can print those to PDF to submit as receipts.

Forms and Links

Cost of Attendance
ESE Student Pre-Authorization Travel Form
Travel Prompter (pre-trip)
Travel Prompter (post-trip)
Third Party Lodging Request Form – If you’re not using a hotel, this must be filled out before the trip. Includes AirBNB.
UNC Policy on Travel Expenses
UNC Policy on Transportation Expenses
UNC Travel website – This is a very helpful overview site of how travel at UNC works.
Understanding Per Diem

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