Travel Costs

Travel costs must benefit the proposed project and usually include travel associated with fieldwork and attendance at scientific meetings for the purpose of presenting project findings and/or results.

Domestic/Foreign Travel

Budget domestic travel and foreign travel separately. Foreign travel is defined as any travel outside of Canada and the United States and its territories and possessions.

In accordance with University policy, U.S. flag air carriers must be used to the maximum extent possible when commercial air transportation is the means of travel between the United States and a foreign country or between foreign countries. Further guidance on foreign travel on federal awards governed by the Fly America Act and the Open Skies Act is available.

Estimating Costs

Use historical costs or contact a travel agent to estimate airfare, hotel and ground transportation (e.g., rental car) costs.

Use current UCI per diem and mileage rates for domestic travel and U.S. State Department approved rates for foreign travel. Foreign per diem rates can be found on the U.S. State Department Web Site.


Itemize travel costs in the budget justification only.


Do not use words such as "general" or "miscellaneous" to describe travel costs.

Special Consideration: Clinical Trials

Generally, pharmaceutical sponsors of clinical trials will not allow the budgeting of travel. Some pharmaceutical sponsors may allow travel costs associated with UCI employees traveling to different local area performance sites for conducting the clinical trial. In addition, some sponsors opt to directly reimburse UCI investigators for travel to meetings associated with conducting the clinical trial for the sponsor.

When using the sponsor's budget form, if travel is anticipated but the form lacks a line item or category for travel, complete the budget form and include travel costs as appropriate for each budget item. If investigator travel will be reimbursed by the sponsor, notify the Contracts Officer assigned to your unit so that the contract will reflect this understanding.