Travel is frequently necessary to complete the requirements of a project, whether you are claiming mileage to drive to a nearby town to collect data samples or are traveling across the country for a conference essential to your project. SPF wants to ensure you are reimbursed quickly and efficiently.

Process & Forms

Process & Forms


Prior to travel ensure your project has the budget and the expected expenses are within the funder, SPF, and CSU guidelines. You can verify this by contacting your Grant Analyst. While traveling be sure to save all receipts and supporting documentation, which you will need to request reimbursement.

SPF related travel expenses can be submitted through a DocuSign PowerForm located here.

Are you submitting the Travel Reimbursement on behalf of your PI or someone else? If yes, use this version instead!

Once you begin signing, you will be prompted to attach the 'SPF Travel Expense Claim' along with receipts and supporting documentation for all expenses listed in your reimbursement. In the case of mileage, you'll also be asked to attach a ‘Google Map’ or equivalent demonstrating the number of miles claimed.

Please be sure to have all three items completed in advance and ready to upload BEFORE starting the DocuSign PowerForm.

Once completed, the packet will be automatically routed to Humboldt Accounts Payable for processing. If you have any questions while completing either of these forms, please reach out to your Post-Award Grant Analyst.

*Please Note - the signature fields have been removed from the SPF Travel Expense Claim (PDF). All approvals and certifications will be obtained through DocuSign when you upload this completed form at the time of submission.


SPF processing of travel reimbursements are parallel to Cal Poly Humboldt’s travel policy with minor exceptions:

  • SPF does not require pre-approval of travel (travel authorizations) due to the nature of grants and contracts, with the exception of International travel or travel to high hazard countries.
  • Reimbursements will be made for meal expenses for travel up to $75 per day + $7 per day of incidentals (including first & last day of travel). Per diem rates are as follows and receipts are not required for meal expenses: Breakfast - $20.00; Lunch - $25.00; Dinner - $30.00 

(*Please note – previous/lower per diem rates will continue to be accepted due to grant budget constraints as necessary)

  • Reimbursements can be made for mileage to secure field equipment and supplies for remote work/installations, as allowed by the funding agency. Overnight stay is not required to claim mileage reimbursement.

  • Overnight lodging expenses exceeding $275 per night (not including taxes and other related charges) need special approval from the SPF Executive Director. Please work with your Post-Award Grant Analyst to obtain approval in advance of traveling. A traveler who attends an approved conference where the prearranged conference lodging rate exceeds the $275 per night limit may stay at the conference hotel without additional approval.

  • The CSU travel policy allows for reimbursement for the cost of renting a vehicle. Travelers should always rent the lowest cost vehicle. In the case where multiple vehicle classes are being offered at the same rental cost, the smallest vehicle should be rented for fuel efficiency. The traveler may seek permission from the Approved Project Signer/Principal Investigator to rent a larger vehicle class as a reasonable accommodation related to comfort or safety; the reason must be clearly documented on the Travel Expense Claim.

All other guidelines set forth in Cal Poly Humboldt’s travel manual will be followed.

If you travel with your personal vehicle, you must be reimbursed for mileage, not fuel receipts. Effective 1/1/2024 the mileage reimbursement rate changed to $0.67 per mile.



Travel Advances

Please keep in mind, the following information, when obtaining a travel advance:

  1. Request your travel advance by using the SPF Travel Advance Request at least 2 weeks prior to your trip. You must attach estimates of your expenses to justify the amount being requested. 
  2. Travel advances should be cleared by the traveler within 60 days after their trip is completed.
  3. If the traveler does not clear their travel advance within 120 days of the trip completion, the University is obligated under IRS regulations to consider the travel advance amount as income to the traveler.
  4. As a result, the amount of unsubstantiated expenses and unrecovered advances will be reported through the payroll system as additional wages to the traveler no later than the first payroll period following the end of the 120-day period.
  5. The income and applicable employment taxes on the additional wages will be withheld from the traveler’s regular earnings. No refund of such taxes or any adjustment to gross income will be made with respect to any substantiation or reimbursement received from the traveler after the 120-day period.


Group Travel 

Pre-approval for 'Group Travel Reimbursement' must be obtained before you leave on your trip. Typically, travelers would not be reimbursed for expenses paid on behalf of other persons, except in the case of co‐travelers who are sharing a room. Exceptions to this rule, such as supervised group trips, must be approved in advance. If you are requesting a Group Travel Exception, please reach out to your Grant Analyst to discuss the logistics and obtain the SPF Director's Approval. 

Group Leaders requesting group travel will need to include the following information with their request:

  1. List of Names of all Travelers
  2. Dates & Location of Travel
  3. Confirmation that Group Leader is paying for all expenses (not partial)
  4. Confirmation that Group Leader will actually be traveling with them

As Group Leader, you will be responsible for submitting a single travel reimbursement for all expenses associated with your group travel (meals, lodging, transportation, etc.) No other member of your group should be submitting any claims separately for this trip.


If approved, Group Leaders will be asked to utilize our ‘SPF AP Drop in hours’ to complete/submit your group travel paperwork when you return. Since Group Travel Claims are a little more complicated/processes rapidly evolve, they do have a higher tendency to be rejected during AP processing for errors/missing information.

By leveraging our SPF Drop-In hours, we can make sure everything gets submitted correctly. Our Front Office holds these everyday M-F from 2:00-3:00pm via zoom. Or if that time doesn’t work, you can schedule an appointment with them by emailing

Enterprise Rent-a-Car

Enterprise Rent-a-Car

SPF projects are now eligible to receive state discounts at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. In addition to discounted pricing, an advantage of booking a rental car through Enterprise using the CSU account is that the CSU’s insurance will cover you so long as you do not take the vehicle off paved roads. 

Click Here for instructions and rates regarding booking a rental car through Enterprise. Please contact your appropriate Grant Analyst to obtain SPF's Enterprise Account Number.

Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks

Coming soon...

International Travel

International Travel

When Do I Need to Purchase Travel Insurance?

If your grant will be funding international travel, you are required by the Chancellor’s Office to purchase travel insurance for all of your travelers prior to your trip.

CSURMA offers coverage to SPF travelers through their Foreign Travel Insurance Program. Our office will work directly with our insurance provider to obtain information regarding your options for liability and accident insurance.

Before you travel, review the high hazard list and the U.S. Department of State website to determine if the country you intend to travel has a travel warning restriction. (Lists are subject to change at any time.)

Approval from the Chancellor's office is required for travel to both high hazard and travel warning countries. The Chancellor's office requests that all travel authorizations which need approval be received in their office at least 30 days in advance of travel. Please factor in the additional time for obtaining Humboldt approvals and the Chancellor's approval when submitting your Request for International Travel form. Requests received in the Chancellor's office with five business days or less from the date of travel will not be considered.

You should contact your Grant Analyst no later than 30 days prior to your trip to make sure you and your staff are covered.