Travel Information for Researchers

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Traveling on a research grant means that PIs must pay even closer attention to Lehigh’s travel policy as well as any restrictions placed by the sponsoring agency. Keeping every receipt is key!


1. Before you go, review Lehigh’s Travel Policy

2. Travel on a Department of Defense contract, especially, may prohibit travel to certain countries. If you are unsure of the status of your destination, check the list of U.S. Embargoed/Sanctioned Countries. See your CGS for clarification of the terms and conditions of your project.

3. Ask for and save all receipts and boarding passes. Make sure receipts are detailed, have the correct cost amount, and are directly from the hotel, airline, or restaurant.  

4. Depending on the agency, travel must sometimes be preapproved, especially foreign travel. Check your Fund Requirements or award notice. If unsure, contact your CGS.


  • Anyone who is being supported for travel on an externally sponsored research project should be assigned to and supported by that same project. In the case of TAs or Fellowships, a clear and documented connection to recent support on the project must be established and the travel must be fully justified. Please check with your CGS before travel is scheduled.
  • All meal receipts must be detailed originals (not credit card).
  • All flight boarding passes and ground transportation receipts must be submitted as proof that you went on the trip.
  • Original lodging receipts must include the name and location of hotel, dates of stay, itemized charges, and proof of payment.
  • Lodging must be considered "reasonable" by a prudent person. Lehigh uses the GSA per diem lodging rates as a standard for reasonable hotel rates. PIs should be prepared to justify higher costs.
  • When attending a conference, the agenda or full program must be included as well as conference registration form with proof of payment.
  • Gifts, entertainment, and non work-related tours are not reimbursable.
  • Use either detailed receipts OR per diem….do not mix on the same form.
  • When using per diem, a percentage must be deducted for meals provided by the conference and for first and last travel days. See the travel policy for details.
  • Per the Fly America Act, all airline travel on federal grants must be on U.S. flag carriers or codeshare partners. The only exception is if air travel takes place from city to city within a foreign country.
  • Foreign travel: the exchange rate must be noted and each receipt must show the amount in US dollars. Use the exchange rate that was in affect at the time of travel, not the current rate, as these fluctuate daily.


Fly America Act Information