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Travel Policies

Fellows' Career Development

Travel Policies

Fellows' Career Development

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(Source: NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education Handbooks)

Your travel support for scientific meetings will generally come from your PI’s budget (the FARE Awards, are a notable exception). You must, therefore, work with him/her to determine whether you can attend a meeting and the approval processes required.

Once you have an appointment at the NIH, all research-related travel arrangements must be made through NIH travel orders; this applies to travel for collaborations as well as attendance at meetings. Travel arrangements and issuance of travel orders are carried out by the travel planner or Administrative Officer who provides support for your NIH mentor’s group. Ask your PI to introduce you to this person.

In general, your airline tickets and conference registration fees will be paid for by the government. You will cover your other expenses and be reimbursed after the event. As soon as you return, you should work with your travel planner to complete a travel voucher. You can be reimbursed for your hotel, taxis, parking, and transport from your home to the airport and back. You must submit receipts for any items in excess of $75. You will not be reimbursed for actual meal costs. You will receive the per diem amount for the city to which you traveled less the amount allocated for any meals covered by conference/meeting registration. For the travel days at the beginning and end of your trip you will receive 75 percent of the per diem.

Travel awards and other situations that result in all or part of your travel expenses being covered by a source of funds other than the Federal government raise ethical issues. If you hope to participate in such "sponsored" travel, be certain to begin the process of seeking approval early.

NIH travel policies and procedures are spelled out in a Manual Chapter.

The U.S. General Services Administration contains a wealth of travel information including per diem rates for locations all over the world, mileage reimbursement rates for the use of personally owned vehicles, and U.S. contract carriers for various city pairs.