Travel Application Guidelines

All requests involving travel, either for conferences or for research purposes, should be submitted as travel applications.

The travel application form, found in the gnosis FDF application site, includes a 250- to 750-word statement of objectives along with an itemized budget and budget rationale. Applications with inadequate statements, missing price quotes for transportation or lodging costs, unjustified budget items, or inflated budgets are likely to be denied.

If your application is for travel related to an ongoing, previously FDF-funded research project, please indicate this in the checkbox on the gnosis form and include a progress report as part of the application form narrative.

FDF Travel Expenses

Proof of conference registration that confirms the dates of attendance is required. Acceptable forms of proof include: an email from the conference organizers, a receipt, official quote, and/or a link and screenshot of the conference website confirming the dates and conference description.

For conferences that charge a per-paper registration fee, applicants are limited to a maximum of 4 papers up to a maximum cost of $2000.00.

Note on memberships: Costs of becoming a member of the organization holding the conference are not supported unless: a) membership is required to attend or present, or b) membership and registration fees combined are within $100 of registration fees for non-members. If requesting membership fees, you must provide documentation that one of these exceptions has been met.

USF policy regarding travel is that faculty can be compensated for either the driving mileage to and from their destination or the cost of air or train travel, whichever is less. The FDF Committee expects individual applicants to act responsibly with this collective benefit by keeping costs as reasonable as possible.

  • The FDF will fund the less expensive mode of travel. For example, driving 800 miles roundtrip to Los Angeles at $0.65/mile would be around $520, while a roundtrip flight to Los Angeles is $300. The FDF could only reimburse $300 should you choose to drive.
  • Airfare and rail travel must be coach.
  • Airfare quotes must be provided. For travel within the U.S. West Coast costing less than $250, domestic travel outside of the West Coast costing less than $500, and international travel costing less than $750, a single quote or receipt is sufficient (though comparison quotes are appreciated). Above those amounts, applicants should provide at least three airfare quotes, even if the airfare has already been purchased, showing the date when they were compared. (Note: All quotes should be taken on the same day, as ticket prices change daily.) If you do not choose the least expensive flight, please explain in your budget rationale the reason for doing so.
  • Baggage fees of up to $30 each way ($60 roundtrip) will be funded.
  • Auto transportation mileage is reimbursed at 65 cents per mile.
  • Those applying for auto transportation costs must provide a map documenting the mileage (e.g., a screenshot of Google Maps driving directions). The starting location of the map must begin at the USF campus (2130 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117) even if this adds extra miles.
  • Local transportation includes taxis, buses, local trains, shuttles, tolls, ride-sharing apps, and parking at Bay Area airports.
    • Limits: The domestic limit for this is $150. In the case of international travel, these costs may exceed $150 and should be placed in the “Exceptions” field and fully described in your itemized budget. 
    • Note: Local transportation here refers primarily to the costs of transportation to and from airports/train stations and your home, conference or research destination. If applicants request local transportation beyond that use, they must include a clear rationale and these will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Car rentals may be funded only with a valid explanation in the itemized budget file. Car rental requests should be included in the “Exceptions” field. Add-on insurance for car rentals should be declined, as USF has an insurance policy that covers employees traveling for business purposes.
  • These expenses may be estimated and do not require documentation if travel has not yet taken place. However, if travel has occurred, copies of receipts must be submitted with your application. Retain your original receipts as they must be submitted with your expense reports.

Faculty are asked to be responsible with FDF funds by selecting a hotel with the lowest reasonable rates for the area to which you are traveling.

  • Number of nights: The hotel is funded for the number of nights you will be attending the conference (or research activities) plus an additional night for domestic travel. For example, if you are attending the conference from Friday until Sunday morning, FDF would fund three hotel nights (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday).
    • FDF will not fund longer conference stays than are justified by your role(s) at the conference. 
    • If justified and needed for international travel, a second additional night may be requested.
    • Hotel maximum in all cases is 10 nights.
  • Price quotes: Applicants should provide at least three hotel quotes (including, when possible, the conference hotel) to show that a reasonable rate has been chosen even if the hotel cost has already been paid. Rate quotes should clearly show the dates of the stay and when they were compared.
  • Limits: The FDF will fund the lowest reasonable rate (no room upgrades) up to the domestic limit of $275/night, excluding taxes and fees. For more expensive cities or for international travel, the choice of a reasonable hotel rate above that limit should be explained in the budget rationale.
  • Conference hotel: Many applicants choose to stay at the conference hotel. If the conference hotel rate is unreasonably high for the area, the Committee may request that the applicant explore more economical alternatives.
  • Entering hotel costs on gnosis: The hotel rate may either be entered on gnosis as either a daily rate or a flat rate for the total price of the stay. If choosing flat rate option, please: check the “Flat Rate” box; select the number of nights, as the “Food” field will be automatically calculated from the “Number of Nights” field.
  • Non-hotel options: If it’s cheaper to rent an apartment (such as Airbnb) than to stay in a hotel, the FDF will fund the rental. Please provide documentation showing hotel quotes for the time frame as well as the cost of the apartment or other lodging.
  • Room tax will be funded. Please include this in the hotel nightly rate.
  • Internet access costs of up to $10/night will be funded. Please include this in the hotel nightly rate.
  • Local travel: Hotel stays for local conferences or research within 50 miles of USF are generally not supported. However, if you are participating in an early morning conference panel, you may request a hotel stay for the night before. Please include documentation for and explanation of this need.

Food is reimbursed at $25 per day, plus 1 additional day for travel. The “Food” field is automatically calculated from the “Number of Nights” field. Receipts are not required for reimbursement. Instead, attach the FDF award letter in the meal receipt area when submitting your Concur expense report. Note: The expense type to use for food is Meal Allotment 716430.

 Should be fully explained in your budget rationale.

  • Courses, training, and workshops: Immersion or training courses, lessons, coaching, workshops, and certifications will be considered as part of Professional Effectiveness applications. Applicants are encouraged to first discuss such requests with their area Associate Dean. Applicants are expected to be specific regarding the ways in which the proposed course, lessons, coaching, workshops, or certifications will enhance their professional (academic or creative) work. For instance, if the proposal is to enhance your teaching effectiveness via a workshop, specify the ways the workshop will do so and for which particular course(s); if the proposal aims to enhance your research or creative work through training, specify the ways it will do so and for which particular project. The proposal should also explain why this professional effectiveness support cannot be found through existing University resources. 
  • Optional conference events, such as banquets or tours, are not supported.
  • Resort fees will be covered only when they are part of a conference hotel cost.
  • Memberships: Membership fees to professional organizations independent of a conference are not covered by the FDF. Costs of becoming a member of the organization holding the conference are not supported unless: a) membership is required to attend or present, or b) membership and registration fees combined are within $100 of registration fees for non-members. If requesting membership fees, you must provide documentation that one of these exceptions has been met.
  • Optional travel upgrades or services such as extra leg room, in-flight wifi, and priority boarding are not supported.
  • Travel insurance is not supported.
  • Frequent flyer miles: The value of airfare purchased with frequent flyer miles or points cannot be supported or reimbursed.
  • Hotel services: Hotel phone calls, room service, video rentals, and other non-essential services are not supported.
  • Local conference accommodations: Hotel stays for local conferences or research within 50 miles of USF are generally not supported. (Exceptions must be clearly justified.)
  • Gifts or meals for others are not supported.
  • USF-sponsored retreats are not supported.
  • Paid gigs: Events for which the faculty member is being paid -- such as paid teaching, workshops, or research work -- are not supported. This does not apply to honoraria.

Please do not combine all your receipts or quotes into a single PDF file and upload that one file into each field. Actual receipts or price quotes must be uploaded for each field. Multiple files can be uploaded for each line item by clicking “Choose File” and then “Save” for each separate file. Your application should include the following items:

  • Travel application form, which includes your statement of objectives, itemized budget and budget rationale, and explanations of any exceptions in your request.
  • Conference announcement, paper acceptance, or invitation acceptance for conference travel applications.
  • Proof of registration cost or receipt for conference travel applications.
  • Three airfare or train quotes (or map for automobile transportation) if requesting more than $250 for California travel, $500 for other domestic travel, or $750 for international travel. For requests below those amounts, one price quote or receipt is sufficient. In the case of retroactive applications, although comparison quotes from the time of purchase are much preferred, average airfares from Fare Detective may be submitted as an alternative.
  • Three hotel rate quotes.
  • Local transportation receipts, if applying after travel has taken place.