Travel Applications

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

Travel application form

The travel application form, found in the gnosis FDF application site, includes a 250- to 1000-word statement of objectives along with an itemized budget and budget rationale. Applications with inadequate statements, unjustified budget items, or inflated budgets are likely to be denied.

Travel expenses FDF will cover

Registration

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.

Note: 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.

Transportation

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 $0.54/mile would be around $540, 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.
  • Applicants should provide at least three airfare quotes, even if the airfare has already been purchased, and 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 $0.58 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, airport parking, and car rentals

  • Local transportation includes taxis, buses, local trains, shuttles, tolls, ride-sharing apps, and local airport parking at San Francisco International Airport or Oakland International airport. 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.
  • 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.

Hotel or other housing

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.

  • The hotel is funded for the number of nights you will be attending the conference (or research activities) plus 1 night for travel (maximum of 10 nights). For example, if you are attending the conference from Friday until Sunday morning, FDF would fund three nights (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday). FDF will not fund longer conference stays than are justified by your role(s) at the conference.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If the conference hotel rate is unreasonably high for the area, the Committee may request that the applicant explore more economical alternatives.
  • Rate quotes should clearly show the dates of the stay and when they were compared.
  • 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.
  • If it’s cheaper to rent an apartment 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.

Meals

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.

Exceptions

Should be fully explained in your budget rationale.

Travel expenses the FDF will not cover

  • Immersion or training courses, lessons, coaching, workshops, and certifications are not supported. (In rare circumstances, a case can be made for such requests as part of a teaching effectiveness application; applicants must first discuss this with their area Associate Dean.)
  • Optional conference events, such as banquets or tours, are not supported.
  • Costs of becoming a member of the organization holding the conference or workshop are not supported unless: a) membership is required to attend, or b) membership and registration fees combined are less than registration fees for non- members. If requesting membership fees, you must provide documentation that one of these exceptions has been met.
  • Upgrades such as extra leg room and priority boarding are not supported.
  • Visa fees are not supported.
  • Travel insurance is not supported.
  • The value of airfare purchased with frequent flyer miles or points cannot be supported or reimbursed.
  • Hotel phone calls, room service, video rentals, and other non-essential services are not supported.
  • 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.
  • Gifts or meals for others are not supported.
  • USF-sponsored retreats are not supported.
  • Events for which the faculty member is being compensated -- such as paid lectures -- are not supported. (In rare cases, the committee can consider covering some costs if the applicant can show that accepting an offer will cost the faculty member more than they are being compensated.)

Supporting files

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). In the case of retroactive applications, although comparison quotes from the time of purchase are much preferred, average airfares from www.faredetective.com may be submitted as an alternative.
  • Three hotel rate quotes.
  • Local transportation receipts, if applying after travel has taken place.

FAQ

Either is fine, as long as you are able to provide the required supporting documentation. Since there is no guarantee you will receive FDF funding, some people prefer to apply before the trip; since submitting retroactively allows you to provide a more accurate budget, some people prefer to apply after the trip. Preferably applications should be submitted within the same fiscal year as the travel.

The Committee needs to see evidence that faculty are selecting economical fares; if evidence isn’t provided of this, the Committee may fund only part of the airfare. The best way to provide this is to get and save multiple price quotes when you book the flight. If you neglected to do that, please provide information from Fare Detective on the average airfare for the time period of purchase.

Please submit one application containing your entire itinerary. It is essential that you explain each part of the trip, its professional significance, and its relative priority, in your application; to provide any needed details in the itemized budget. You should also include a contingency plan (or Plan B) in the event that the FDF Committee denies or finds issues with one part of the application, including the costs of the trips if taken individually.

You must fill out a Request to Be Absent form prior to your travel. Both the department chair and the appropriate Associate Dean must sign this form. Failure to complete this form for FDF-related travel may endanger your future FDF travel applications.

Since priority is given to those who have a specific role at a conference beyond attendee, this is a reasonable concern. One option is to wait and apply retroactively. Another is to apply by the deadline and indicate when you expect to hear about your paper; cases like these often receive a conditional acceptance pending the acceptance of a paper. You can then update the FDF Committee when you’ve heard from the conference organizers. It is also a good idea to include in your statement of objectives any other professional reasons you plan on attending the conference beyond the presentation of a paper.

The FDF Committee doesn’t evaluate on the basis of travel warnings or unstable conditions in travel destinations. However, the list of faculty destinations is shared with the Center for Global Education and final discretion as to whether university funds can be used to travel to a particular country rests with the Provost.

No, the FDF cannot cover the costs of canceled trips. When this happens, faculty typically arrange any refunds or credits and absorbs any additional non-refundable costs. Although we are not allowed to treat travel insurance as a reimbursable item, many faculty members purchase travel insurance in order reduce the financial loss of an unforeseeable cancellation.