Travel Applications

Application Form

The application form, found in the gnosis TDF application site and on the TDF web page, includes a 250- to 750-word statement of objectives along with an itemized budget and budget rationale. Applications with inadequate statements and/or unjustified budget items are likely to be denied.

Expenses Covered

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.

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 TDF Committee expects individual applicants to act responsibly with this collective benefit by keeping costs as reasonable as possible.

  • The TDF 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 TDF 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 $0.54 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, ridesharing apps, and 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 TDF funds by selecting a hotel with the lowest reasonable rates for the area to which you are travelling.
  • 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, TDF would fund three nights (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday). TDF 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 TDF 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 TDF 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.


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 TDF 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.

Expenses Not Covered

  • 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.
  • Optional conference events, such as banquets or tours, are not supported.
  • 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 conferences within 50 miles of USF are not supported.
  • 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.
  • 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 improving teaching effectiveness for a particular course or courses; applicants must first discuss this with their area Associate Dean.)

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:

  • TDF application form, which includes the statement of objectives, itemized budget and budget rationale, and explanations of any exceptions in the 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)
  • three hotel rate quotes
  • local transportation receipts, if applying after travel has taken place


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 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 and its relative priority in your application. You should also include a contingency plan (or Plan B), including the costs of the trips if taken individually, in the event that the TDF Committee denies or finds issues with one part of the application.

You must fill out a Request to Be Absent form prior to your travel. This form must be signed by both the department chair and the appropriate Associate Dean. Failure to complete this form for TDF-related travel may endanger your future TDF travel applications.

The best thing to do is to apply and to indicate when you expect to hear about final plans. You can then update the TDF Committee when you’ve heard from the conference organizers. You may also choose to wait and apply retroactively. It is also always advisable to include in your statement of objectives any other professional reasons you plan on attending the conference beyond, or instead of, the presentation of a paper.