Travel is allowable as a direct cost when it takes place as part of a proposal and is subsequently awarded as travel in the budget line item. All awards are subject to specific agency restrictions, as well as The Research Foundation’s Travel Guidelines and Transportation for Project Related Travel.
Note that a sponsor’s terms and conditions must be followed with regard to foreign travel. Many sponsors require prior approval for foreign travel, even when the foreign travel has been included in the initially approved budget. See Fly America Act.
Sponsored project travel has a high audit profile and is routinely examined by internal, external and sponsor auditors. Therefore, each transaction must be adequately documented. Documentation must provide clarity so that anyone reviewing the transaction can verify that it is allowable, allocable and reasonable.
If travel costs are not allowable, allocable, reasonable, consistently treated and sufficiently documented, they cannot be charged to a sponsored research project.