layout University Affiliated Research Center - UC Santa Cruz - NASA Ames Research Center

Financial Resources: Travel

UARC Travel Chart
Pre-Travel Authorization Request
  • Conference Travel Requirement
  • Foreign Travel Requirement
Pre-Travel: FAQ
Post-Travel: FAQ
Pre-Training/Education Authorization
Moving/Relocation Reimbursement
Travel: Helpful Links
Quick Links

Travel Guide - Domestic

Travel Guide - Foreign

Allowable Expenses

Lodging Contracts

Rental Car Contracts

Foreign Per Diem Rates

UARC Travel Chart

Pre-Travel Authorization Request

MANDATORY - ALL UARC employees are required to send a Travel Authorization Request email with the information below (within the email, not as an attachment) prior to making any travel arrangements. Reimbursement is contingent upon receipt of ALL required approvals.


To: Task Requestor and Task Manager, with a copy to Joyce Chao and Andrei Trifonov (for paper or presentation only).

Subject Line: Last Name, Dates Traveling, Travel Destination and/or Name of Conference

Name of Traveler
Task Number
Dates of Travel (include personal days, if applicable)
Travel Destination
Reason for Travel (include conference link, if applicable)
Copy of Paper or Presentation, if applicable
Estimated Cost Total (must be within 10% of actual cost)
  • Airfare (round trip)
  • Confirm that you will be using a U.S. Flag carrier
  • Lodging and Meals
  • Other (Transportation to/fr the Aiport, Internet, Rental Car, etc.)
Travel Criteria
  • How is your travel mission critical or critical to the success of the      program?
  • How are you involved in the purpose of this trip?
  • Are there other means to participate, via telecom, etc?

MANDATORY: Conference Travel Requirement
In addition to the email travel authorization request above, NASA requires all conference travel to be approved through the NASA Conference Tracking System and by our CO and COR 90 days PRIOR to the start of the conference.

Contact your org code’s conference POC to be entered into the database. When you have been fully-approved in the database, the system will send you an email stating that you have been approved by the Center Conference Coordinator. If you want to check your progress in the database, you can login with a guest account here.
Once approved in the database, send the pre-travel authorization email to your task requestor and manager. When they have replied with their approvals, we will request concurrence from our COR and CO. This may take up to 2 weeks.
iii. If the conference is within the 90 day window, please begin the process immediately and notify your manager and Joyce Chao.
iv. If you work in org code TI, YA, or YH, please contact Joyce Chao for additional information.

If you are attending a conference/seminar/symposium to speak or present a paper, obtain publication approval for your paper/presentation prior to travel (see Publication Process). Email copies of the approved publication authorizations to Andrei Trifonov.

The UARC will not reimburse travelers for travel costs if the required approvals were not obtained in advance of presentation.

MANDATORY: Foreign Travel Requirement
In addition to the email travel authorization request above, NASA requires that all contractors must be documented in country clearance cables to the U.S. State Department, prior to foreign travel. The International Services Office at the NASA Ames Research Center is responsible for the submission and has instituted a specific form for contractors. The traveler must complete the form at least 3 weeks prior to the travel.

Complete the "NASA International Business Travel Advance Notice Form."
Submit the NASA form to Joyce Chao for review and processing to NASA at least 3 weeks prior to the start of travel. The traveler will be contacted by NASA once all clearance requirements have been received.
iii. UCOP highly recommends that you register your trip with them to ensure additional traveler insurance coverage. The form and more information can be found here.
iv. For your reimbursement request after the travel, please remember that all receipts are required. Lodging expense will be reimbursed on actual costs up to the published per diem. Rates can be found here.

Pre-Travel: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get my airfare paid in advance?
First you would call UC Travel at (800) 235-UCLA and speak with a travel agent to request a flight quote.

To get your airfare paid in advance, you must complete a Travel Advance Request Form (TAR). On this form, you will include the flight quote received from the UC Travel Center. Please complete the personal information and the preliminary budget as accurately as possible and sign the bottom.

Follow the UARC travel authorization email steps, as shown above. Upon travel approval from TR and TM, scan and email the completed TAR to Joyce Chao. The form will be reviewed and submitted to campus for a Trip ID number.

A Trip ID number will be emailed to you within 24 hours. Once received, you will need to call UC Travel with this Trip ID number to complete the booking of your reservation. This Trip ID number is a direct form of payment for the airfare for your trip.

How do I get my conference registration paid in advance?
Follow the UARC travel authorization email steps, as shown above, and then complete a Travel Advance Request Form (TAR).  On this form, include the estimated cost for all travel expenses and make sure to include the conference registration fee in the specified box. You will need to include a print out of the conference registration showing the registration fee and proof of purchase. Upon travel approval from TR and TM, scan and email the completed TAR to Joyce Chao. The documentation will be reviewed and submitted to campus and the payment will be made directly to you. Payments take 10-14 business days to process.

When you submit your post travel reimbursement paperwork after the conference is completed, please make sure to attach proof that you attended the conference (ex. name tag) and a conference agenda.

Note: Advance payments will not be paid until required publication approvals are obtained.

What is the mileage reimbursement rate?
The University's mileage reimbursement rate conforms to the rates set by the Internal Revnue Service. The current rate can be found at this website.

How much should I spend on lodging (domestic travel)?
We ask that you use the government per diem as a guideline for lodging when choosing a hotel.  The per diem rates can be found at this website. Reimbursement of lodging will be based on the original receipt submitted with the post travel reimbursement request.

Should I use per diem or actual expenses for meals and incidentals for domestic travel?
For domestic travel, you must report actual expenses.  However, the maximum you can be reimbursed per day is $74.  For that reason, you will only be reimbursed for $74 on the days your actual expenses exceed this imposed maximum. You must provide receipts for days that exceed $74.

What is the per diem rate for foreign travel?
The foreign per diem rates can be found at this website.

Which receipts do I need to attach to my reimbursement form?
Original detailed receipts for Airfare, Rental Car, Conference Registration, and Lodging are required.  Receipts for each expense of over $75 and house gifts over $25 are also required.

Which expenses are not reimbursable?
We will not reimburse you for car rental insurance, alcohol, or unreasonable excess expenses.

When should I use my private car?
You can use your private car whenever it is more cost efficient than other modes of transportation.  For example, it is sometimes cheaper to drive your car to the airport and park in the long-term parking garage than it is to take a taxi. 

How can I obtain a UC Corporate VISA travel card?
You must complete the VISA card application, return it to the UARC Finance Office for processing. See this page for complete information: Traveler's Guide to Getting a Travel Card.

Post-Travel: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get reimbursed for my travel expenses?
No reimbursement is guaranteed. Please use your best judgment - only the most economical methods are reimbursed. Following the completion of any trip, you must complete the Post Travel Expense Form and the Trip Report, and submit them to the UARC Finance Office within 21 days of your return.

Reimbursement of travel expenses is contingent upon completeness, accuracy, and review.  Please be sure to include all pertinent information to ensure your reimbursement is processed in a timely manner.

How long will it take to get reimbursed once I have submitted my Post Travel Expense Form?
Typically, travel will be reimbursed within 10-14 business days after it has been submitted to the UARC Finance Office.

Pre-Training/Education Authorization

Contact the UARC Finance Office for details.

Moving/Relocation Reimbursements

Please contact the UARC Finance Office for policy information prior to completing the reimbursement form.

Helpful Links

UCSC Travel Guide

UC Travel Center

Personal Auto Usage

UCOP Travel Policy

Corporate Travel Credit Card

Business Travel Accident Insurance

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