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Departmental Contacts: Davis Chong / Sarah O'Hara

Scan/Email all receipts/forms to

COVID-19 Phase 3Official international travel and non-essential domestic travel are restricted under University Guidelines. Non-essential personal travel is strongly discouraged. Check with your unit’s leadership regarding unit-specific restrictions. The UW International Travel Risk and Safety Committee (ITRASC) is reviewing UW international travel policies regarding COVID-19. Clear guidance and expectations for faculty and graduate students hoping to travel for research, sabbatical, and other official UW business is expected by Summer 2021.

Below are detailed travel instructions specific to UW Biology. Visit the Travel Office website for a full list of Washington State rules and regulations pertaining to travel. The Travel Office has helpful forms that travelers can fill out to better log their reimbursement information.

Keep these short rules in mind. Talk to your departmental contact before you make travel arrangements if your travel is in conflict with this general advice.

  1. PI and chair authorization before travel.
  2. 100% UW business.
  3. Original, itemized receipts.
  4. Every item has a reimbursement limit.
  5. Pay only for yourself.  If you choose to ignore this rule, you will need itemized receipts for everything, including food.
  6. Do NOT pay for anything with Venmo/Zelle etc. You will not be reimbursed.

Information for grad students seeking financial support for travel.

Travel Authorization / Reimbursement Instructions

UW Biology denizens must receive departmental authorization prior to travel. Fill out the authorization form at: My Profile > My Travel > Create a Travel Authorization Request. You must fill out an authorization request before you can fill out a reimbursement request. You can be reimbursed for expenses before you travel. For detailed instructions:

Profile Access Instructions

Travel Authorization Form Instructions

Travel Reimbursement Form Instructions

Instructions for Non-Biology & Non-UW Travelers

Travel Insurance & Emergencies

The Office of Global Affairs and Global Operations Support  fosters safe travel for all UW students, faculty, and staff travelling abroad. They provide information on emergencies, insurance coverage, and security, as well as the following services: 

All UW employees (faculty/staff/postdocs) are covered for travel insurance [via CISI] while traveling on UW-related business. If you purchase your own travel insurance it is NOT refundable.

Student International Travel Policy (including Graduate Student-Employees: this is reimburseable)

UW Students traveling abroad are required to:

  1. Register international travel with the Office of Global Affairs
  2. Purchase comprehensive medical and evacuation insurance while abroad
  3. Request a waiver for travel to high risk destinations

Students who fail to register their international travel in accordance with this policy may not receive University assistance in case of emergency.

Travel Visas and Passports

The UW contracts with ABriggs for all visa and passport services. Enter your travel details to get started.

Vendor Payment via Departmental Credit Card

Airfare (no combined personal travel) and conference registration can be paid for on department cards that automatically charge your budget. 

After your travel is fully authorized contact either Sarah O’Hara or Davis Chong for their assistance.

  • Airfare: Contact our state-contract travel agent to create an itinerary for you.
  • Registration: If registering online, staff can either set up a time to come to your office or you can bring your laptop, so that you register and we pay for it. 

Other expenses are not allowed on departmental cards for UW personnel.

If you need hotel arrangements for a visitor, contact Davis with details.

Personal and Business Travel Combined

  • If you are taking personal time before/after/during a UW trip, talk to a departmental contact BEFORE making travel arrangements. This also applies if you will be starting or ending your trip from a destination that is not your home/work station.
  • You must create a comparison itinerary without personal time BEFORE traveling (for the dates you would have traveled without personal time).
  • Create your comparison itinerary at the same time you buy your airfare.  Airfare prices fluctuate depending on the day, so your comparison needs to be accurate for audit purposes.
  • provides the best comparison itineraries (print the page with all airfare options).
  • Thorough instructions/rules for creating comparison itineraries.
  • Failing to create a comparison itinerary as directed will delay and possibly reduce your reimbursement.

Common Travel Expenses

A comprehensive list of expenses can be found on the Travel Office website.

New!  Receipts are required for ALL foreign travel expenses (even those under $75).

Expense Type Receipt Required? Limits on Reimbursement
Anything (except your own meals) purchased with foreign funds Yes. Even expenses under $75.  
Airfare Yes; must contain full itinerary & billing info. Can be reimbursed prior to travel.
Hotel Yes; folio must show name & check in/out dates and tax paid.

Must be within CONUS lodging per diem limits. Standard rate is $77/day before tax.

Back up documentation must be attached that supports the lodging exception reason chosen for going over the allowable per diem rate.

  1. Conference hotel: pdf or screenshot of hotel listed as conference/recommended hotel
  2. Lower cost overall: hotel and ground transportation comparisons
  3. Suite: UW business explanation requiring suite
  4. Special event/disaster: newspaper article or screenshot showing special event or disaster
  5. Safety/health: statement from adminstrator or higher 
  6. Non UW: type of traveler listed as Non UW
Food No; unless PI requires.

Must be within CONUS meal per diem limits. Standard rate is $51/day (B$13 L$15 D$23).

Do NOT pay for others' food.

Mileage Yes; Mapquest results or mileage log.

Only for personal vehicles.

Provide Mapquest results for point-to-point driving.

Use the odometer and provide a mileage log for visiting multiple destinations.

Car Rental Yes; must show in/out dates and driver info. Traveler must be sole driver. Do NOT use Turo. It will not be reimbursable.
Gas (Rental Car) Yes. Only for car rentals.
Registration Yes. Can be reimbursed prior to travel. Packaged lodging and memberships are reimbursable.
Travel insurance. Students only. Must follow Student International Travel Policy.
Employees are automatically insured.
Supplies Yes. Submit as petty cash.


Receipt Documentation

Updated: 9/3/2021: If you are photographing your receipts with your phone, you must use the Adobe Scan app. JPG quality is unacceptable for records retention purposes.

  • Use natural light, next to a window is good.
  • Center your phone/camera directly over the paperwork, this is not the time to get fancy with angles. 
  • Zoom in enough so the paperwork fills the whole screen, yet doesn't cut off important information.
  • For store receipts with reward info at the bottom that takes up most of the recieipt? We don't need it, crop that out.
  • Save your original receipts just in case.

Fleet Services / UCar

Fleet Services should be used for local trips.  A gas card is provided with the car. You will need to sign up for an account online and complete training to reserve a car. Forward all reservations to Yen Lai (

  • Research budgets: Yen Lai ( is the Budget Approver/Billing Contact.
  • Teaching budgets: Ben Wiggins ( is the Budget Approver/Billing Contact.

If the gas card in your fleet services car doesn't work and you pay for gas, turn in the receipt, rental information, and a detailed explanation of how the gas card didn't work to the Fleet Services office for reimbursement.


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Date last changed Jun 6th, 2022 @ 11:13:56 PDT