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Office for Research and Graduate Education

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Sponsored Project Funded Travel

General Guidelines for Sponsored Project Funded Travel

Man wearing a suit in an airport wheeling his luggage behind him and using a cell phone.Travel costs expensed against OSP awards/grants must be pre-approved and justified with business purpose description consistent with sponsor regulations. University travel policy must always be adhered to, and sponsored project agreements contain specific guidelines pertaining to the eligibility for advance payment or reimbursement of all expenditures, including travel. Travelers are cautioned to validate what expenditures are permitted on specific sponsored projects. The OSP Travel Office and the sponsored program officer are available for consultation as needed.

Workday Job Aid – How to Travel

Note: To request authorization for business travel. A spend authorization (SA#) must be created in Workday for each unique business trip. The Spend Authorization must be in an "Approved" status before travel expenses are incurred and before travel departure.

View Job Aid

Air Travel Requirements

Airfare must be purchased through the designated travel agency, and the purchase identified as Office of Sponsored Programs funded.

  • Reservations must be booked as coach or economy fare, unless unavailable at the time of the required travel.
  • A memo of explanation is required with any deviation from economy fare.
  • Travelers must comply with the Fly America Act requiring travelers to use:
    • a U.S. flag air carrier (an airline owned by an American company); or
    • a foreign carrier that operates under a U.S. flag air carrier code-sharing agreement and identifies the U.S. flag air carrier’s designator code and flight number.
    • This requirement applies only to tickets purchased using federally sponsored funds. If university funds are being used and there is question if they are federal in nature, contact your cost center manager.

Per Diem for Personal Meals and Incidentals

Per diem allowances for meals and incidentals are paid after completion of the trip and are based upon per diem rates that vary by city location. These rates include personal meals and incidental expenses (e.g., baggage carriers, housekeeping, porters, service tips).

  • Travelers may be paid at 100% of the per diem allowance for the applicable city location. In general, the per diem allowance for the first and last days of travel is up to 75% of the full per diem rate. Based on specific travel needs, the per diem allowance for the first and last days of travel can be adjusted using the applicable meal percentage (25% breakfast, 25% lunch, 50% dinner) at the unit’s discretion.
    • Travelers may be reimbursed for less than the per diem allowance and need to identify which meals were purchased.
    • The pier diem allowance is authorized for in-state (with overnight) or out-of-state (45 miles or more from the traveler’s residence or headquarters) travel.
    • Full per diem allowances while on travel status will not be paid if a meal is served on the plane, included in a conference registration fee, provided by the hotel as part of the lodging rate, or replaced by a legitimate business meal. The allowance must be adjusted by deducting the appropriate meal percentage (25% breakfast, 25% lunch, 50% dinner) from the full per diem allowance for the applicable city location.

Extended Travel P Card and Cash Advances

In the event the business travel will be for an extended period or traveling will cause an undue hardship for staff or students, a cash advance can be requested or the traveler can obtain a GET(group/extended travel) Card. For extended travel with multiple reservations, the GET Card would be most appropriate and cash advances are most suited for a single stay. Accommodations can be reserved in advance by either the GET Card, pre-payment through Corporate Travel Planners (CTP) or by the traveler when they receive their cash advance.    

Group/Extended Travel (GET) PCard

  • Issued in PCardholder name
  • Limits: $2,500/transaction and $7,500/cycle (adjustable to trip needs)
  • Contingent upon 2 or more travelers or for an individual’s travel that spans 7 or more consecutive days

Pcard Info 

Cash Advances

  • Cash advances can be requested and are processed and approved in Workday. Supporting documentation must be attached to the expense report by the traveler or unit.
  • Cash advances must not be used to front payments for travel expenses for employees (e.g., individual airfare) that are accommodated by other university procurement methods.
  • A cash advance may be issued to a traveler when the following circumstances would cause undue financial hardship as determined by the unit:
    • Ohio State student traveling on behalf of the university – 100% of the total estimated cost, including airfare, can be advanced.
    • Ohio State faculty or staff leading students – 100% of the total estimated cost minus costs covered by other university methods can be advanced.
    • Ohio State faculty and staff traveling internationally – 80% of the total estimated cost minus the costs covered by other university methods can be advanced.
  • Expenses associated with a cash advance must be documented by itemized receipts or equivalent documentation and must be reconciled and substantiated within 30 days of completion of the trip by the traveler.
  • Any cash in excess of the approved reimbursable expenses must be returned to the appropriate unit account or sponsored project within 30 days of completion of the trip by the traveler.


Due to how Airbnb works with accounts and payments, the university is unable to complete any pre-payments from OSU sources. Travelers are generally advised against utilizing Airbnb because of varying cancellation policies depending on the property, however these expenses can be allowable and reimbursed to the traveler with appropriate documentation. Travelers will be required to document all those sharing the stay and their business purposes (if they differ), and to keep in mind the pricing of the Airbnb rental as compared to traditional hotels.

Split Funding between Multiple Sources

The process for documenting travel involving a combination of university and sponsor funding and/or between two different sponsored grants in Workday is done with the “Itemization” feature while creating an expense report. The full process is described in the Administrative Resource Center

Helpful Links:

OSU Travel Office:

OSP/Grant Services Service Center (GSSC) Travel – Jared Heeter:

OSU Travel Policy:

Federal Domestic Per Diem Rates:

Foreign Federal Per Diem Rates:

Administrative Resource Center:

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