Travel Reimbursement Procedure

Upon your return from travel, complete the BME Reimbursement Request Form and submit to along with required receipts and supporting documents for reimbursement. Please combine all itemized receipts and supporting documents into one PDF (in chronological order). If claiming per diem, fill out this Per Diem Travel LogThe request should be submitted within 14 days of your return from travel.

Reimbursement Policy and Procedure

All travel expenditures must be (i) documented as to business purpose, (ii) allocable to an appropriate funding source (chart string), and (iii) approved by an appropriate supervisor. Travelers need to review NU Travel Policy prior to expending personal funds for business travel to determine if such expenses are allowable and reimbursable.

Pre-trip considerations

  • Registration and abstract fees for a conference could be paid with a department's credit card (preferred method). Reach out to your assigned accounting specialist to place the charge on the credit card.
  • University-designated travel agency Egencia could be used to book flights and hotels (preferred method).

Required Supporting Documents

  • For conference travel, please include proof of attendance (copy of a badge or certificate of attendance). If using grant (sponsored) funds, provide supporting documentation on how this expense/conference attendance benefited the project/research (i.e., data was presented, not just professional development).
  • If Egencia was used to book airfare and/or hotel, please include these receipts with reimbursements supporting documents (and mark as non-reimbursable).

Required Receipts

Original itemized receipts must be submitted for all travel expenses (monthly credit card and/or bank statements alone are not acceptable as backup documentation). Receipts are not required for meals if the per diem reimbursement method is selected (see Per Diem below for details).

Conference registration and abstract fees

  • Registration receipt/invoice showing conference and/or abstract fee payment, as well as the name and dates of conference.


  • Airfare: Flight confirmation showing origin and destination, flight dates, and the total amount (including fees and taxes). See Foreign Travel section for international airfare restrictions.
  • Ground transportation:
    • Taxi/Ubers/Lyft, rail, shuttle service, and parking: Each receipt should include origin and destination (if applicable), and travel date.
    • Personal auto use (mileage reimbursement): Google Map showing route origin and destination, and mileage (fuel costs are included in the per-mile reimbursement; tolls and parking may be reimbursed in addition to the mileage). Additional guidance on travel by personal automobile is available here.
    • Commercial rental vehicles: Travelers should rent vehicles in the University’s name with the authorized traveler as the named driver. Under no conditions should the authorized traveler allow another person to operate their rental vehicle. Incidental costs associated with the use of a rental vehicle, including fuel, parking, tolls maybe be reimbursed. 
      Additional commercial vehicle rental and insurance guidelines are available here. 


  • Hotel, Airbnb: Final bill showing number of nights and amount paid (reservation confirmation is not acceptable).


Meals while traveling can be reimbursed using one of the following methods (only one method can be used per trip):

Individual Meal Reimbursements (restaurant receipts): 

  • Submit itemized receipts listing the items purchased. Tips and taxes are reimbursable for meals. 
  • You must pay for only your portion of a group meal and identify your portion on the receipt. Do not pay for other travelers’ meals.

Per Diem

  • An alternative to submitting individual receipts for meals is the use of per diem. Per diem is a method of reimbursement that allows a set dollar amount per day and can be found at: per-diem-rates. Northwestern University has instituted the use of per diem for M&IE expenses only, which covers all your meals and misc. incidentals (snacks, tips, fees).   
  • If requesting per diem, provide destination (city, state, country). The first and last day of travel are charged at 75% of the daily rate. 
  • Partial per diem is allowable (e.g., if a conference provides lunch, one can still use per diem by subtracting the lunch allowance). 
  • Per diem is not allowed for in-town travel. 


Foreign Travel

Use of foreign-based carriers is restricted on sponsored programs (grants). Use of foreign carriers is allowed on non-sponsored sources of funds. See the "Fly America Act" for more information. 

For a transaction in a foreign currency, please include the original receipt plus bank/credit card statement showing the charge in US currency.  


If you are requesting to be reimbursed for travel more than 90 days after your return, or you are requesting reimbursement for an expense that falls outside of the travel policy guidelines, you will be required to complete the Reimbursement Exception & 90-Day Exception Form.