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1. Airlines
2. Shuttle Bus Service
3. Automobile Rental
4. Private Automobile

The traveler is responsible for coordinating transportation with a travel agent or directly with the carrier/rental agency. The traveler must confirm departure/arrival dates and times with the airlines as well as pick up/return dates and times with rental agencies, if applicable. All costs and all applicable sales taxes must be determined and submitted on a purchase requisition as described in the sections below.

In some instances, the traveler may wish to charge these transportation expenses to her/his own personal credit card to take advantage of special travel insurance and/or reduced rates that may be available. This is acceptable; however, the traveler must be aware that the cost of personal travel insurance and interest charges that may accrue as a result of the use of a personal credit card will NOT be reimbursed. The traveler must also keep in mind that a personal expense reimbursement may be denied if the expense is deemed unallowable or if budget is not available. Non-refundable transportation expenses may be reimbursed prior to travel. A copy of the paid invoice or ticket(s), clearly marked non-refundable, must be attached to a completed Disbursement Request, signed by the PI, and forwarded to the SR grant specialist for approval.

1. Airlines

All air travel must be economy or coach class, and special, low-cost rates should be used when possible. If any other class of air travel such as "first class," “business class” or “economy plus” is requested, SDSU Research Foundation is responsible for the basic economy or coach rate only. Please note that most federally-funded programs require travelers to use U.S. flag carriers in accordance with the Fly America Act. See your SR grant specialist for details of this requirement.

To purchase airline tickets, the traveler completes a Purchase Requisition signed by the PI or designee, and forwards it to the SR administrator for approval. The purchasing department then processes the Purchase Requisition and a Purchase Order is issued to the vendor. Alternate vendor bids are not required for airline tickets.

CAUTION: Should you choose to use your frequent flyer benefits to acquire airline tickets for business use, you are not eligible for reimbursement of the cost of a comparable ticket.

2. Shuttle Bus Service

The travel agent or hotel can provide information about shuttle bus or similar service, which should be used when reasonable instead of taxi service or rental cars for travel to and from airports.

3. Automobile Rental

To reserve a rental car the traveler completes a Purchase Requisition signed by the PI or designee, and forwards it to the SR administrator for approval. The purchasing department then processes the Purchase Requisition and a Purchase Order is issued to the vendor. Alternate vendor bids are not required for automobile rentals.

An economy or intermediate class vehicle should be requested by the traveler. These classes should be used unless a no-cost upgrade is provided or if the recommended sizes are not adequate to meet the business purpose of the trip. The traveler should provide an explanation to justify the business need for an upgraded vehicle if there is an additional cost associated with the rental.

Note that the rental of any vehicle designed, used, or maintained for carrying more than ten passengers, including the driver, is expressly prohibited without prior approval of SDSURF’s risk management department. For additional information, contact SDSURF’s risk management department.

Automobile insurance for rented vehicles is provided for SDSURF employees, PIs, and project staff who are employed by SDSURF and are participating in SDSURF-related business activities. When employees rent vehicles to conduct SDSURF business, they should advise the rental agency that they are renting the car to use while on SDSURF business and deny the comprehensive, collision, and general liability coverages. All three of these coverages are provided under a single SDSURF policy. If a rental agency requires proof of insurance, a Certificate of Auto Insurance outlining policy coverage is available at . Please note: there is a $1,000 deductible and SDSURF’s policy does not cover damage for rentals of more than thirty (30) consecutive days or for losses reported more than forty-five (45) days from date of loss. All uninsured losses and the $1,000 deductible will be charged to the project or department.

SDSURF’s automobile insurance does not cover loss of an employee’s personal property. Some rental agencies provide personal property coverage. Most homeowner or renter policies provide this coverage for employees when they rent vehicles, but employees should review those policies to ensure that this exposure is covered. If not, the employee has the option to purchase, at their own expense, coverage for personal belongings.

Medical and/or personal accident insurance is not an allowable business expense, and if purchased, shall be the sole responsibility of the traveler.

For any SDSURF vehicle, rental car, or personal vehicle used for travel in a foreign territory on SDSURF business, auto liability and physical damage coverage must be purchased in advance from a reputable insurance company, prior to entering that country. Since foreign insurance coverage and programs are individualized, the auto insurance purchased must be applicable to all foreign territories within the route of travel.

4. Private Automobile

Effective January 1, 2016, the claimant may be reimbursed for business use of a privately owned automobile at the not-to-exceed rate of fifty-four (54¢) per mile (The rate for 2015 was 57.5¢). Please note that some grants and/or contracts may require more restrictive reimbursement rates. Check with the SR grant specialist for clarification. Persons authorized to use their private vehicle for SDSU Research Foundation-managed business are required to submit mileage and parking reimbursement claims on SDSU Research Foundation’s Mileage Reimbursement Claim form.  The requestor is authorized to use this form whenever the expense is for mileage and parking expenses only.  When mileage plus a meal and incidental expense allowance is requested, SDSU Research Foundation’s Travel Reimbursement Request form must be used.

Each mileage reimbursement claim is audited for compliance with SDSU Research Foundation travel policies. If a reimbursement claim requires adjustments or corrections totaling less than ten dollars, accounts payable makes the adjustment and issues the check for the correct amount. Accounts payable staff notify the requester of adjustments only when the adjusted amount is equal to or greater than ten dollars. In these instances, accounts payable returns the request with an explanation of the adjustment to the requester. If able to provide additional receipts and/or explanation for the disallowed expense, the requester may resubmit the disbursement request to the SR grant specialist, who approves and then forwards to accounts payable for processing.

There is sometimes confusion about what mileage is eligible for reimbursement when you are required to go to more than one job site in a given day. The general rule of thumb is that the first and last commutes of the day are not eligible for reimbursement. Examples to illustrate this point follow:

Should you qualify and choose to use this exemption, you are required to complete a Certification of Eligibility for Reimbursement of Automobile Mileage – Office in Home form and attach this to your Mileage Reimbursement Request form.  These forms are located on SDSU Research Foundation’s web site at AP Forms

In the event that a traveler can use air travel, and chooses instead to use a private vehicle, he/she will be reimbursed at the current mileage rate or the equivalent of a round-trip airfare, whichever is less. The average cost of round-trip airfare is to be determined by SDSU Research Foundation’s travel coordinator. Justification for the use of a private vehicle must be included with the travel reimbursement claim. The traveler may not receive a meal and incidental expense for the personal time spent traveling via private vehicle as compared to the air travel time to the same destination.

The rates of reimbursement for mileage include the cost of maintaining liability insurance at the minimum amount prescribed by law and collision insurance sufficient to cover the reasonable value of the vehicle, less a standard deductible. A private vehicle must not be used on SDSU Research Foundation business unless the following requirements are in effect:

The vehicle owner must be aware that her/his personal automobile insurance is the primary insurance in the event of an accident. The insurance policy covering the primary owned vehicle will respond to the accident. SDSURF will not provide primary insurance coverage. If you do not want your personal auto insurance to be involved, do not use your auto on SDSU Research Foundation business. SDSU Research Foundation’s insurance coverage is only applicable if the auto owner’s liability exceeds her/his personal liability insurance coverage. Insurance carriers normally allow the occasional use of privately owned vehicles for business trips without an increase in premium rates. If a private vehicle is regularly used on SDSU Research Foundation business, an employee should notify her/his insurance carrier.

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