Reimbursements are mainly used for travel purposes. Reimbursements should only be used for supplies and services in the case of emergencies or when all other purchasing methods should be exhausted first.

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Policies & Best Practices

  • Cheapest Transportation: Policy requires that individuals traveling on University business choose the least costly method of transportation that meets their scheduling needs. 
  • Air upgrades, seat selection fees, baggage fees in excess of one bag, flight changes, etc., are generally not reimbursable without a documented approved business reason.
  • Flight Comparisons: Flight comparisons should be obtained at the time of the actual flight purchases. The comparison can be a screenshot that has the price, dates, and locations in view. Flight comparisons are required under two circumstances:
    • Anytime the flight to or from the conference is not from or to Minneapolis.
    • Anytime the flight dates are outside the range of business-related travel (within one day before the conference and one day after)
  • International Travel: All International travelers must register prior to departure at the GPS Alliance
  • Personal Travel: Personal travel before or after business travel is allowed but must be clearly documented in the justification. No expenses can be reimbursed for the days considered “Personal Travel”. 
  • Sponsored Travel: For travel on a grant, the justification must include the project name & number, the Principal Investigator (PI) and whether or not you have an effort on the grant. If you’re presenting research, you must provide an abstract or poster that credits the grant.
  • Receipts: When receipts are required, the receipts given must be itemized
    • Note: Meal per diems do not need receipts of any sort
  • Splitting Costs: Splitting costs (hotel/taxi/etc.) is allowed and encouraged to lower costs! If splitting costs the travelers should work out the split amongst themselves and each request reimbursement for their portion of the expense.

Faculty and Staff Reimbursements

Chrome River is the system that Staff and Faculty (non-students) can use to process out-of-pocket reimbursements, Cash Advances, and Travel Card (TCard) transactions.


  • Navigate to Chrome River
    • MyU > Key Links > U Travel > “Chrome River Login”
    • On the U Travel page, you can also find Job Aids to help guide you through Chrome River.
  • Uploading Receipts in Chrome River
    • Website: Click on the three bars on the top left and go into "Receipt Gallery".
      • On the top right there will be a button that says "Upload"
    • Email: Email your receipts as attachments to
      • These emails MUST come from your email.
      • This method does take time to process since Chrome River will try to identify the characteristics of the receipt and pre-enter the date, dollar amount, and vendor. Make sure to double-check these characteristics for accuracy
    • Drag and Drop: When in Chrome River, you can drag and drop receipts from your desktop into the “Attachments” section at the bottom of your expenses.

Student Reimbursements

Students should submit the UM 1911 form along with receipts to

  • Lodging Per Diem: Lodging per diems are 150% of the online listed rate and are compared to the daily room rate only (not including taxes)
    • In Chrome River, the average room rate is what is compared to the Per Diem rate. If the room rate of a night is over the per diem amount, it does not have to be reduced if the average is below the Per Diem rate.
  • Travel Day Meal Per Diems: The first and last day meal per diems are 75% of the total rate

Reimbursements on a Grant

Traveling on a grant is scrutinized more closely due to the stricter budgets.

What to Provide

  • If the purpose of the travel is to present research done on the grant, provide an abstract or poster that credits the grant.
  • A detailed justification that includes the grant number/name, the Primary Investigator (PI), and an explanation of how the travel directly supports the grant. 


Justifications are needed for all financial transactions.  While an expense may be perfectly legitimate, it can be flagged in an audit if it does not have a complete justification in the documentation.

Components of a Good Justification (5W’s)

The Writing Justifications Guide contains further explanations and examples.

A reasonable justification requires a who, what, where, when, and why/how (5W’s)

  • Who: Who is involved in the transaction? (Travelers, Stakeholders)
  • What: What exactly is being paid for?
  • When: For travel, when will the travel take place? For supplies/equipment, when will the items be used? For services, when will/were the services be provided?
  • Where: For travel, where is the destination? For supplies/equipment, where will the items be stored or used? For services, where will the services be provided?
  • How/Why: How does the purchase benefit the university? Why is the purchase necessary?

Other things to include

  • For Charges to Sponsored Projects:
    • identify the project (project number, study title, etc.), principal investigator (PI), and a detailed explanation of how the expenses directly support the aims of the grant.
  • For Subject Payments 
    • All identifying information should be removed and the statement "Documentation will be kept on file in the department, available for audit” should be included.
    • The identifying documents should be held in the lab in the case of an audit.
  • Any Oddities
    • Anything out of the norm should be included in the justification. Clarifications and extra details pertinent to the payment should be included.
Sarah Jahn
Finance and Grants Manager
S253 EltH | 626-7975
Kamran Motevaze
Finance Professional
S252 EltH | 626-8146
Finance Professional
S254 | 625-5429
Ella Curiel
Student Finance Assistant
Anjeanette Roy
Grants Coordinator
N256 EltH | 626-0871
Kristen Abernethy
Grants Coordinator
S250 EltH | 624-4325
Elliot Skurich
Senior Grants Administrator
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