Grant Writing

Including Domestic and International Travel in Your Grant Application

There are several reasons why you may want to include travel costs in your project budget, consider: travel to scientific meetings to present your findings, or travel needed for the project itself such as administrative meetings with collaborating institutions.

  • Usually, travel costs are allowable only for trips to scientific conferences to present results, for required meetings of investigators or coordinators, or for purposes that are integral to the successful completion of the study
  • Consistent with your institution’s established travel policy, travel costs for employees working on the grant-supported project may include associated per diem or subsistence allowances and other travel-related expenses, such as mileage allowances if travel is by personal automobile.
  • Foreign travel is usually defined as any travel outside of Canada and the United States and its territories and possessions. However, you will want to double-check with your funding agency.
  • Travel may include any domestic and/or international travel by an employee or other personnel directly related to and necessary for the project and within the limits explained by the funding agency.
  • Travel costs should be itemized per trip and described as either scientific travel or programmatic travel, as outlined below:
    • Scientific Travel—including travel to present at conferences, symposiums, and so forth.
    • Programmatic Travel—including travel needed for the conduct of the project (i.e., focus groups, consultants, and others).
    • For each category of travel (scientific and programmatic), you should include the number of trips and a brief description of the trips to include the number of people traveling, and dates or duration of the stay.
  • Airline costs should not exceed those in excess of the customary standard commercial airfare (coach or equivalent) or the lowest commercial discount airfare. The lowest reasonable commercial airfares must be used. You should take advantage of discount fares for airline travel through the advance purchase of tickets if travel schedules can be planned in advance (such as for national meetings and other scheduled events).
  • In the budget justification, provide additional detail to explain the basis for the travel costs listed and describe how the travel is directly related to the proposed research (and is necessary for achieving programmatic objectives).

Further Reading