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Travel Reimbursement Policy - Graduate Students

Concur www.princeton.edu/concur, the Travel and Expense System, must be used to request student travel for individuals. All University-sponsored trips must be submitted through the Concur System.

Concur allows you to:
- Plan, estimate expenses, and book travel online
- Maintain an online profile to store information such as frequent flyer numbers and other preferences
- Upload electronic copies of your receipts 
- Create expense reports and get reimbursed
- Create non travel reimbursement requests

The complete travel policy can be found: http://finance.princeton.edu/policy-library/travel-entertainment/travel-policy/

How to set up your profile

Under Expense Delegates you will need to add your adviser’s faculty assistant.  Please see attached to view the faculty assistants.  

You will need to check off “can prepare” AND “can view receipts.”

Under Travel Settings, Assistants/Arrangers you will need to add your adviser’s faculty assistant as a travel arranger.  Please check off “can book travel for me.”

Under Expense Settings, Expense Approvers you need to add Michele Brown as your approver.  (When adding Michele Brown as your approver, search “mjbrown@cs.princeton.edu” to bring up the correct Michele Brown).

Please verify your @princeton and @cs.princeton email addresses, along with any others you may use when arranging travel or submitting expenses.  You can elect to have emails sent to one or multiple addresses, but verifying emails allows you and your expense delegate to upload documents to your account via email.

1. Once you have saved an email address, click the "Verify" link.
2. Check your email for a verification message from Concur.
3. Copy the code from the email message into the "Enter Code" box next to the email address below.
4. Click "OK" to submit the code and complete verification.

What to do before arranging travel

Graduate students must obtain an email from their adviser confirming that their expected travel is authorized and which account the faculty’s assistant should charge the expenses to.  They should then forward this to their faculty’s assistant.

Foreign travel must be registered with and approved by the Graduate School prior to making travel arrangements.  Instructions for this, as well as other steps to take before traveling can be found here: http://travel.princeton.edu/graduate-students/checklist

How to arrange Travel

For most travel the preferred method of arranging travel is for you to add your personal credit card information to your Concur profile and use the Concur system for all arrangements.  You will then submit for reimbursement (see below).

If you need the help of a travel agency, have complicated travel, or need the department to pay for your arrangements up front, contact your travel arranger.  They will be able to put you in touch with our contracted travel agency, World Travel and have the charges applied to their credit card.   At that point you will be able to contact World Travel via email or by phone.   

Under some circumstances, your delegate may allow you to charge travel arrangements or other business expenses to their department credit card.  You cannot enter your delegate’s card information into your Concur profile or make any charges without prior approval.  You will be required to provide your adviser’s approval for the expense and receipts to support the charges.

If the conference you are attending has arranged for a “conference rate” on hotel rooms, you should follow the instructions provided by the conference to take advantage of the often substantial discounts.  Conference rates cannot be utilized via World Travel.

How to be reimbursed

You have 30 days from the day you incurred an approved travel expense to request reimbursement. The faster you submit your expense report, the faster you will be reimbursed.  Because of this 30 day window, you will often have to submit expenses for a single trip on a series of expense reports.  Your expense delegate may add trip id numbers to your expense reports for tracking purposes. 

Receipts must be provided for all travel related expenses over $50. It is strongly recommended that you keep your receipts under $50 so that you substantiate your expenses when you fill out your expense report upon return from your trip. The Computer Science Department requires itemized receipts for travel. 

Instructions on how to create an expense report can be found here: http://upkdocs.princeton.edu/Prime/Manage_the_Concur_Profile/Index.html.  Select “ online training” and then select the following "Creating a New Expense Report".  This 5 minute video demonstrates how to create a new expense report.

Many of the instructions on creating expense reports discuss including charges to departmental credit cards, which you will ignore.  You should not include charges to departmental credit cards on your expense reports.  Those charges should only appear on credit card reports for the

To start a report you will need to enter Department 25500 and Fund A0001.

You will need to upload a copy of the email from your adviser approving your travel to your expense report.  To do this, from within the expense report select “Receipts”, “Attach Receipt Images”, and upload the document from your computer.  The email can be in a .png, .jpg, .jpeg, .pdf, .html, .tif or .tiff formats, but cannot be uploaded from the receipt store or via email at this time.

Once you have completed your expense report, notify your expense delegate.  Do not hit “submit report” until your expense delegate has had a chance to review your report and add the appropriate accounting information. 

You must notify your expense delegate if your report is returned to you for any reason.

International Student Travel

As you know, Princeton University encourages domestic and international travel supporting academic research, work, conferences, service, and study.  With the academic year underway, we thought it might be helpful to remind you of the University’s international travel expectations and resources. 


In terms of expectations, please note that all University-sponsored graduate student international travel must be registered in the travel registration system Concur.  Students with In Absentia status who are traveling to an international location must also register regardless of whether they are receiving University funding or external funding.  Please be aware that failure to comply with this requirement may result in revocation of funding.

A trip is considered sponsored by the University if:

  • a University account contributes funds or money is held and disbursed through a University account  (this includes your Graduate School stipend and funds supporting travel to international conferences, courses, or meetings).
  • the trip is organized on behalf of a registered University organization, including but not limited to: student organizations, religious groups, sport clubs, varsity athletic teams, civic engagement organizations, residential colleges, academic or administrative departments
  • the trip is organized by a University faculty or staff member
  • the work will be considered for academic credit or is otherwise related to the student’s program of study.

For more information on this system and the process of registering travel, please review the following link: https://travel.princeton.edu/graduate-students/checklist.  The registration process for international travel is considered to be part of the responsibilities that come along with being a Princeton graduate student, so please take the time to review this website.  If you have questions about the registration process, please contact Beth Zawodniak bzawodni (@princeton.edu).

Travel Resources

There are many international travel resources available at Princeton and beyond.  Some of the key resources available to students are:

  • University Health Services (UHS) – all international travelers are urged to contact Travel Medicine prior to departure.  UHS, and Travel Medicine in particular, offers pre-departure planning, immunizations, travel related prescriptions, education, and post-travel evaluation of medical problems acquired abroad.  More information on Travel Medicine can be found here: http://uhs.princeton.edu/medical-services/travel-planning.
  • Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) – as part of the travel registration process, students must enroll in STEP and request automatic alert updates from the U.S. State Department on the countries they are visiting.  STEP enrollment allows the U.S. State Department to better assist people in an emergency situation.  More information on STEP enrollment can be found here: https://step.state.gov/step/
  • International SOS – as part of the travel registration process, students must read the International SOS information and obtain an International SOS card. For information and to print a card see: https://travel.princeton.edu/international-sos.  International SOS provides emergency and support services for international travelers.  Students should contact International SOS when they encounter problems or difficulties abroad. 
  • Student Health Plan (SHP) – SHP offers health coverage worldwide.  Please note, though, that SHP does not make direct payment to healthcare providers outside of the U.S.  As a result, students must make arrangements for payment and then file a claim for reimbursement with Aetna Student Health.  More information on SHP coverage can be found here: http://uhs.princeton.edu/medical-services/travel-planning.

Extra Help

Your expense delegate can answer many of the questions you may have.  

For guidance see http://travel.princeton.edu/graduate-students/student-training

Labs and Classes for more personal assistance and classroom instruction: (login required)


Additional questions can be called into PRIME support at 8-3080.

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