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Jefferson Science Fellows Travel Guide


This page provides you with information regarding travel authorization, and travel reimbursement. You must complete the documents described below to be reimbursed. Only allowable and incurred expenses will be reimbursed. This Travel Guide should not be considered all-inclusive as it is not possible to cover every scenario that you may experience as you plan and take a trip.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is required to follow all Federal Travel Regulations (FTR), USAID Automated Directives System (ADS) and the Fly America Act (FAA). For additional information concerning domestic travel please visit For additional information concerning foreign travel please visit For information on travel vaccinations please visit

If you have any travel questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Fellowship Office Travel at (202) 334-2909 or

Travel and Professional-Development Information

The following is a list of travel requirements for your Jefferson Science Fellowship.

1. All travel and professional development activities require submission of a Travel Authorization (TA) form prior to incurring costs. All International travel requires a JSF International Travel Worksheet. These forms can be found on the Jefferson Fellows Travel Information web page. You must use a separate Travel Authorization form for each trip or professional development. Any changes to the approved TA must be reported to as soon as possible.

2. The Travel Authorization form must be signed by you and your USAID Supervisor. We will request approval from the AOR and NAS Financial signature. The Travel Authorization form should be submitted by email no later than 1 week in advance for domestic travel and 2 weeks in advance for international travel. International travel requires additional authorization from the National Academies’ Office of Contracts and Grants which can take up to five business days.

3. An approved Travel Authorization authorizes you to travel or participate in professional development activities and incur necessary expenses in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. All expenses that are approved on the Travel Authorization Form and require reimbursement must adhere to the National Academies and Federal Government policies, regulations, and laws. Expenses that do not comply with the above and not listed on the Travel Authorization will not be reimbursed.

4. A Travel Authorization Form must include your full name, cellphone number, e-mail address, date of birth, gender and completed cost estimate section. Be sure to include the date(s) of travel, all meeting or activity dates, purpose of travel or professional development activity and itinerary. When necessary please provide additional details in the body of the email. A Travel Authorization Form that is missing information will delay the approval process.

5. Cost estimates should be as accurate as possible and must include any expense for which you plan to request reimbursement from the National Academies. Expenses claimed on the Travel Expense Report that were not listed on the approved Travel Authorization Form will require justification and additional approval. This will delay the reimbursement process.

6. Lodging expenses are reimbursed on an itemized, actual cost basis. Meals are reimbursed as a flat rate per diem. Costs must not exceed the federal per diem allowance which can be found on the GSA website for domestic travel, the U.S. Department of Defense website for travel to Alaska, Hawaii and US territories, and the U.S. Department of State website for international travel. Expenses that exceed the per diem will not be reimbursed. Travel dates are typically the day before and day after the meeting dates. Per diem for travel days is calculated at 75% of the daily per diem. Expenses that exceed per diem will not be reimbursed.

7. Domestic lodging per diem rates do not include hotel taxes. Domestic hotel taxes are claimed and reimbursed as a separate expense. International per diem rates include hotel room rate and hotel taxes. If you have difficulty securing conventional lodging (nonconventional lodging is not reimbursable) within the Per Diem rate, please contact

8. The National Academies requires that you use the Travel Agency for both domestic and international travel. You may contact Omega World Travel Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST at 866.740.0627 or email to make your travel arrangements.

9. The Travel Agency will provide you with an estimate of airfare and will assure that travel complies with FAA regulations. You may contact the Travel Agency at any time, but will not be able to book travel until your TA has been approved.

10. Allowable costs for lodging and meals are based on the prescribed maximum per diem rate established by the United States government for each location within or outside of the United States. Domestic (including Hawaii, Alaska, and United States Territories) per diem rates may be found at Foreign per diem rates may be found at Expenses that exceed per diem will not be reimbursed.   

11. When traveling by air, note the Fly America Act requires that you travel on a US-flag carrier whenever such carriers exist between points of travel. The Travel Agency can advise you on the requirements of the Fly America Act and will ensure that your travel does not violate federal travel regulations.  

12. Travel within 50 miles and under 12 hours from your USAID office is considered "local" travel. For approved local travel, you may be reimbursed for transportation, registration fees (if applicable), and any tolls and/or parking expenses incurred as part of your travel. Lodging and meals are not allowable expenses for local travel. All receipts are required for local travel.

13. Use of a rental car requires prior approval. Please include the justification for the rental car on the Travel Authorization Form. When you book a rental car with the Travel Agency, it will be billed directly. By using the Travel Agency, you will automatically be insured by the National Academies. The cost of additional insurance is at your own expense. Gas receipts must be submitted with the Travel Expense Report regardless of amount.

14 Should you choose to use your personal vehicle (POV) rather than a commercial airline, you will be reimbursed at the current government mileage rate plus any applicable tolls and/or parking expenses. Gasoline costs are included in the government mileage rate and will not be reimbursed separately. Reimbursement for travel by POV is limited to the cost of a comparable airfare.

15. When personal travel is combined with official State Department travel, any change in travel cost must be documented by the Travel Agency. Any increase in travel cost, including airfare and applicable change fees, as a result of combining personal and business travel is your financial responsibility. Personal travel days will not be covered under per diem.

16. If you require a change in itinerary due to a missed connection, canceled flight, or other circumstance, you must contact the Travel Agency. The 24 hour toll-free number is 1-866-740-0627. . Any changes to the original Travel Authorization Form, including cancellations, changes to travel dates, or changes in estimated cost, should be reported to Fellowship Office Travel Unit at 202.334.2909 or as soon as possible.

17. CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE - The National Academies emergency travel insurance is provided by SOS. Additional insurance costs will be your financial responsibility.

18. Upon completion of travel, please visit Concur Solutions at to enter in your travel expenses in order to be reimbursed. Go here for instructions on how to submit out-of-pocket travel expenses.  You must notify upon completion of your report within 10 days of your travel end date.

19. To be reimbursed for expenses incurred during travel, you must submit valid itemized receipts for expenses $75 and over; receipts are uploaded with your Travel Expense Report in Concur. Receipts with handwritten notations, corrections, or changes will not be accepted. All expenses must be converted to United States dollars, and foreign receipts must be accompanied by an English translation.

20. Air or rail receipts should be obtained from the Travel Agency. A valid receipt includes the following:

- Your name
- Itinerary and/or Invoice
- Airline flight number and name of the air carrier issuing the ticket
- Transportation cost and tax information
- Total expense
- Form of payment (unless Direct Billed)
- Zero balance or other notation indicating full payment was made

21. You are authorized to receive reimbursement for fees for the first checked bag, which will be treated as an airline fee.

22. Receipts are required for lodging expenses, regardless of cost. When sharing lodging, be sure that your name is listed on the receipt. A valid lodging receipt includes the following:

- Your name
- Provider of and date(s) of service
- Room and tax rates
- Total expense
- Form of payment (conversion rate if applicable)
- Zero balance or other notation indicating full payment was made

23. The fixed meal per diem configuration in Concur will automatically populate the meal per diem for the meeting location once the itinerary is completed.

24. You must submit the final, detailed rental vehicle receipt. A valid rental vehicle receipt must include:

- Your name
- Rental rate and applicable taxes and fees
- Date(s) of rental
- Total cost
- Form of payment
- Zero balance or other notation indicating full payment was made

25. Conference registration fee receipts come in various formats. Any receipt submitted for reimbursement must include the following:

- Your name
- Name and date of conference
- Services included in fee
- Total expense
- Form of payment
- Zero balance or other notation indicating that full payment was made

26. Fellows placed at USAID may request reimbursement for professional development activities.

27. In the absence of an original receipt, you may submit a copy of your Credit/Debit Card Statement which clearly shows payment of services and date.

28. Third party payments (when another person or entity pays the expense on your behalf and you reimburse that party) cannot be reimbursed.

29. No claims are allowed for personal expenses such as entertainment, child care/elder care, sightseeing, tours, personal telephone calls, ATM fees or laundry/dry cleaning.

30. The reimbursement process is a coordinated effort between the Fellowships Office Travel Unit, the Academies’ Travel Office, and the Travel Accounting Department. The reimbursement process takes approximately 4 - 6 weeks from the time our office processes the Travel Expense Report to the time the payment is processed. Missing and/or incomplete receipts and/or travel documentation will delay reimbursement.

If you have any questions about this document or other travel concerns please contact