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UTRC Travel Grants

(This Program is closed as of April 30, 2012)

As part of the Education and Workforce Development Program, the Region 2 University Transportation Research Center (UTRC), with financial support from the U.S. Department of Transportation, has limited funds that can be made available to assist with travel to attend or present at conferences within the Continental United States and Puerto Rico. These grants are available to faculty and students at UTRC Consortium institutions and staff members of public transportation agencies within Region 2.

The amount of the awards will be limited to $1,000 for faculty, $800 for public agency staff, and $600 for students.

UTRC will directly reimburse recipients based on the pre-approved amount, submission of a Travel Expense Form, and original receipts after the completion of the trip. The award will be limited to the availability of funds in the UTRC travel grant budget. Awards will be made to provide an equitable distribution among the member institutions of UTRC.

  • Applicants must be doing research or studying in a field related to transportation in any department or program at a UTRC member institution or working at a public transportation agency within Region 2
  • Applicants must be U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, or International Students with a current and valid visa.
  • The conference to be attended must be located within the United States or Puerto Rico
  • Applicants may receive only one grant per calendar year.
Guidelines For Application
  • Funds are to be used exclusively for registration (conference, seminar, workshop), travel, and hotel costs (meals and beverages are excluded)
  • Applicants must apply for reimbursement prior to travel with the form below. These funds are only for reimbursement after travel is completed, and cannot be forwarded.
  • If the request is approved, the form will be returned to the applicant, along with a Travel Voucher form.
  • Once travel is completed, applicant must fill out and sign the Travel Voucher form, attach all receipts and supporting documentation (conference program, e.g.), and submit to UTRC to the address below.

Applications must be submitted at least 21 days prior to travel to:

Dr. Ellen Thorson
UTRC – 910 Marshak Hall
160 Convent Avenue
City College of New York
New York, NY 10031

Applications should include:

  1. A completed application form (available below).
  2. An estimate of expenses (included in the application form).
  3. An abstract (if the applicant will be presenting).
  4. For students, a school transcript (an unofficial electronic copy is sufficient) and a faculty member letter of recommendation.
  5. For public agency staff, an authorization from the agency approving the travel.
  6. A signed copy of the travel agreement (included in the application form).

Download Application Form (The 2011-12 program is currently closed. No application will be accepted as of April 30, 2012.)

  • Application for UTRC Travel Grant (Word)
  • Application for UTRC Travel Grant (PDF)

Following are some general terms governing reimbursement of travel expenses.

Allowable expenses include transportation, lodging, meeting or conference registration fees. When estimating expenses, air travel should be based on a 14-day advance purchase or Saturday night stay over. Airfares tend to increase the closer it gets to the departure date, so make sure to book flights well in advance. If you are a student, check if the airline offers a student rate. If you are a student, we require that you base your accommodation expenses on sharing a room at the conference hotel. UTRC will not cover meal or alcohol expenses.

Original receipts will be required.

The travel expense report and original receipts for approved travel must be submitted to the mailing address above within 10 days of completion of the trip.

All travel must be via economy class only. Approval for any exceptions to economy class travel to accommodate a medical condition, special circumstances, etc., should be requested in advance and may require specific documentation as determined by your sponsor.

All flights must be booked in economy class on U.S. Flag air carriers, per the Fly America Act, or on an authorized European Union carrier per the U.S.- EU Open Skies Agreement (see European Union countries for a map of European Union countries) or on a Swiss or Australian carrier, as permitted under separate government agreements. For use of U.S. air carriers that have code-sharing arrangements with foreign air carriers, other than with European Union countries, Switzerland or Australia, the ticket must be issued with the U.S air carrier's call letters (the two characters that precede the flight number) and flight number to qualify for reimbursement. Written justification must be provided whenever a foreign air carrier, other than a European Union, Swiss, or Australian carrier, must be used. Lower cost is not an acceptable justification for use of a foreign carrier instead of a U.S., European Union, Swiss or Australian carrier.

Car rental is only allowed when other transportation is unavailable or impractical, or use of a rental car can be economically justified. Standard models should be rented and justification for the use of a rental car should be noted on your Travel Expense Voucher. Direct purchase of gasoline for use with rented vehicles is reimbursable. Mileage reimbursement cannot be claimed in conjunction with car rental. When renting a vehicle for business purposes, please take out the comprehensive auto insurance offered by the auto rental agency.

Authorized use of a personally-owned automobile is reimbursed at the rate of 51 cents per mile. Effective July 1, 2011, the rate is increased to 55.5 cents per mile. Direct purchase of gasoline for use of personally-owned automobiles is not reimbursable.

For transportation to and from your home/office to the airport, train station, etc.:

  • reimbursement up to $10.00 each way without receipts or
  • reimbursement for full amounts, depending on the distance involved, with receipts, including up to a 15% gratuity.

All tolls incurred on project-related travel are also reimbursable.


Save your airline or train ticket stubs or e-tickets, boarding passes, detailed hotel bills, car rental bills, and receipts for all expenses other than personal meals. Credit cards slips are not adequate documentation for travel expenses, proof of travel, business meals or other travel-related expenditures.


UTRC Travel Grant Reimbursement Program is governed by the Research Foundation (RF) of CUNY Travel Policy.

RF Travel Policy and Procedures cover travel on official business. The principle underlying travel expense reimbursement is that, consistent with proper stewardship of grant and contract funds, travelers should keep all expenses to a reasonable minimum and should neither gain nor lose personal funds.

Underlying government regulations require that all funds administered by RF adhere to a uniform set of guidelines for travel, regardless of the sponsor funding any particular award.

Personal expenses, such as laundry, valet service, movie rentals, theater tickets, entertainment, and transportation to and from meals are not reimbursable.

The cost of alcoholic beverages will never be reimbursed.


Current Federal per diem rates for lodging and meals and incidental expenses for locations throughout the continental U.S. and non-continental U.S. locations may be found at GSA Per Diem Rates. You can use these rates for travel within NYS as well. UTRC will not cover the meal expenses.

Receipts are required for lodging while in overnight status. For prepaid arrangements made on-line be sure to request a statement when checking out of the hotel so that detail of charges is available for audit purposes.

Taxes on lodging are reimbursable over the published per diem rates.

In cases where expenses for lodging exceed the maximum per diem, provide documentation that demonstrates why the additional expense was unavoidable. If, for example, a conference requires you to stay at a particular hotel, or if all hotel rooms at or below per diem rates are booked at the time of your trip, you may be reimbursed for the full amount of the expense incurred.

Local travel expenses, including buses, subways, taxis, and bridge and highway tolls. Save your receipts!

Reimbursement will not be made on the basis of a credit card slip only.

A traveler staying free of charge with relatives or friends may not claim a lodging allowance.

Payments to individuals, landlords or real estate agents are not allowable.

Note: Additional charges for special seating requests or other transportation amenities are not reimbursable.

IMPORTANT: Original detailed receipts for all travel-related expenditures must accompany your travel expense voucher.