Guidance Regarding Previously Arranged Travel on Sponsored Awards
Below is from the Office of Grants Management. Keep in mind the following:
- RF has to follow the rules. If NIH or NSF for example says you cannot charge expenditures to a grant for a meeting that wasn't attended (regardless of the reason) since there was no benefit to the research, then RF legally has to comply. What you can do is to contact the sponsor (e.g. your program officer) and ask for permission to do it. If they comply and provide this response in writing, RF will happily permit it.
- Do your best to contact airlines, hotels, etc., to refund your money. Although the odds are against success, it sometimes may work.
From the Office of Grants Management:
In light of the unique circumstances presented by COVID-19 virus with respect to previously arranged travel reservations, OVPR offers the following guidance for travel on externally sponsored awards.
This guidance reflects current information from federal funding agencies which indicates that award recipients should continue to follow all relevant policies and procedures and to apply these practices consistently. As new information becomes available, we will disseminate to our research community.
As a reminder all travelers are strongly urged to purchase refundable airline tickets when making travel arrangements, so that if or when a trip is cancelled, the only cost incurred would be the potential cancellation fees. Unused nonrefundable airline tickets cannot be charged to sponsored awards.
If nonrefundable tickets were purchased, every effort should be made to obtain a credit for the cancelled travel with the respective carrier. If the airline carrier agrees to a credit, and an alternate directly related travel event can utilize the credit within the active award period, the cost can be included in the travel reimbursement request for that trip.
If travel arrangements were made through Euro Lloyd, contact them immediately to determine what options may be available through their services.
In the instance where the respective carrier will not issue a refund or when a credit cannot be used for other related research travel, Principal Investigator's should seek approval for reimbursement from the sponsor, specifically from the financial official for their sponsored award. This approval from the sponsor should clearly articulate that the charges for the cost of tickets and/or associated fees related to the cancellation are allowable.