Policies

This page explains IPAM’s policies related to travel and reimbursements. Please read this page if you are a speaker or funded participant for an IPAM program. Also please refer to your invitation letter for terms of your funding.

Our primary funding is from the National Science Foundation (NSF). We conform to University and Federal guidelines for the processing of payments and reimbursements. The following summarizes IPAM travel and reimbursement policies. These guidelines are for your information, and actual reimbursements are based on the allowable amounts pre-approved by IPAM for each individual.

It is your responsibility to obtain immigration status from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that allows reimbursement for travel expenses. Please email IPAM’s Visa Coordinator for more information.

Reimbursement Process:

Reimbursements are based on your offer letter unless alternate arrangements have been made and prior approval has been granted. The amount of your reimbursement will reflect actual cost and are generally reimbursed after your trip is completed. Original receipts are required. You will find information on the UCLA policies on business travel on the web site of the UCLA Travel Department.

During your visit to IPAM, please submit your travel receipts to the finance staff. In addition, the finance staff will ask you to complete 2 forms that request information regarding reimbursement check distribution (full name and mailing address) and immigration status, if applicable. IPAM must submit your receipts and documents to UCLA Travel Accounting within 45 days; please help us meet this deadline by providing us with your receipts and documents promptly.

After we receive all of the relevant documents, they are reviewed and submitted to the UCLA Central Offices (Travel Accounting/Accounts Payable). Once received by the Central Offices, it will take approximately 14-21 business days for processing. The process can be delayed if the documentation does not pass the audit based on the University and Federal Guidelines. The check is then sent to you via U.S. Postal Services. UCLA is unable to reimburse participants with an electronic bank deposit; a paper check is mailed to the address that you provide.

  • Air Travel

    The Federal Travel Regulation requires U.S. carriers except as authorized under the Open Skies Agreement. Travelers must purchase coach or equivalent fares and are encouraged to take advantage of discounts on air tickets purchased in advance. Please email the IPAM Finance Department with questions.

    International Travel: In order to receive reimbursement for your airline ticket from IPAM funds, your flight must be in compliance with the Fly America Act and Open Skies Agreement. Your trip must be ticketed by a U.S. airline or authorized under the Open Skies Agreement or we cannot reimburse you for the flight!

    Code Sharing: Code sharing occurs when two or more airlines “code” the same flight as if it was their own. For example, a U.S. airline may sell a seat on the plane of a foreign air carrier. The flight numbers must have the code from a U.S. airline (e.g., “UA” for United Airlines, “DL” for Delta, etc.). As long as the flight is ticketed by the U.S. carrier, it does not matter which airline operates the flight.

    Open Skies Agreement: The biggest exception to the Fly America Act is the “Open Skies” Agreement between the U.S. and the European Union (“EU”). The current Agreement gives European Community airlines (airlines of Member States) the right to transport passengers and on flights funded by the U.S. government, when the transportation is between: (1) any two points outside the United States; or (2) a point in the United States and any point outside the United States that the EU airline is authorized to serve under the “Open Skies” Agreement. Additionally, EU airlines are now authorized to transport passengers between points in the United States. A list of member countries of the European Union is available at the Europa web site.

    Australian, Japanese, and Swiss airlines may be used only if there is no city-pair contract flight between the origin and destination.

  • Lodging

    Lodging expenses are reimbursed based on the amount actually incurred within the allowable amount stated in the invitation letter. Generally lodging is not reimbursable if the lodging site is within a 40-mile radius of the traveler’s residence or office.

    Hotels: We reimburse for room and tax charges only. For a list of local hotels and their rates, please visit IPAM Hotels. For participants not electing to stay at one of our designated hotels, IPAM covers up to $190.00 per night including taxes. For a five-day workshop, IPAM generally offers six nights of hotel expenses to funded participants. For international participants, staying in Los Angeles on a Saturday night will often reduce airfares. If this is the case, send an email to the IPAM Finance Department before your visit and explain the situation.

    Apartment Rental: Most Long Program participants arrange for a monthly apartment/housing rental. Generally we cannot process the reimbursement until after the first 30 days has elapsed; allow approximately 14 business days for processing after we receive all receipts. You can expect payment approximately 6 weeks after the day you arrive at IPAM. The final rent reimbursement payment will be mailed to the address you provide.

    For housing reimbursement, you must submit a copy of your rental agreement, along with a copy of your rental check or credit card statement. You must also include documentation of proof of payment – that is, proof that your rental check has been cashed. If you are given a paper receipt, the issuer should indicate the form of payment. A copy of the front and back of the check of the cancelled check is sufficient.

  • Other Travel

    Ground Transportation: For taxi, shuttle, train, bus, and all other ground transportation expenses, receipts are required. Travelers are required to use the most economical mode of transportation by the most frequently traveled route.

    Automobiles: Privately owned automobiles may be used if the driver has requisite insurance coverage. IPAM reimburses the lesser of round-trip air fare or mileage. When used on routes served by a common carrier, the amount of the actual mileage or the lowest available airfare, whichever is less, is allowed. The mileage reimbursement rate we offer conforms to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines.  No additional reimbursement for automobile-related expenses, such as tolls, ferries, parking, gasoline, etc. are allowed.

    Rental Car: IPAM does not reimburse for car rentals.An exception to this policy must be pre-approved by IPAM with appropriate justification.

  • Other Expenses

    Our website includes general information about common expenses; individual cases may include other reimbursable expenditures. Please contact the IPAM Finance Department with any questions or special circumstance.

    Non-Reimbursable Expenses: IPAM cannot reimburse participants for the following expenses.

    • Airfare issued by non-U.S. carrier except as authorized under the Open Skies Agreement
    • First class or business class airfare
    • 3rd party (e.g., buying ticket and paying hotel/air fare and other expenses on behalf of others)
    • Per diem and meals unless authorized in advance
    • Out-of-route costs involving personal business, leave or convenience. Where there is an interruption of travel or deviation from direct route, reimbursable expenses shall not exceed the cost that would have been incurred on a direct route to the destination
    • Expenses incurred when not conducting IPAM business, such as extra days taken as leave before or after scheduled business and personal telephone calls
    • Any other costs determined to be unreasonable or which are disallowed by Federal Travel Regulations or University guidelines

  • Stipends

    If you are a long program participant receiving a stipend, your paperwork will be processed once you arrive at IPAM. You can expect the first payment from 25-30 days after the paperwork is submitted to accounting. It is important that you have either a social security number or a tax ID number. Otherwise, an automatic 30% will be withheld from your stipends.

    If you are a non U.S. citizen, your taxes will be processed through a software program called Glacier, a nonresident tax compliance system that was adopted by UCLA.