This page contains IPAM’s Community Agreement and explains the policies related to travel and reimbursements. All IPAM participants are expected to familiarize themselves with and follow the IPAM community agreement. If you are a speaker or funded participant for an IPAM program, please review your invitation letter for terms of your funding, and review the travel and reimbursement information below.


IPAM aims to offer a rewarding, enlightening, supportive, and fruitful experience to every participant. We will build that rich experience together by devoting our strongest available effort to all activities. Please be prepared to take an active, patient, and generous role in your own development and that of the other participants.

IPAM is committed to creating a professional and welcoming environment that benefits from the diversity of experiences of all its participants. We aim to offer the same respect, opportunity and value to the contributions of every participant regardless of gender, gender identity or expression, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or veteran status. IPAM asks you to contribute to this positive environment, and to use extra care to ensure that your words and actions communicate respect for others.

Discriminatory or harassing behavior undermines the mission of IPAM and therefore will not be tolerated. Harassment is a form of misconduct that undermines the integrity of IPAM, and their activities and missions. IPAM reserves the right to remove any online materials or videos contributed by its participants.

IPAM talks will be recorded with the permission of the speaker and disseminated to a wider audience on our website and via social media platforms. In preparing for the talk, please be mindful of its lasting impact beyond its initial presentation.

IPAM will make every effort to maintain an environment that is free of harassment, even though we do not control the behavior of third parties. If any participant feels uncomfortable with the way they are being treated or has concerns, please contact IPAM by e-mail (anonymously, if you wish) at ipam@ucla.edu (which only the Assistant Director has access to). All reports will be handled in the strictest confidentiality.

Acknowledgment: This agreement is based on similar agreements by the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, the Encuentro Colombiano de Combinatoria (ECCO), and the Association for Women in Mathematics.


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.

Visas Waivers (ESTA):

It is important for your visa to be marked WB or B1 (Business) if your activity at UCLA will extend beyond 9 days. Upon arrival to the U.S., please inform U.S. Customs and Border Protection that you are here for business (rather than tourism). IPAM in unable to reimburse you for any expense if your visa is WT or B2 (Tourism) AND your activity at UCLA is beyond 9 days.

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 21 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 21 business days for processing. Reimbursements may take longer for international participants. 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. You must be on the appropriate visa to receive a stipend.