Travel and Reimbursement Policies

Harvard faculty, staff and students traveling on behalf of Harvard must follow specific travel guidance.  For the most current Travel and Reimbursement Guidance, click here

The following are policies pertaining to Travel & Reimbursement.

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Harvard Travel Policy

This policy establishes how Harvard University will reimburse individuals for travel expenses incurred conducting University business. While no policy can address every scenario, this document is intended to cover the most common travel-related situations; where unusual circumstances arise, the spirit of this policy – along with good judgment – should prevail.

Business Expense Reimbursement Policy

This policy establishes when Harvard will pay for non-travel business expenses of any individuals conducting business on the University’s behalf. Harvard will reimburse for allowable, reasonable, properly substantiated expenses that are necessary and appropriate in the conduct of University business.

SEAS Airfare Comparison Guidance

If travelers are combining business and personal travel on the same trip or upgrading airfare on sponsored funds or doing anything outside the standard process, the traveler would need to obtain within one business day a flight comparison to show what the cost would have been had the traveler not extended their trip or upgraded their airfare.  Travelers should follow this guidance to ensure they have proper documentation for reimbursement.

Receipt Requirements/Definition of Receipts

Even with the implementation of the electronic Concur Reimbursement System, Harvard must follow specific rules that comply with the IRS Accountable Plan to ensure reimbursements are not taxable to the recipient/reimbursee. One requirement is that a reimbursement request must be substantiated with receipts showing evidence of payment. Detailed in this document are the minimum requirements for a receipt to be acceptable as proof of purchase for reimbursement.


SEAS Per Diem Guidance

If seeking reimbursement via per diem, SEAS travelers must follow this guidance.


Sponsored Travel Policy

There are specific rules relating to travel charged to Federal Awards; please review the University Travel Policy (Appendix G), the Sponsored Travel Guidance, and the Sponsored Expenditures Guidelines.