Reimbursements must be in the computer system within 30 days from the time of the transaction. Reimbursements must equal $25.00 or more. Turn in all receipts as soon as possible. The reimbursement documentation required includes:

  • Original cash receipt, indicating form of payment, or
  • Copy of check, like an online banking record showing that specific payment circled (block out other purchases on record), or
  • Original credit card receipt, showing at least the name and last four digits of the card used, and the corresponding credit card statement (block out other purchases on record), or
  • Flight itinerary from UAB Travel Services (if applicable)
    1. Flight itineraries should be processed through the MSTP Office or Department if travel is for a UAB student-attended conference or symposium. Flight information should be sent via e-mail no later than 6 weeks before the flight is to take place.


How will you receive your reimbursement?

Students being reimbursed as employees will receive checks directly to their home address or can request to pick it up at the MSTP Office.  Once the reimbursement is approved, the student should receive a notification email from the MSTP Office. The check for the reimbursement(s) should arrive within a few days.

Students will be reimbursed as employees under the following circumstances:

  • If the student is on the departmental NIH Grant.
  • If the student is being reimbursed from their Individual Grant.
  • If the student is being reimbursed for travel (request must be turned in within 15 days of travel date).

All other reimbursements will be sent to the student’s tuition account. Every student is required to have direct deposit from their student account. This is to insure you receive your payment 1) as soon as possible/the next working day; 2) that the payment does not get applied to tuition charges (provided there are no charges at time of reimbursement). The MSTP Office will do everything possible to time the reimbursement when there are no tuition charges on the account. If there are other fees, such as traffic citations, the reimbursement will be processed as normal.

Trainee Travel and Standard Reimbursements

UAB "trainees" are individuals who are either receiving monthly fellowship payments under an active fellowship assignment or are properly identified as trainees on a sponsored training grant. (See the Scholarships & Fellowships website for information on fellowships.)

"Trainee travel" is defined as travel by a trainee that is directly related to the trainee's academic research activities and is a required and integral part of a formal training program to fulfill or supplement UAB's obligation to train the individual.

Trainee travel applies to the following types of trips: (1) to gather data integral to the trainee's research project; (2) to attend a scientific conference for the purpose of presenting results of the their research project; or (3) to attend a scientific conference for the purpose of gaining additional knowledge about their research project. However, "trainee travel" does not include commuting between UAB and the individual's home, or any relocation/moving costs.

An individual can have multiple roles in relation to UAB. Because the regulatory and policy requirements are different for the different roles, an appropriate distinction must be made up front as to the role in which the individual will be traveling for each trip. If the individual is not traveling in their trainee role, then the "trainee travel" classification would be inappropriate.

With appropriate documentation, necessary and reasonable costs (transportation, meals, and lodging travel) may be refunded for "trainee travel". Documentation requirements are stricter for non-employees, such as trainees. The following applies to travel reimbursement for trainees. Items not addressed below follow the same guidelines as Employee Travel.

Original receipts will be required for all expense reimbursement items other than reasonable cash tips. Reimbursement for such costs (to the extent otherwise permitted by policy) will be made to the individual trainee after the trip.  Though the IRS 60-day rule does NOT apply to true trainees, efforts should be made to process travel reimbursement requests in a timely fashion.

  • Alcohol must be on a separate receipt (No exception)
  • Tips should not exceed 18%
  • Credit Card or Bank Statements must be provided to show proof of purchase
    • o A “snapshot” of the expense is acceptable

"Trainee travel" payments must be based upon actual incurred cost, not estimates and not based upon a travel per diem.

Except for the conference registration fee and special airline ticket requisition procedures referenced below, trainees will be responsible for their travel expenses incurred in connection with their trainee travel.

Third Party Payments
Trainees should not pay costs on behalf of other individuals and expect to be reimbursed for the costs of those other individuals.

Phone Calls
The cost of phone calls made by a trainee while in trainee travel status would not normally be allowable unless the trainee can document that the call was directly related to their traineeship project.

Conference Registration Fees
Conference registration fees for the trainee are normally paid directly by UAB to the conference sponsor in advance of the trip via an electronic Oracle Payment Request, charging the trainee travel object code. Social/recreational activities associated with a business conference are not normally reimbursable.

With receipts to document the expenditures, actual parking and toll charges directly associated with trainee travel may be reimbursed.

Reimbursements for private car mileage must be based upon the IRS federal mileage rates. The private car mileage rate does not apply to rental cars or to UAB-owned vehicles.

Rental Cars
The cost of renting automobiles may be allowed for UAB trainee travel purposes if public transportation is not available or is impractical to utilize. The original detailed receipt/agreement must be attached to the reimbursement request. In such cases, the traveler may not also be reimbursed for the mileage allowance. UAB has rental car agreements with Enterprise and National. Please notify your department administrator if a rental car is needed for an event.

Rental Car Insurance
Automobile rental companies usually offer renters the option of purchasing various types of liability and physical damage insurance to address situations in which the rental car is involved in an accident or in which the rental car is stolen or vandalized. Whether a trainee would be reimbursed by UAB for such insurance depends upon: (1) whether the car is being rented strictly for UAB trainee travel purpose and (2) whether the travel is occurring inside the United States. According to UAB's Risk Management Department, UAB now has liability and physical damage coverage for business travel inside the United States; therefore, UAB will not pay or reimburse for such coverage from the rental car company for UAB business travel inside the United States. However, UAB will pay or reimburse for such coverage from the rental car company for UAB business travel outside the United States; and in such cases, failure to purchase such coverage for UAB business travel outside the United States may result in the traveler becoming personally liable. For UAB's insurance to apply, the vehicle must actually have been rented for UAB business purposes, and it must actually be in use for UAB business purposes at the time of the accident/loss. Therefore, for vehicles also used for non-UAB-business purposes on the same trip, such as sight-seeing or visiting relatives, the renter should consider purchasing insurance. UAB will not pay or reimburse the traveler for other insurance which might be offered by the rental car company such as lost luggage, accidental death/dismemberment, trip cancellation, etc. If you have questions concerning UAB's insurance coverage or if you wish to submit a claim against UAB's insurance policies, please contact the UAB Risk Management Department directly at (205) 934-5382.

Airline Tickets
All UAB Trainees must use the UAB Airline Ticket Requisition process to obtain an airline ticket for trainee travel.  Please make arrangements with your department administrator to determine the best price for a roundtrip ticket.

First/business class airfare/transportation is generally unallowable for trainees, unless a legitimate medical justification is documented.

Request for reimbursement of taxi fares should only be made when the taxi trip was necessary for official UAB trainee travel purposes and when more economical forms of public transportation were unavailable or impractical. For example, free or lower cost airport shuttle vans should be used if possible, and taxis to/from meals would not normally be considered necessary if meal service was available in the traveler's hotel or within walking distance. Though documentation is not routinely required, trainees should be prepared to provide justification for the necessity and reasonableness of taxi fares if requested by the traveler's department, central administration, or auditors. Receipts for reimbursable taxi fares should be obtained and submitted with the trainee's reimbursement request. In addition, the traveler should list each taxi trip on the travel voucher with a brief description of the purpose of the trip (e.g."taxi from airport to hotel", "taxi from hotel to meeting", etc.). If a trainee pays the taxi fare for multiple persons, the documentation should also include a notation specifying everyone who was covered by that fare and the payment request numbers of those individuals, if applicable.

Receipts are required to document all meal expenditures for which the trainee is requesting reimbursement. Itemized receipts are required for reimbursement of a meal regardless of the dollar amount. Alcohol cannot be present on meal receipts. If alcohol is present, then a new meal receipt must be issued or the total amount of alcohol will be deducted from the trainee reimbursement.

Allowable Meal Thresholds:

  • Breakfast         $25.00
  • Lunch               $25.00
  • Dinner             $50.00

Trainees cannot be reimbursed for alcoholic beverages or alcohol-related costs under any circumstance.

Conference/Seminar Meals
When a trainee's meal is included in their conference/seminar registration fee, no additional reimbursement for that meal is allowable. Please review the conference agenda for included meals.

The cost of the trainee's hotel room is normally reimbursable at the basic single occupancy room rate (plus tax). Almost all hotels accept a credit card number to guarantee a reservation and will only charge the card if the traveler fails to arrive on time without properly canceling the reservation. Therefore, trainees are expected to handle the room reservations with a credit card. Faculty and departments can reserve and pay for a trainee’s hotel room. Lodging outside of acceptable hotels needs to be approved prior to a reservation (e.g., apartments, houses, etc.). 

Unallowable Costs
It is impossible to compile an all-inclusive list of costs which will not be reimbursed by UAB, so when considering whether or not to make an expenditure while in travel status, the trainee should first assume that a cost will not be reimbursed unless the official Expenditure Guidelines clearly state that it is allowable for trainee travel. Unallowable costs should never be included on a request for reimbursement of trainee travel costs. Here are some examples of costs which will not be reimbursed by UAB:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Clothing
  • Credit card interest, finance charges, or penalties
  • Family or friend costs
  • Gym fees
  • Housing outside of allowable lodging
  • Internet Access (WiFi)
  • Laundry services
  • Life insurance
  • Luggage repairs
  • Luggage replacement
  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Movies or videos
  • Passports
  • Personal phone calls
  • Sightseeing or souvenirs
  • Shoe repair
  • Snacks (coffee, candy, etc.)
  • Ticket cancellation insurance
  • Toiletry articles
  • Traffic tickets or parking fines
  • Umbrellas
  • Vitamins