MCP Guidelines for Travel and Business Meals

July 2020 update to travel policy:
University travel remains suspended until at least 9/1/2020. Exceptions may be approved if travel is

1. directly related to the global response to SARS-CoV-2 pandemic,
2. completing essential research (which could not otherwise be repeated or replaced), or
3. in support of critical University research/scholarship fuction that cannot be completed remotely or postponed.

An exception request form must be completed.

When University business travel resumes, there will be important changes. Please take note:

All business-class travel is suspended, unless the traveler has a documented medical exemption.
Reimbursement for travel will only occur if the travel is booked through one of the following:

1. Egencia
2. Casto Travel
3. United Corporate Direct

More information on these updated policies can be found here.

We want everyone to be able to receive a full reimbursement. Talk to your administrative professional if you have any questions. Stanford requires travel and business meals to be relevant to your research and will only reimburse the relevant portions. If you do not comply with Department, University, and Federal guidelines, Stanford will not reimburse you.


Business Meals

A business meal is a meal between 2 or more people which has a Stanford business purpose. Examples include taking a postdoc candidate out for lunch or meeting with a colleague from another institution during a meal to discuss research collaboration.

Requirements for reimbursement and/or Pcard use:

  • Must be approved by your PI
  • Provide a business purpose explanation: Was this a meal to discuss research collaboration? Lunch for a candidate? Tell us.
  • Provide a list of all meal attendees by name, including their affiliation.
  • Provide an itemized receipt.
  • Do not exceed totals of: $20/$35/$50 per person for breakfast/lunch/dinner. Alcohol will not be reimbursed by your PI in most cases, check with your PI for approval. (In special circumstances, such as meeting with a collaborator, AND with approval from the faculty member, dinner can reach the maximum of $80/person for the full meal.)

For Seminar or Faculty meal guidelines, please see your administrative professional.

Additional Information and Resources