General Research Travel Guidelines

Whenever traveling supported by college funds, you are a representative of Middlebury College and should act accordingly. You are also expected to properly steward your award which includes: traveling as a group and sharing expenses whenever possible, spending appropriately (no personal items or alcohol) and accurately reporting expenses (including itemized original receipts).

URO's AY 17-18 and summer 2018 mileage rate is $.34 per mile. The reimbursement rate is calculated by splitting the difference between the 2017 IRS mileage rate for business and volunteering.

You may also need to complete a field trip release form.

PDF iconfield_trip_release.pdf

If you received funding, items are generally reimbursed as outlined in your budget. Changes will be reviewed as needed. Any expenses deemed excessively high or inappropriate may be refused for reimbursement. 

Expenses can be submitted to an agent of Middlebury College only once. If you receive additional funding for this project you must update all sources on the amounts and covered expenses.

Research Travel Logistics

When you are traveling as a representative of the college to conduct or present research, planning and logistics may have additional considerations than when you are traveling personally.

Below are a list of possible considerations. If you have applied for funding, some of these items may have been addressed to complete your application.

Please be aware that you are responsible for arranging your own travel in a timely, safe fashion, regardless of the funding source. Increased travel costs due to late or poor planning will not be funded.

If you are traveling outside the U.S., you must register with the college so you can be reached in the event of an emergency (see below). 

If You Are Traveling Outside the U.S.

Projects that involve traveling outside of the US have special considerations such as traveler safety and insurance. For more information see the Global Committee's page traveling with or sponsoring students abroad including their pre-departure checklist. Study Abroad also has information and links on international travel and health and safety.

Make sure you do the following 2-3 months in advance.

  • Check the US State Department website to see if the country in which you will be interning has a travel warning. If it does have a travel warning, you must:
  • Know what documentation may be needed for your project or internship work in that country.
    • Ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended stay abroad.
    • Many countries require a visa for entry. This may be a time-consuming process so it is important to research the process and trip information and time needed to obtain the visa.
    • Review required and recommended immunizations.
    • Identify a health insurance policy if your current plan doesn’t cover you overseas, see the available list to find additional insurance options.
    • Confirm that your insurance covers accidents, medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains (minimum requirement of $500,000 USD in coverage).
    • Officially register your travel with Middlebury by completing the online travel registration form
    Health Insurance and Safety
    • Make sure you have appropriate health insurance coverage that is valid in your proposed destination, whether domestic or international, as not all plans cross state or country lines. Make sure you know how to obtain medical services if needed.
    • Consider health and safety issues you may encounter on your trip. If there are specific concerns, you should address them with your sponsoring department or program.
    Booking Airfare

    The college works with two travel agencies located in Middlebury--Accent Travel and Milne Travel. You can contact either to request a quote or discuss your travel. You are also free to make your own arrangements. 

    If you received funding, the travel agencies may be able to charge the college directly. Services do include a booking fee (URO does not count the fee against your award total).

    Arranging Lodging

    Hotels: Reservations usually require a credit card to book, which is then billed after your stay. You will need to use a personal credit card. Some lodging can be charged at the time of reservation but it may be non-refundable if your plans change.

    Air BnB: While a great way to find an affordable stay, be sure the lodging is in a safe area, near public or other transportation if you need it.

    Home Stays: Lodging with friends or family is always a great option. In some foreign countries, the only lodging available may be in the form of a home stay. If you anticipate paying cash for lodging while abroad, be sure to get an agreement of the dates and rate by email or hardcopy as documentation of your stay. 

    Renting a Vehicle

    Vehicles can be rented through the college for research by requesting a rental by Undergraduate Research or your department. There are a limited number of vehicles available and you do need to have a college license. See the training schedule to get a college license. If a college vehicle is not available, Enterprise or Majestic may have one available. See details on the facilities website

    Another option is to use one of Middlebury's Zip Cars. You will need to create a student account which has discounted membership.

    Local Transportation Options

    The sustainability office maintains a list of local transportation options.

    Using a transportation service to and from the airport in Burlington can cost almost as much as some flights. URO will pay for round trip mileage (34 cents per mile) both ways if you have a friend who can drive you.

    Per Diems and Food

    Per Diems

    Generally, Middlebury does not provide students with per diem payments since they are not employees.

    Requests for modest, expense-based per diems for travel (not IRS rates) will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Approvals are normally based on location of travel (need for cash transactions) and financial hardship. Opportunities for college direct charges will be utilized before a per diem will be issued.

    If you receive a per diem, you must track your expenses and submit itemized receipts as if you were being reimbursed. Any unused funds may need to be returned to the college.


    Food may be purchased at a store, restaurant or vendor. Expenses must be yours. If the receipt is for multiple people please indicate your portion. Be aware that it may be illegal to purchase meals for government employees or other foreign officials, as it may be considered a form of bribery.

    Alcohol may not be purchased with college funds. Receipts must be itemized to show no alcohol was purchased.

    URO generally funds budgets at $30 per day for travel food expenses.

    Misc Travel Expenses

    Miscellaneous travel expenses may include items such as visa fees, cell phone service, and museum or archive admission.

    Any expenses directly related to the project implementation and necessary travel may be reimbursed if approved, even if it wasn't included in your original budget, up to your original award amount.

    If you had additional expenses from unanticipated circumstances, which you were unable to avoid or control, then URO may review them on a case-by-case basis for reimbursement above your award amount.

    Personal items and expenses will not be reimbursed. Examples include:

    • Personal car repairs
    • Personal computer/phone repairs or replacement
    • Non-specialized, non-project-specific clothing, gear or supplies