ORISE may cover your travel costs for conferences, training events, sampling expeditions, and other travel that will promote the educational goals of the appointment, provided that your mentor approves the trip’s destination, purpose and estimated cost. Please check with your ORISE program coordinator to learn about the types of travel that your program may fund. Participant travel will be in accordance with the ORISE Travel Policy.

Additionally, some programs will reimburse one-round trip or dislocation to the work site. Check your program’s information page for details. (Find your program on the Applicants page.)

Planning Your Trip

As soon as a trip is planned and has been verbally approved by your mentor, you should complete the online Pre-Approval form (PA). Make your cost estimates as complete and accurate as possible to avoid unnecessary complications in the approval process. Print the final page of the PA and have it signed by your mentor. Scan and email the completed form to SAWDtravel@orau.org.

For foreign travel, you should submit a PA to ORISE at least 50 days before traveling. ORISE will then send you a Request for Approval of Foreign Travel (RAFT) form, which you will need to turn in at least 35 days before traveling. For more information, visit the ORISE Travel Central website or email SAWDtravel@orau.org.

For domestic travel, you must notify ORISE at least 10 business days before traveling.

Once ORISE has received your PA and your mentor’s approval, we will begin processing your travel request. Our travel agent will locate the most cost-effective airfare that meets your scheduling needs, and e-mail the itinerary to you for your approval. No tickets will be purchased until you have approved them.

Rental vehicles will be approved only if there is a business justification, and other modes of transportation are not available. We strongly recommend that you allow ORISE to reserve the rental vehicle for you, so the vehicle will be covered under our corporate insurance policy. Insurance policies purchased through the rental company are not reimbursable. More information on approved expense may be found in our Participant Travel Guide.

Due to DOE restrictions on conference attendance and although you submit your PA on time, you may not be approved to attend a conference. Therefore, you are urged to submit your Pre-Approval form as early as possible, and at least 60 days in advance of travel whenever possible.

Cash Advances

If you pay your own registration fee (for conferences, training sessions, etc.), ORISE can reimburse you that cost before the trip has been completed. Please indicate the cost of the registration in the cash advance section of the PA. Submit proof of payment when you submit your PA. You will receive this advance shortly after we have processed your PA.

You may also request a cash advance up to the amount of your per diem. This advance will be direct deposited into your account shortly before your departure. To find per diem rates for various localities, visit the GSA website or contact SAWDtravel@orau.org.

If you receive a cash advance, and your trip is cancelled or the costs are less than estimated, you will be required to return the advance to ORAU.

ORISE cannot prepay hotel costs.

Travel Reimbursements

Within 10 days of the completion of your trip, please complete the expense report (ER). Email the completed ER and all necessary receipts to SAWDTravel@orau.org.

Original receipts are required; we will not be able to process your reimbursement until we receive them.

Once we have received all of the necessary documents, you can expect to receive your reimbursement in approximately two weeks. It will be direct deposited into the same account where you receive your other payments.

Personal Travel

You are permitted to add personal travel days in conjunction with business travel provided that it is approved by your mentor and the ORISE program contact. Personal travel days may not exceed the rate of one personal day to every two business days. The ORISE Travel Central Team will do a cost comparison for business-only travel versus business-with-personal travel. The participant will be responsible for all costs that exceed the business-only travel estimate.