Convener Information: Reimbursements

There are two general kinds of payments made for Collaborative activities: reimbursements to University of Minnesota employees, and payments to non-University people or companies. This sheet deals with reimbursements to University of Minnesota employees. For payments to others, please see the Payments resource. 

All reimbursements must be submitted through the Chrome River system, but you must follow these steps to insure that your activity is paid for with your Collaborative funds and approved by the IAS.


Chrome River Submission for IAS Collaborative Expenses

  • Complete a Chrome River expense report as you normally would, attaching detailed receipts as necessary.
  • In the “Allocation” field, type in the string for your collaborative. This string will be 1000-11000-20090-CF2. The CF2 is the 10-digit Chartfield2 for your collaborative that Susannah Smith sent to all collaborative conveners on July 15, 2021.
  • Submit the expense report. Make a note of the expense report number.
  • Instruct your direct supervisor to IGNORE this expense report. They should neither approve nor send it back. After you submit the expense report, you should get a Report Status Notification that states “Pending approval from ___.” That’s the person to tell not to approve—for faculty, this is usually your department chair.
  • Send an email to [email protected] and [email protected] that includes your name and Employee ID# and reads:

I have incurred an expense that is related to an Institute for Advanced Study collaborative. I have submitted Chrome River report # [fill in the expense report number here]. Please re-route this report to Susannah Smith at [email protected] for approval, bypassing my supervisor.


General Reimbursement Guidelines

  • The University’s policy, based on IRS rules, is to process reimbursements within 30 days of the original purchase. Submit your itemized receipts via Chrome River in a timely manner so we can adhere to this standard. Our accountant has advised us that reimbursements submitted more than 60 days after the original purchase WILL BE DENIED. Please submit your reimbursement requests immediately after you have incurred the charges. 
  • Only active University employees may be reimbursed for expenses. Faculty and staff are University employees. Most undergraduate students and many graduate students are not. A fellowship or scholarship does not constitute employment. The safest way to avoid having students take on expenses that are not reimbursable is not to ask students to pay for anything unless that student has been hired as your Collaborative’s paid research assistant.
  • The person requesting reimbursement must be the person who incurred the charge. 
  • The IAS cannot reimburse Collaboratives for alcohol purchases.
  • All reimbursements must be processed within the same fiscal year, which ends on June 30. Contact Susannah in advance if you will have expenses incurred in the month of June. Due to University financial year-end closing, processing occurs a couple of weeks earlier.
  • Itemized receipts are required for all hospitality and purchases, including food and beverages. An itemized receipt means that each individual item is listed. This is particularly important to demonstrate that no alcohol is being charged to the account.
  • Your justification of the expense or purchase must include a description of who, what, where, when, and why. 
    If you have a group of 15 or fewer at a meal, you must list all names and affiliations (include departments for UMN people)


Using University Funds for Meals

The University has recently updated and clarified its policies on reimbursements for food for employees. Please note these rules; failure to follow them may result in your reimbursement being denied.

  • The per-person cost cannot exceed the following limits: $10 for light refreshments, $25 for breakfast or lunch, $50 for dinner. These amounts are inclusive of beverages, tip, and tax.
  • Reimbursement for a meal is allowable when the employee(s) may not leave for a normal meal due to the time constraints associated with the meeting.
  • Reimbursement is not allowed when two or more employees choose to have a meeting together to continue their business or when the meeting could have been scheduled during regular working hours. In other words, the U will not treat you to lunch, even though you discuss your Collaborative business, unless that is the only time you can meet—see the point above.
  • You may take visiting speakers out for meals. The University’s policy is that no more than four University faculty, staff, or students may attend the meal. (Others may attend, but University funds may not be used to pay for their meals.) If there is more than one visitor, you may request a waiver for this; please check with Susannah (624-2921 [email protected]) at least two weeks in advance. Be aware that waivers are not always approved.
  • It is permissible to include food at an event for which the primary audience is students (e.g., a grad student lunch with a visiting speaker that includes pizza). Food is apparently considered integral to gatherings of students. 


Using Your University Purchasing Card

Your departmentally issued University purchasing card (P-card) is for purchases for your own department, and it is linked to your departmental accounting staff for approvals. Do not use your P-card for Collaborative purchases. If, however, you forget and do use your P-card for a Collaborative, please work with Susannah (612-624-2921 [email protected]) to arrange processing by the IAS accounting staff.