Purchasing and Travel


Case Western Reserve University Procurement and Distribution Services (PDS) is a very important partner for the execution of sponsored projects at the university. PDS is responsible for assisting with the purchase of all materials and supplies for sponsored awards, the execution of service contracts, the contracting and payment of independent contractors and the payment of invoices to CWRU subcontractors. 

Get more information about services provided by PDS services. 


CWRU faculty, staff and students routinely travel in support of sponsored activities. The university reimburses travelers for necessary and reasonable business expenses incurred while traveling.

Reimbursable expenses must conform to university policy, federal and state law, if applicable, and the restrictions placed upon sponsored awards. Domestic and foreign travel charged to sponsored projects should follow the guidelines set forth in this document, unless federal regulations or the funding agency imposes greater restrictions.

Travel is allowable as a direct cost when such travel will provide direct benefit to the award. If federally funded, sponsored awards are subject to certain federal laws and the guidelines set forth in 2 CFR Part 200. All awards are subject to specific agency restrictions, as well as the Case Western Reserve University Travel Policy. The terms and conditions of the individual agreement should be reviewed prior to incurring and/or submitting any travel cost for reimbursement. When there is a conflict between university policy and award requirements, the more restrictive policy applies.

The following list highlights some common sponsored travel restrictions. Some awards may:

  • Prohibit foreign travel
  • Require pre-authorization by sponsor for each trip
  • Restrict the number of trips that can be taken
  • Restrict the number of travelers on an authorized trip
  • Set a maximum dollar value per trip
  • Allow attendance to a conference to present research, but not for the purpose of “staying current in the field”
  • Limit travel to a specific destination or purpose
  • Specify maximum meal, mileage or other cost rates.

Sponsored travel must be justified, well documented, in compliance with the sponsor requirements, and incurred within the period of the award. If this travel is either a requirement stated in the call for proposals, or clearly documented in the budget justification, no further documentation is required.