Using the Funds: Travel and Expenses

Using an Academic Conference Funding Award

I have received a funding award, what are my next steps?

In the funding approval email, there are a series of instructions for you to follow. Make sure to read through that email and reply that you have received it. Then you may begin working with the GCU Travel Department to book your air, hotel and (if applicable) your rental car. The funds will cover expenses up to the amount listed in your approval email. Once you have received your itinerary, please forward it to If funds remain, we may be able to either book your registration directly or arrange for reimbursement.

Booking Travel

Do I use the Deem travel platform?

NO! When you are using these funds, you will not use the DEEM travel system. Instead you will use the “Independent Contractor” form on the Travel section of LopeNet. On the top of that form, it will say to not use the form. The Office of Research and Grants has an agreement with the Travel Team where our funding winners do indeed use this form so that the funds are billed to us and not your department of record.

What if I get an error message when I access the Travel Request link?

The travel form is only available when you are connected to the GCU Network. Should you not be able to connect to the network, we will complete the form on your behalf. Please let us know if this is the case and we will coordinate the request with you. Further instructions were also included in your approval email.

Can I still use GCU travel if I would like a family member to accompany me?

GCU Travel does not book flights for non-GCU affiliates. If you are traveling with family and would like to be on the same flight, you can request a specific flight that the GCU Travel Team will attempt to reserve for you. You would be responsible for booking the family members flights.  Flights booked independently cannot be reimbursed per GCU Policy.

Do I have to use GCU Travel? Can I book travel independently? 

Independently booked travel is not eligible for reimbursement. This includes making hotel reservations in advance with your own credit card.  That being said, in some instances the cost of the conference fees use the majority of the  funds. You may choose to have your conference paid for by ORG in lieu of travel expenses.

The conference requires that I use a specific hotel or book my accommodations independently. Can I ask GCU Travel to apply their credit card after I have used my own card to secure the booking?

In very rare circumstances, this may be accommodated. This can only apply to hotel bookings and must be done prior to running into any cancellation fees. You still need to complete a Travel Request form. On that form, include pertinent information in the notes section. Information required includes: advisement of the room already being booked, the confirmation number, the nightly room rate and the hotels cancellation policy. Also, provide the hotel name and dates are what you are adding in on the hotel request line. Remember, we cannot promise that the team can accommodate your request as booking travel independently is outside of travel policy.

What is a Travel Profile?

This form allows for you to express your travel preferences, including things like Frequent Flier numbers, airline seating request, hotel rewards number, emergency contact information, etc. It is completed once and saved for each time you make a travel request. This form may need to be filled out in order for Travel to process your trip request.

Who can I contact if I need to make changes to my travel?

Making changes to your itinerary will incur excess fees and could result in out of pocket expenses. We do understand there are circumstances where changes may have to be made. Please forward the email with your itinerary over to GCE Travel with your requested changes. You may need to complete a new travel request if the Travel Team deems it necessary. If it is an emergency situation, please contact the Travel Team emergency phone number 602-639-8008

What if the hotel asks me for a credit card?

Do not provide your personal credit card. GCU does not require you to provide a personal credit card to a hotel if the reservation was booked through GCU Travel. If asked by the hotel for a card, please let them know that GCU sends over a credit card authorization in order to avoid employees needing to provide a card. Sometimes the hotel has the form, but for various legitimate purposes has not yet connected it to your account. Usually they can fix it then and there. Otherwise, please contact the Emergency Number provided by the GCU Travel Team.

What is the GCU Travel Policy and how does it apply to me?

Please see the attachment sent in your acceptance email. You can also view the most current travel policy on LopeNet.  You are required to follow the guidelines set forth within this document.

Can I rent a car?

Yes. So long as it falls within your funding amounts and it is booked through GCU Travel.

Can I use my own car?

Yes, for trips where airline travel just doesn’t make sense (think Phoenix to Tucson). Track your mileage for reimbursement when you return. If you are using your own car, gas expenses are considered within the mileage reimbursement, not as a separate expense.

Can a group of faculty share a car or hotel accommodation?

Yes, but it still needs to be booked through GCUTravel. Mention in the notes any sharing that will take place. Only one traveler should then fill out the hotel information on the travel request form. ORG will spread the cost out evenly amongst the travelers.

Why does Office of Research and Grants require a copy of my travel itinerary?

This is for tracking funds used. We want to help you make the most of your funds, while also keeping a balanced budget so we can send out as many funds as possible.

What if my flight and hotel exceed the amount covered by the funding?

When the amount for your flight and/or hotel exceed the amount covered by the funding, you are responsible  for paying the difference to GCU Travel immediately upon receipt. It may also be possible to reduce costs by asking for alternate hotel arrangements. 

Registration Fees and Other Expenses

How do I use GCU funds to register for a conference?

GCU can pay for your conference registration directly. We ask that if you are using GCU Travel to first book your flight and hotel. Send a copy of your itinerary to If enough funds remain after travel is booked, we can register you for the conference. Otherwise, if the conference covers most of your grant funds or you are not traveling, please contact to arrange for up front payment of conference fees.

What expenses are eligible for reimbursement?

Up to the amount listed on your funding approval, ORG can reimburse for ground transportation (cabs, Uber, airport parking), conference registration, meals while traveling (so long as within the GCU Travel Policy). Keep in mind that all receipts need to be itemized to show exactly what was purchased and by what means. This is not to invade your privacy or to judge, but to follow accounting policy for audit purposes.

How do I submit expenses for reimbursement?

GCU’s expense reimbursement system is Concur. After your travel costs have been confirmed, we will send you instructions for creating an account and logging your expenses.

What if I have a Concur amount set up for a different department?

This is ok. Ask your approving manager to approve and forward your request to Morgan McNaughton so that we can apply the appropriate codes to your grant reimbursement.

Why is there a specific timeframe for using funds?

Eligible receipts must be sent within 30 days. Additionally, travel must be booked more than 2 weeks prior to the conference. Aside from it being GCU Policy and necessary for balancing the budget, this is to make sure that we are efficiently using funds. This is a competitive program so when funds are not reported, it could mean that others are denied funding. It’s about being a team of seriously devoted scholars.

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