Expenditure of Funds
Your RFG funds may be used toward the costs of bringing guest speakers to campus, graduate student assistance, or refreshments for your meetings. RFG funds are intended to support the core activities of your RFG and hence are not intended to be used for cosponsorship of departmentally run programming initiatives. (IHC cosponsorships are available for that purpose; visit https://www.ihc.ucsb.edu/cosponsorship/ for details). You are welcome to use your RFG funds to cosponsor events that are central to the mission of your RFG.
If your RFG is a sponsor or cosponsor of an event, please ensure that this is acknowledged in all PR material and social media posts, especially in publicity generated by other event sponsors (should be noted as “cosponsored by the IHC [Name] Research Focus Group”).
RFGs must submit expenditure requests in a timely manner throughout the year, and no later than two weeks after the event has occurred. All outstanding RFG expenditure requests must be submitted to the IHC by June 1 for processing before fiscal close. The IHC will not accept expense requests after this date.
In most cases, the IHC handles the entire accounting of the expenses for the RFG, and all receipts go to the IHC for payment. The IHC keeps an accounting of all funds contributed from other campus departments for each RFG event, along with the IHC’s contribution, and processes invoices accordingly. RFG leaders are encouraged to submit a working budget to the IHC Business Officer at the beginning of the academic year. If an RFG’s IHC funds are not used by the end of the year, they will not be rolled over in the RFG’s account to the following year.
Catering and entertainment reimbursements
Catering arrangements are the RFG’s responsibility, as is clean up after the event. The IHC has a kitchen that is available for use, and the RFG is responsible for kitchen clean up.
The campus catering policy states that the on-campus provider, UCen Catering, has right of first refusal for any catering on campus that uses department funds. If UCen Catering unable to cater the event, the group must select a caterer from the University’s list of approved caterers. Details on the catering policy are found here:
Advanced approval of UCen Catering or a catering permit are not required in the following instances: food is purchased off-campus by faculty or staff and brought to campus, a campus unit orders pizza (any dollar amount), or the catered food service from an approved vendor does not exceed $300.00.
If RFG conveners would like to be reimbursed for food they have purchased and brought to campus, or if they would like to be reimbursed for a meal in a restaurant, they should email the IHC Administrative Assistant the name and email of the person to be reimbursed, itemized receipts, and the event flyer or webpage.
RFG funds may not be used to purchase alcohol. Note that as a consequence of budget constraints, a maximum of 40% of your total RFG funds for the year may be used toward expenses for refreshments and meals. For an event that is internal to the RFG’s membership such as a works in progress session or a reading of new work in the field, we ask that you spend no more than $40 on refreshments. If your RFG’s refreshment costs reach this maximum, further expenses will not be reimbursed.
Graduate Student Assistance
Some RFGs choose to pay a graduate student to help with the RFG’s administrative functions. Students can be given a stipend at the end of the quarter or year for their assistance. If you would like to allot a graduate stipend, please email the IHC Business Officer by Week 8 of the quarter the following information: the student’s name, the student’s perm number, and the total stipend amount. (Note that in rare circumstances, stipends can impact student loan/financial aid amounts. It is recommended that students consult with the Office of Financial Aid to confirm how a stipend might impact their loans/aid.)
To process an honorarium check, the IHC will need four weeks’ notice unless the RFG is willing to pay a rush fee to Accounting for expedited processing. Please email the IHC Administrative Assistant with your honorarium request and a copy of a letter of agreement or email between the RFG and the speaker that states the amount of the honorarium, the date of the event, and the form of compensation or reimbursement offered to the speaker (honorarium, travel, hotel etc.). Honoraria for foreign visitors performing work in the U.S. are very time consuming to process, so the IHC will only process honoraria over $1,000 for foreign nationals. The best way to compensate foreign travelers is through travel reimbursements. Honoraria for work performed virtually are not subject to the same protocols and tax-withholding; the IHC can process honoraria for less than $1,000 for virtually performed work.
We are prohibited from using IHC RFG monies for honoraria for UC faculty members. If you are considering compensating a UC faculty member for participation in an RFG event, please consult with the IHC Business Officer.
Many area hotels have discounted rates for UCSB, so ask for any discounts when you reserve rooms for your guests. Some hotels have the ability to bill the IHC directly; if you would like to explore this option, please contact the IHC Business Officer. In order to receive reimbursement for a hotel expense, please submit an itemized hotel receipt (also known as a folio) to the IHC Administrative Assistant.
RFGs should book their own travel and hotel accommodations for visitors. The IHC can reimburse your visitors for their travel expenses; please email the IHC Administrative Assistant with the visitor’s name, contact information, list of expenses being reimbursed, and supporting documentation for the event (flyer, website). Visitors must provide itemized receipts for each expense; this includes hotel bills, rental vehicle agreements, or gas receipts for a rental vehicle. Private car mileage may be reimbursed at the rate of 58 cents per mile. To claim mileage, visitors should be sure to include number of miles driven round trip and their license plate numbers. Visitors must check the box marked “Check here to confirm your liability insurance” to indicate that they have liability insurance; otherwise payment will be delayed. If visitors receive reimbursement for mileage, they cannot request reimbursement for gas as well.
If the traveler is a nonresident alien who is not a UC employee, please submit a copy of the visitor’s visa or passport and a “Declaration of Immigration Status” form, which may be found here. For questions regarding travel reimbursements, please contact the IHC Administrative Assistant.