Important Reminders

Please review the relevant topics before performing any administrative tasks. Failure to comply with administrative policies and procedures may result in processing delays or a denial of your request.

Select a topic for more information:

Travel and Expenses

Booking travel

  • Travel should be booked at least 14 days in advance to avoid excessive fees and/or higher costs due to lack of seat availability.
  • Make sure that your receipt indicates all of the booking details, including: dates of departure and return, airline carrier, flight number, total cost. Your receipt should also indicate the form of payment.
  • If you are extending your travel dates to include personal travel, be sure to obtain a quote for travel dates without the extension. This should be done at the time of booking. See a member of the front office for more information.

Allowable versus unallowable expenses

  • Per the BU Travel Policy, upgrades are not allowable on any account. You will only be reimbursed for base, economy-fare itineraries. The only exception is if economy fares are not available at the time of booking. If this is the case, please speak with a member of the front office before you book.
  • Baggage fees are allowable on any account.
  • In-flight Wi-Fi and hotel internet are allowable expenses as long as you certify that there was a need for such and it was directly related to your research or travel. Subscriptions are not allowed.
  • Alcohol is not allowed on grants. If you purchase alcohol during a meal you will not be reimbursed.

Things to remember when you’re away

  • Receipts are required for any expense over $25.
  • Meal receipts should be itemized, not just the invoice receipt where you write in your tip.
  • Boarding passes should be retained.
  • If you are attending a conference, please be sure to keep your name badge and/or itinerary. This is required for your travel report.

Airfare carriers when traveling on grants

  • If you are traveling internationally, you must purchase your airfare on a US flag carrier. When purchasing the ticket, be sure that the airline code is that of a US airline.
  • The Open Skies Agreement allows for exceptions when traveling internationally to EU countries, Australia, Switzerland, and Japan. The exception is that you do not need to be on a US flag carrier when flying direct to the listed EU countries, Australia, Switzerland, and Japan. If you are traveling on DoD funds, the exception does not apply.
  • If you have any questions, please consult with a member of the front office prior to booking your flight.

Reimbursement Policy

  • Reimbursements should be submitted in a timely matter (no more than 30 days from the date the expense was incurred).
  • If you are incurring expenses on the department’s behalf, please be sure to communicate these expenses to the staff as soon as possible. You should NOT be holding receipts for a semester and submitting them at a later date as these have budgetary implications.
  • Any meeting expenses should be accompanied by a list of attendees and the appropriate affiliations.
  • All meal expenses should have an itemized receipt attached, not just the tip invoice.
  • Alcohol is an allowable expense when charging non-grant accounts. Students are not allowed to incur alcohol expenses unless they have received prior approval from the department. Alcohol expenses need to be itemized for tracking purposes.


  • All order requests should be accompanied by a quote.
  • Please refrain from defaulting to Amazon if you can. The University has many contracted vendors whose services and goods are much more deeply discounted than what you can find on Amazon. A complete listing of these vendors can be found in our purchasing guide.
  • All order requests should be accompanied by a brief justification (1-2 sentences). The justification should include the necessity of the purchase, how the item will be used, etc.
  • Packing slips should be delivered to the office upon receipt of the item. If a packing slip is not available or illegible, please email the staff member who placed the order confirming the date that it was received.
  • If you are placing an order that requires a tag number, please be sure to indicate that at the time of ordering. If you need to request a tag number, please consult with Anita Gupta.


  • All room requests should be submitted via email to Emily Bartucca.
  • Facilities and maintenance issues should be forwarded to Emily or a member of the front office.
  • Building and room access should be submitted using our online form. If you simply come to the office or send someone to the office for access, you will be turned away.
  • Key distribution will be completed only once a supervisor confirms that an individual is working with him/her.
  • Please refrain from moving desks/offices prior to consulting Emily or Despina.
  • All access requests will only be considered for members of the Physics community. This means that an individual must be an active student, staff, researcher, or faculty member with an active appointment.
  • We will only approve access to the Undergraduate Resources room to Undergraduate majors. Access is revoked upon graduation.
  • Swipe cards and keys must be forfeited upon your departure/termination from the department/University.

Human Resources

Time-Off Requests (for Staff & Researchers)

  • All time-off requests must be submitted via SAP through the ESS tab.
  • Staff and faculty supervisors must approve such requests in a timely manner. Please note that there is a system-generated email confirming that there is a request available for your review. For assistance in approving these requests, please see Despina Bokios.
  • Despina will send monthly emails to all users confirming time off requests. If something is not reflected properly please let Nate know so that he may investigate further. If you have nothing to report, please confirm that with Despina as well.
  • Quarterly balances will be distributed to faculty for all researcher time-off.

Payroll: Undergraduate and Graduate

  • Any undergraduate student working for the department or a faculty member must speak with Anita Gupta prior to beginning work. Faculty do not have authority to allow students to begin work until their employment has been finalized by the Front Office.
  • Any graduate student working as an RA or TF must speak with Despina.
  • When requesting that a student work with you, please be sure to have accounting information available.

Appointments: Hiring Researchers and Visitors

Documentation requirements are listed in our hiring guide. For more detailed information, please be sure to speak with Despina directly.

  • Early notification
    • Please contact Robyn as soon as you are thinking of hiring a researcher or appointing a visitor to join your research program.
  • Visa considerations
    • All appointments that require J-visas will require at least 3 months’ notice.
    • All appointments that require an H1-B visa will require at least 6 months’ notice.
  • Salary requirements
    • There are new federal requirements that dictate minimum funding requirements for various research groups. Please speak with Robyn prior to making any commitments to anyone.

Grant Proposals (for faculty)

Please indicate your intent to submit a proposal to Anita as soon as you are able so that she may begin planning her schedule accordingly.

New proposal process in place effective 9/1/2016:

  • Notification to OSP at least 10 business days in advance of proposal deadline.
  • Proposal documentation must be submitted to CAS at least 7 business days in advance of proposal deadline. OSP deadline is 5 business days prior to deadline.
  • Proposals requiring additional approvals beyond CAS Associate Dean Level will need to be submitted at least 10 business days in advance of proposal deadline.
  • Budgets and budget justifications must be FINAL upon circulation. The only allowance for a budget change will be if there is a mistake.
  • Final technical components should be submitted at least 3 business days in advance of proposal deadline. This will allow OSP ample time to review your document for any discrepancies and ensure it will be accepted by the sponsor.