Requesting Team Research Project Funds from Gemstone
The Gemstone Program wants to provide the financial support teams need to adequately conduct research. Although financial assistance is limited, funds will be provided when they are available. The following describes the procedures for requesting and obtaining Basic Team Support, Additional Team Support (including expensive materials and conference/meeting expenses), and Approved Travel Procedures.
A sum of $300/year is provided to each team for basic support and for research-related travel, conferences, and materials. Team funds are not used for personal items, food for team meetings, parties, etc, that are not related directly to team research projects. Teams are encouraged to use these funds to enhance their research. Unused funds are not carried over from one year to the next.
The following procedures are to be followed by mentors and students of the Gemstone Program. PLEASE DO NOT SPEND MONEY EXPECTING REIMBURSEMENT WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL from the Gemstone Assistant Director for Operations (email@example.com).
For purchases within the $300 annual budget, please submit a detailed explanation via email to the Gemstone Assistant Director for Operations and include the following information:
- Reason for purchase
- Cost estimate
- Address/phone number/contact person
- Valid web address (URL) for online purchases
- Mentor's name
Once approved, students and mentors should work with the Gemstone Assistant Director for Operations to complete the purchasing process.
Package Notification Policy:
Beginning February 7, 2011, teams will have 5 business days to pickup packages from Vickie Hill, Assistant Director for Operations from the time email notification is sent to a team's Financial Liaison that a package has arrived. Packages should be picked up during business hours at Vickie Hill's office, Monday-Friday between 8:30 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. Packages that are not picked up within 5 business days will be returned to the sender at the team's expense.
*Prior to the purchase, team members and the mentor must obtain approval to make the purchase.* If payment is made by a member of the team or mentor, that person can be reimbursed by the Program. The purchaser must submit the following supporting documentations:
- Original itemized receipt
- Explanation for reimbursement (be specific)
- If this will be a meal for a research focus group (include attendees list)
A Miscellaneous Payment Request form will also need to be completed with the Gemstone Assistant Director for Operations for reimbursement in Room 0100J Ellicott Hall. This form is not provided online.
Reimbursements to students are credited to their student accounts. However, if students have an outstanding balance due on their student accounts, the reimbursement will be applied towards the outstanding debt and any remaining funds will be credited to their accounts. Students may then request the funds from the Bursar Office in the Lee Building.
NOTE: *Original itemized receipts not turned in to the Assistant Director for Operations office within 30 days or before the end of the semester will not be considered for reimbursment. All receipts must be turned in the same semester that the expense was incurred (fiscal year). The fiscal year ends July 1 NO EXCEPTIONS!
Any books or equipment that can be reused beyond the team project will be appropriately labeled, and must be returned to the Gemstone office after the project is complete.
**Gift cards will no longer be offered as an incentive for research study participants.
Teams may offer research study participants cash or funds added to a Terrapin Express account. Teams must have approval from the Gemstone Assistant Director for Operations to offer cash or funds added to Terrapin Express as an incentive before submitting their applicaiton to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the University of Maryland. The team financial liaison should contact the Gemstone Assistant Director for further details and procedures. All participants must fill out the Acknowledgement of Receipt form.
Teams should use the Acknowlegement of Receipt form for raffles; however, the form is not required for incentives such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, mouse pads, pens, etc. (these items must be in bulk). The team financial liaison should work with the Gemstone Assistant Director for Operations to purchase bulk items.
If a team needs more financial support for materials or attendance at conferences/meetings, the team may submit a proposal along with mentor's signature to the Gemstone Assistant Director for Operations (firstname.lastname@example.org). All proposals for these funds must be submitted as early as possible for best consideration.
Decisions will be made on requests for financial assistance based on the following considerations:
- The purpose and potential benefits of the financial support (included in the proposal)
- Provision of funds to as many teams as possible
- Showing how the materials or conference/meeting, for which funding is being requested, will enhance the team's research
- Specifically for conferences/meetings:
1) A team that is giving a presentation at a conference or meeting will be given priority over a team that is merely attending a conference/meeting.
2) The team must justify the number of members it is sending. In general, support for one or two students from several teams will be given priority over support for one entire team.
3) The team must show how the conference/meeting fits with the team's research and the progress the team has made to date. It is also best to plan so that the team can get the most out of its travel. For example, if a team is going to a conference that will include presentations by experts in the team's area of research, the team may want to contact one or more of the experts before the conference and try to schedule individual meetings with the expert(s) during the conference to discuss the team's research.
Proposal - The proposal for additional funding must include the following information:
- Name of the team
- Team research question
- Purpose of the materials or conference/meeting for which funding is being requested
- For conference/meeting related funding:
1) Name, location, and dates of the conference/meeting
2) Purpose of the conference/meeting
3) Previous conferences/meetings attended by members of this team and supported
with Gemstone funds
4) Will the team make a presentation at the conference/meeting? If yes, please attach
a copy of the abstract.
5) Reason for wanting to attend the conference/meeting
6) Names of team members requesting to attend the conference/meeting. How and why
were these members selected?
NOTE: Proposals for funds to attend a conference must be submitted no later than one month prior to the travel date to be considered.
- Previous additional funds provided to this team
- Potential benefits to the team. Discuss team's progress to date, ultimate goals, and how the requested materials and/or conference/meeting will help the team reach those goals
- A detailed budget showing the costs for each of the items requested. For travel, this will include air and ground transportation, accommodations, and meals. For conferences this will include registration fees
- Information about whether the team is requesting support from other sources
- Proposal to be signed by the team's mentor
For Travel or Conference Attendance, the following procedures are to be followed by mentors and students of the Gemstone Program before leaving, while traveling, and after travel. Reimbursement cannot be made unless the traveler has obtained approval from the Gemstone Assistant Director for Operations (email@example.com) before the trip. In the following, only those items for which the team was approved will apply.
- A Travel Authorization Request form for expenses is required for travel outside of Maryland and for travel within Maryland that requires an overnight stay. The form must be completed by all travelers immediately upon Gemstone approval. Please take a few moments to complete the form and submit it to the Gemstone Assistant Director for Operations office. NOTE: Failure to complete a TAR *in advance of travel* may delay or preclude travel reimbursement, depending on the related circumstances and documentation.
- If Gemstone approves the team for travel, it will be the responsibility of the team to make hotel and flight, train or bus transportation arrangements at least three weeks before the travel date. This is not the responsibility of the Gemstone Assistant Director for Operations. Once arrangements have been made, each traveler must submit via e-mail the confirmation numbers for hotel and flight with the appropriate direct phone numbers to the Gemstone Assistant Director for Operations in order for payment to be made. Approval will be expedited through the finance office, and notification will be given to the traveler. Any other pre-approved travel costs will be reimbursed after the completion of the trip for which original receipts are submitted with the University's travel reimbursement form. NOTE: Any travel to a conference by a team member after he/she has received the Gemstone citation must be paid for by the traveler and will be reimbursed after the trip is completed.
- Payment that have already been made by the Assistant Director for Operations for conference travel (lodging, airfare, train, etc) for team member(s) who cancel after payment has been made, and the Program is not able to receive full rate (100%) reimbursement back from the agency will be personally responsible for reimbursing the Program.
- If a reservation needs to be changed, the traveler will be responsible for the additional cost.
- Reimbursement for meals for conference travel will be determine on a case-by-case basis.
- In accordance with Travel policy, travelers will normally be reimbursed in accordance with the standard travel meal per diem schedule set forth below.
- Schedule of domestic (50 United States, including Alaska and Hawaii) reimbursable meal rates for University of Maryland travelers:
|Standard (including tax & tip)|
|Total (per diem) - including tax & tip||
- For those travel items approved for reimbursement, please retain and keep all receipts for hotel, airline ticket stubs, taxi/shuttle, registration fees, etc. Only the team mentor is allowed to rent a car when necessary.
- Costs of alcoholic beverages will not be reimbursed.
- Membership dues are the responsibility of the traveler.
- Expense charges that occur during travel and are not preapproved will be the responsibility of the traveler.
- Damages to hotel rooms are the responsibility of the traveler.
- Telephone calls are the responsibility of the traveler.
Motor Transportation Services (MTS)
According to the regulations governing state vehicle use and Motor Transportation Services (MTS), "Drivers must comply with all traffic and parking laws. All violation fines are the responsibility of the driver. The University or the Gemstone Program will not reimburse or pay for parking tickets, moving violations or other fines."
- Travelers must complete the Expense Statement for reimbursement for expenses approved prior to travel. Please check with the Assistant Director for Operations by via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up an appointment to personally submit the receipts for approved expenditures, and complete and sign the Expense Statement form immediately after travel. NOTE: Failure to to complete a Expense Statement *after travel* may preclude travel reimbursement, depending on the related circumstances and documentation.
- If a traveler paid for another traveler's meals during trip, this should be identified on the Expense Statement form with the traveler's name, the meal purchased, and the day purchased.
- Travelers will only be reimbursed for the maximum per diem allowed; even if the traveler paid for someone else.
- Once the Travel Expense Statement has been approved for reimbursement the Gemstone Assistant Director for Operations will notify the traveler (via email) to come in to sign the form. Statements not signed in a timely manner will be voided.
Please refer to Guidelines and Procedures for Team Fundraising Outside the University of Maryland for information about requesting funds from outside the University of Maryland.