We’ve updated the CIRES policy on reimbursing individual membership dues. The new text is posted in full on InsideCIRES, here: https://insidecires.colorado.edu/finance/travel/costs/.

What has changed?

  • Defined criteria for when CIRES will support the cost of individual memberships
  • Added clarity on what CIRES defines as “presenting research” at professional conferences
  • Added guidance for researchers who want to purchase individual professional memberships with non-sponsored funds
  • Added timeline for when CIRES will review and update this reimbursement policy going forward

What is the new policy?

  • CIRES funds (i.e. non-sponsored project funds) can be spent on memberships, if a membership is required for a researcher to present work related to a sponsored project.
  • Presenting research includes submitting an abstract, speaking proposal, publication or poster presentation at a professional conference.
  • When a membership is not required to present research, CIRES considers the membership cost a personal expense that should be paid by the researcher.
  • Researchers can work with their CIRES Finance Manger to determine whether a non-sponsored, discretionary fund can pay for memberships that are not related to presenting research.
    • Tip: When you log into InsideCIRES, your Finance Manager is listed in the upper right-hand section titled “Your CIRES Information”:
  • CIRES will review the membership reimbursement policy annually to ensure it remains financially feasible and is reasonable based on other university, state, and federal policies.

How to Purchase Memberships:

Researchers who have purchased an individual membership to present their research results at a professional conference need to attach proof of the membership requirement along with an itemized receipt to their expense report. Proof of the membership requirement can be shown with a screen shot from the conference webpage or some other written confirmation from the professional organization.

You can email cirestravel@colorado.edu if you want to have a membership fee paid with a P-card and you do not have one. 

  1. Personal Credit Card – You may purchase a professional membership on a personal credit card. You can follow the PSC instructions for creating an out-of-pocket reimbursement, when you’re ready to request reimbursement for the expense. Membership fees purchased with a personal credit card should be reimbursed after the conference is completed, along with any other expenses related to the conference that were purchased out-of-pocket or on a Travel card.
  2. Travel Card – Employees can pay for their membership fees on their Travel Card. If a Travel Card is used to pay for a membership, the attendee needs to wait until after the conference is completed to submit their expense report in Concur. Any other out-of-pocket costs related to the conference should be included in the Travel Card expense report. Please visit the “Getting Reimbursement” section of InsideCIRES for information regarding how to submit travel expense reports.
  3. P-Card – Employees can pay for their own membership fees, other employees’ membership fees, or a non-employee’s membership fees using their P-Card. The expense(s) will need to be reconciled with the cardholder’s other monthly P-card expenses.

Questions on the policy or requesting reimbursement can be sent to Rebecca Stossmeister, the CIRES Travel & Compliance Team Lead.