Project administrative costs
All expenses incurred by students in the execution of the project must be met by the client; these should be agreed in advance, charged at cost and paid promptly. If your company has specific procedures for the payment of expenses, you should make these clear to your student team at your initial briefing meeting. This document shows the standard terms currently applied by the University of Cambridge, which you might like to use as a guide.
University guidelines on expenses
Telephone calls, research reports, other purchases
Telephone calls made by students on behalf of the client should be charged at actual cost. Students should seek client approval prior to purchasing marketing reports, information or any other purchases deemed necessary for the project.
The client company should meet expenses actually incurred by the student team. The students should use the most cost-effective method for business travel, bearing in mind the numbers travelling and time considerations. The University of Cambridge applies the following rates:
(a) Travel by car, etc. (irrespective of size)
- 45p a mile up to 10,000 miles
- 25p a mile thereafter
Motorcycles (or three wheeled vehicles) are charged at 24p a mile.
The mileage claimed should be the lower of either:
- the mileage actually incurred or
- the mileage which would have been incurred if the journey had started and finished at the normal place of work (Cambridge Judge Business School).
In some cases car hire may be a cheaper method of travel than claiming mileage allowance.
(b) Other Travel (taxi fares, air fares, rail fares)
Travel should be second-class. The claim should be the lower of either second-class rail fare or mileage allowance for any journey where there is a direct rail service, if rail would not entail an overnight stay. Use of taxis and planes must be approved by the client company in advance. If your company has secured preferential rates with given suppliers, you may prefer to book any travel yourself.
Accommodation and subsistence
We do not expect our students to claim subsistence for projects in and around Cambridge. Where they are working long days away from home, we recommend you agree either a subsistence rate, or to meet expenses actually incurred, supported by receipts. For information, the following table shows the subsistence rate applied by the University (sums over these amounts must be justified in writing):
|For part of a day including lunch (away for over five hours)||£8.50||or the amount actually spent, whichever is less|
|For part of a day including dinner (away for over five hours during evening period)||£20.50||as above|
|For part of a day including lunch and dinner (away for more than 10 hours but not overnight)||£29||as above|
|For bed and breakfast||£96||as above|
|For bed and breakfast (London rate)||£127||as above|
|allowance for staying with friends or family||£25|
The University allowance for a complete period of 24 hours is £125 outside London (£157 in London). The reasonable cost of meals on trains may be reimbursed in full. Supporting documents must be attached when submitting claims.
It is recognised that on occasions students may choose to stay with friends or relatives when travelling on client business, and in these cases a payment of £25 per night may be claimed, subject to the claimant substantiating the payment. Your company may have your own accommodation or a preferred hotel, in which case we recommend that you book this on behalf of the student team. If students are booking their own accommodation they must have your agreement in writing before any costs are incurred.
These rates apply to costs in the UK but should be used as a guide only; for travel and accommodation overseas they may be considered too little, or too excessive. As a general guide, 3* hotels are recommended overseas, unless located in an area of high deprivation or security risk, in which case 4* accommodation is preferred. Similarly for meals, students should expect to be reimbursed for the kind of meal that would fall within the given rates if taken in the UK.