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Resident Travel Policy


The following are travel & business policies for the General Surgery Graduate Medical Education residents, as either University of Pittsburgh trainees or UPMC employees. The guidelines apply to residents while in the department research laboratories. Deb Williams and Kathy DiGiacomo will process travel requests and will be your 1st contacts after travel approval from your principal investigator.

For other Department of Surgery divisions, residents are to contact their division administrator or the residency coordinator, Maggie Mrozinski, for travel assistance.

Prior Approval

Prior approval of all travel must be obtained from the requester’s Principal Investigator (PI) before making any travel arrangements.  No one is permitted to approve his or her own travel; the next higher level of authority must be sought for approval.


Registration fees and airfare are the only costs that can be prepaid by university funds. A Disbursement Request can be used to pay registration fees. The Disbursement Request, with proper approvals, must be submitted at least fourteen (14) working days prior to the issuance of a check. Airline reservations made through an authorized University travel agency require the completion of a travel request form. Personal credit cards are to be used for hotel room deposits.
Travelers can opt to make their own air arrangements by use of a personal credit card and submit receipts for reimbursement after the conference. Be aware that per University policy you must submit: a copy of your credit card statement showing the fees were paid, the original ticket receipt (itinerary) and a boarding pass if you choose to make your own air travel arrangements.


The reimbursement process can begin after the conference has been held. Please submit any receipts, paperwork, credit card statements, etc. to Kathy DiGiacomo or Maggie Mrozinski in a timely manner. (Contact information can be found at the end of this policy.) Your local home address and social security number will need to be on file in order to complete the T&B (Travel and Business form). Once the form is approved, you will be notified that your signature is required. If you are a Pitt employee or trainee, your reimbursement check will be sent to you via direct deposit (if enrolled). Direct deposits occur every Friday.
If you are a UPMC employee, you will receive a check from the university via the US mail.

Department Supported Resident Travel

If Surgery residents are:
  1. Giving oral or poster presentations at a local or national conference OR
  2. Accepting or giving a progress report of their award within the 48 contiguous states,

then the department will reimburse the travel expenses. The University of Pittsburgh’s travel management guidelines http://www.pts.pitt.edu/Travel/index.html will serve as a basis for our travel policies.

Allowable expenses include:   
  • Airfare to the conference city-All airline reservations are to be made through the authorized University travel agency OR by the lowest available fare (Web, direct purchases, etc) at least 30days prior to conference. Carlson Wagonlit Travel is an authorized travel agency and can be reached at (412) 208-2066.  All flights for domestic business must be coach class. In event of cancellation, please notify the travel agency as soon as possible. Fees resulting from lost or unused airline tickets are the responsibility of the traveler.
  • Conference registration
  • Tuition fees for conference educational classes
  • Lodging, typically up to 3 nights whenever possible, share room with same gender co-worker
  • Meals, but not to exceed the IRS city per diem, which can be found at http://www.pts.pitt.edu/Travel/common/perdiem.html. Submit all DETAILED RECEIPTS for meal reimbursement. It is no longer acceptable to just submit the credit card receipt.
  • Taxi’s/ shuttles within reason
  • If personal car used, mileage, fuel, tolls, etc. will be reimbursed per university guidelines.
Expenses NOT Allowed
  • Spouses/ significant others/ children
  • Entertainment/ movie rentals
  • Alcohol
  • Rental cars- unless previously approved
  • And other related items

PI or Lab Supported Resident Travel

If Department of Surgery residents are NOT presenting (oral or poster) and are only attending the conference at the request of their PI or at their own request, then the PI will be financially responsible for all travel expenses. The resident may be asked by his PI to use their resident enrichment funds to defray some expenses. (Please see Patty Besong for enrichment fund information).  The same procedure for travel approval and reimbursable expenses will be followed as outlined above. 

Travel expenses should be turned in to your division administrator for reimbursement of travel expenses.

Travel for Non- Laboratory Residents

For General Surgery residents who are NOT currently in the research laboratory but are attending conferences to present data as a result from their research years  OR to attend clinically related conferences, you will make your travel arrangements though the residency coordinator, Maggie Mrozinski.

Your PI or Dr. Billiars’ approval is required before making any plans and this written approval (email approval, for example) will need to be provided to the residency coordinator before proceeding.

Residents Assigned to Training Grants

For those residents that are assigned to a NIH training grant, please see your division administrator for travel expense reimbursement.

Foreign Travel

ALL foreign travel requires approval of your PI or Dr. Billiar before submitting any abstracts. The PI will be responsible for all financial support of foreign travel unless Dr. Billiar grants an exception to this policy.

Department of Surgery Resident Travel Contact Information

Debra Wllliams

Kathy DiGiacomo
NW607.1 MUH
Maggie Mrozinski
F675 PUH
Patty Besong
F1271.1 PUH

Travel Request Form