Welcome to the Freeman Research Group “Culture Pages”

Guidance in these pages outline practices to help us achieve our goals, promote equity, limit unnecessary struggle and wasted resources, and perform research with public health in mind. We’ll always be improving our approach! If you work here, you can help.

Booking travel

  • Emory has negotiated rates with various airlines, hotels, so use the Emory Travel Authority to book your travel. You will need a speedtype (i.e. account number) to complete the booking. Reach out to Matt for the speedtype. Daniel Landmon (daniel@sankofatravel.net) of Sankofa Travel Network is an Emory-approved travel agent frequently used in our group for complected travel itineraries (e.g., multiple stop destinations). Please note, that this option is more expensive than Emory Travel Authority. If your travel is funded by the federal government, you generally have to fly with a U.S. carrier or book your ticket through that carrier.

  • We can pay for your flight, hotel and conference registration in advance so you do not have to pay and then be reimbursed. If you pay upfront yourself, you will have to wait until after the travel is complete to be reimbursed. Emory University Corporate Cards are also available for staff.

  • Please keep the group updated on your travel via the Freeman Research Group - Travel/Vacation Calendar.

Per diem

  • Emory policy states that all travel for faculty, staff, PhD students on Emory business (sponsored travel) must submit for full US State Department per diem rates for all days of travel. It is our group’s approach that a traveler should not incur personal costs on a work trip (except for gifts, etc), but that it is not fiscally responsible to make a profit. In the past, we have operationalized that by spending what we feel is prudent and then submitted for per diem for the costs incurred (typically lower than the quite high State Department rates). That is no longer allowed and the State Department per diem rates will be applied for the period of travel automatically. This is not applied to MPH students traveling with GFE. We can supplement their travel by covering a set number of days or providing an advance travel award. There are two options with less budget implications for extensive staff and PhD student travel.

  • US State Department per diem rate exemption: (1) Collect receipts and submit in you reimbursement; (2) Submit an exemption to Rhonda Burke (rburke@emory.edu) that is then approved by the Assistant Vice President for Finance. Exemptions should be submitted before the trip. Your email should include: dates of travel, US State Department per diem rates, desired per diem rates, cost of living comparison(s), currency conversion(s) and justification. Find a template email here. Exemptions are per trip, however, we could try to get a project-level exemption.

  • Emory staff are eligible for a cash advance travel request.

Travel reimbursement

  • In order to be reimbursed for travel related expenses, Emory policy requires a significant amount of paperwork. The Environmental Health Department has developed a travel reimbursement form and receipt requirement guideline to make your reimbursement and payment requests process a little easier and faster. Below is a list of supporting documentation that you will include to the reimbursement form.

  • Reimbursement guidance: (1) Business purpose: Identify where you traveled, what the dates were, and what was the purpose of the travel. Note, every receipt must have a business purpose. (2) Confirmation: Provide any helpful documentation that confirms your travel was for business, including: conference registration, email invite, flyer, announcement, meeting agenda, etc. (3) Per diem/meals: See above for details on per diem. If you collect meal receipts, they must be itemized. (4) Airfare/hotel: Dates of travel must match business purpose. Your documentation must show that you used an Emory travel agency. (5) For purchases made in a foreign currency using cash, provide a screenshot of the conversion calculation using OANDA. Note, all receipts must include transaction date, name of merchant, item purchased or service provided, amount, form of payment and indication that the amount was paid by the person requesting reimbursement and proof of payment (e.g. bank statement) if using a credit or debit card.

  • Once your travel has completed, package all of this information and send it to Matt for approval. Once approved send the reimbursement form, supporting documentation and approval to Kimberly Bagot (kimberly.bagot@emory.edu) within two weeks of travel (see below if you have not added Kim as a proxy in Compass). Make sure to highlight the following in the body of the email: (1) the project, (2) smartkey, (3) total expenses, and (4) purpose of the expenses. Please also copy Matt on this email to Kimberly. Find a template email here.

  • In order for Kim to process your reimbursement please add her as a proxy list in Compass. To do this, access Compass and sign in using your user ID and password (same you use to sign into the network). When the home page displays, select the following navigation links from the menu on the left side of the page: Employee Self-Service > Travel and Expenses > User preferences > Delegate Entry Authority. On the Authorization Users page, click the plus sign, and enter the Authorized User ID field: kdavis2. Click save and you may logout of the system.

Invoice Processing

  • We have developed an 8 step system to help invoicing for consultants and subcontractors. Find an example email chain here. Guidance on forms required for domestic versus international vendors is also provided below. Other general financing forms and resources can be found here. (PENDING)

  1. Invoice received - if someone other than the project manager (PM) (e.g., finance manager, or PI) receives the invoice from the consultant/subcontractor, they should forward to the PM

  2. Confirming expenses - the PM should send the invoice to the person at Emory most responsible or familiar with the contents of the invoice (e.g., field coordinator, manager), copying the PI, to confirm that the charges are valid and correct

  3. PI approves - once the expenses have been confirmed, the PI will reply with approval

  4. PM forwards approval - The PM should copy PI approval to Research Administrative Services (e.g., Katie Carey) or Environmental Health Department Admin for international payments (e.g., Kimberly Bagot and Beverly Owens), including all relevant documents (e.g., contract, payment details, etc.)

  5. Finance approval: Admin staff (Kimberly) will reply with approval for processing

  6. Submission of payment: Admin staff (Kimberly) will send PM the invoice’s requisition number

  7. Follow-up: PM should follow up with Admin staff (Kimberly) 21 days and 30 days later to confirm payment

  8. Archive: Once confirmation email is received from Admin staff (Kimberly), the PM should save email to Box (Project folder / Admin / Contractor / Invoice)

  • Forms required for domestic vendor:

  1. ACH Authorization - if vendor withes to be paid by direct deposit

  2. Copy of executed contract

  3. Supplier Information Form

  • Forms required for International vendor:

  1. W8 BEN Certificate for Foreign Status - individuals only

  2. W8 BEN E Short Form - businesses only

  3. Foreign Source Statement

  4. International Banking Form

A special thank you to Sarah Cobey, Ben Lopman, and Brian Graaf. Their “Handbook” and “Culture Book” served as an inspiration and reference for our Culture Pages. These are also great references for general guidance in research and academic settings.

Have suggestions? That’s great! We are continuously trying to improve the way that we work as a group. In addition to more formal reviews of our guidelines and policies during semi-annual group “retreats,” group meetings are a great place to discuss or introduce processes, tools, platforms, etc. that you think the group can benefit from.