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Policies & Procedures


SNRI abides by the Purchasing Policy & Procedures established by the University of California. A purchase order (PO) must be in place to acquire goods/services with University funds. The following information should be included in a PO request sent to

  • quote or hyperlink with the following information for each item
    • item/service number
    • the quantity of each item
    • the unit price of each item
  • a detailed justification explaining how the item(s)/service(s) benefit the specific project being charged
  • the project account to be charged, so that proper approval from the PI may be sought (account name or FAU)
  • preferred delivery date and location

Purchase requests over $5,000 must be submitted to SNRI as soon as possible as they require approval and processing by UC Merced Procurement; thus, elongating the time of processing.

You may wish to utilize the UCM Procurement How to Buy page to assist in your purchasing.

Unauthorized purchases will require an After the Fact Justification Approval, signature from the unit's Management Service Officer (MSO), Vice Chancellor, and Procurement Services Director, and may be rejected - resulting in the unauthorized individual assuming responsibility for either the full amount, fees and charges, or differences in UC pricing.


Reimbursement forms may be found online and must be completed before turning in to the SNRI staff. Reimbursements take up to one month from the time of processing for funds to be received so, please plan accordingly and allow SNRI and other involved entities the adequate time to process your request.


SNRI abides by the UC Travel Policy G-28 established by the University of California. SNRI may assist in pre-purchasing travel expenses involving airfare and conference registrations. Otherwise, all other travel-related expenses must be purchased by the individual traveling. Please follow the below tips when requesting travel reimbursement:

  • Travelers must purchase coach seating for airfare expenses; otherwise, please provide a doctor's note accompanying a purchase for additional leg room.
  • Please identify on reimbursement form if an SNRI or TAPS rental vehicle was used for your trip. If a TAPS vehicle was used, please provide the email confirmation.
  • Loss damage waiver and roadside assistance expenses for vehicle reservations, other than SNRI and TAPS vehicles, are non-reimbursable due to preferred vehicle reservation vendors including those options in their discounted UC-contracted rates. See below for more information.
  • If a personal vehicle was driven, the current reimbursable mileage rate is $0.535/mile. Please include a Google Map identifying your departure and destination locations.
  • For all taxi/shuttle/train expenses, please identify departure and destination locations if not identified on the receipt. Receipts are required if the amount is > $75
  • UC parking permits are honored at all UC campuses and, thus, parking permits to other UC campuses will not be reimbursed without justification. All other parking expenses will require a receipt of > $75
  • For lodging expenses, please provide a folio/receipt with a zero ending balance. Please ensure your rates comply with the per diem rates online. Lastly, the traveler must be > 40 miles from the destination location for lodging expenses to be applicable.
  • Meal expenses are reimbursable if the duration of the travel was longer than 24 hours - except for entertainment expenses. Meals are reimbursed at the maximum rates: breakfast ($27), lunch (47), dinner ($81), and light refreshments ($19). Please note alcohol is unallowable unless pre-approval was received.
  • For any missing itemized, original meal receipts, please complete the Missing Original Receipts Reimbursement Form.
  • Prior to purchasing conference registration, please ensure if meals/dinner is included as a package that alcohol is not included. If so, please request it be removed.
  • If you attended a conference please include an attachment to the agenda.
  • Entertainment expenses must be accompanied by an original, itemized receipt, attendee list of names and affiliation, agenda, and justification to the project being charged. Please note entertainment expenses must comply with the maximum rates for meals mentioned above.
  • If the traveler co-traveled with another traveler(s), please identify their name(s) and identify what expenses they/you covered (transportation, shared lodging room).
  • University travelers shall not be reimbursed for expenses paid on behalf of others, except in the case of co-traveling (transportation and shared lodging room only).
  • Daily lodging and meal expenses must remain under 200% of the UC cap rates per location. You may find the rates of locations online.
  • Travel reimbursement requests must be submitted to SNRI within 15 days from the last date of travel to meet the UC travel reimbursement deadline. UC travel policy mandates that travel reimbursements must be processed within 45 days from the last day of travel. Failure to abide by the deadline may result in delayed processing, changes to the amount reimbursed, or rejection of the reimbursement altogether.
  • All itemized, original receipts should be mailed to SNRI at the below address:

Sierra Nevada Research Institute

5200 N Lake Rd

Merced, CA 95340

You may wish to utilize rental vehicle vendors who attain discounted UC-contracted rates. Please visit the Risk Services webpage containing the codes to provide to the vendor.


SNRI abides by the Purchasing Policy & Procedures established by the University of California. All general reimbursement expenses claimed must be accompanied by an original, itemized receipt detailing the item, quantity, unit price, and method of payment. If you are claiming reimbursement for printing expenses do make sure to include electronic attachments of what materials were printed.

You may wish to utilize the UCM Procurement How to Buy page to assist in your purchasing.

While purchase orders are the preferred method of payment, general reimbursements may be utilized on an emergency basis.

Vehicle Reservations

SNRI currently has four vehicles available for reservation. Individuals are required to submit their driver's license to SNRI prior to requesting a vehicle for DMV verification depending on the state identified on their driver's license. CA licenses may take up to 14 days for verification while out-of-state licenses may take up to a month for verification. Requests should include if an automatic or manual vehicle is preferred, how many seats are required, desired cargo space, and the duration of the trip.

The cost of the rental is based on the amount of reservations within the calendar month. Per the approved recharge rate, there is an administrative fee of $197.86 that is divided up amongst all rentals in the month. As an example, vehicle 100706 was driven a total of 1,000 miles in the month and you drove 500 of those miles so your portion of the administrative fee is 50% of the monthly charge which would equal $98.93 plus any fuel expense for your trip. Each vehicle will have a full tank of gas when you receive the keys so you will only be charged for the amount of fuel used for your trip. Vehicles must be returned with a full tank; vehicles not returned with a full tank will be charged fuel to fill the tank up.

Due to the limited number of vehicles and a large number of requestors, SNRI invites affiliates to utilize TAPS vehicle rentals in the event SNRI cannot accommodate a reservation. Vehicle reservations must be requested to SNRI for proper PI and Research Administrator approval. Requests should include the type, size, and a number of vehicles being requested and a justification explaining the benefit of the trip to the research project. TAPS vehicle choices may be found online. When proper approval is acquired, the requestor may complete the online vehicle reservation form.

Room Reservations

SNRI processes room reservation requests for room SE1 200. Room reservation requests must include the time duration of the reservation, how many individuals are to be hosted, meeting purpose, and if any technology is required. SNRI attains a projector, audio speakers, and a Mac Mini DisplayPort to VGA adapter for rental. Requestors will need to pick up any rental items at the SNRI office (SE1 208) and complete a sign-out form. With limited resources, please make sure to request the room and materials ahead of time to ensure we may accommodate you.

Supply Reservations

SNRI lends snowshoes for rental. Requestors may visit the SNRI office (SE1 208) to complete a sign-out form and pick up the items if available.

Field Trips

All non-UC employees are required to sign a waiver of release of liability when participating in activities at any research site. Please use the matrix for waivers and release of liability to determine if you need either a voluntary or required form for your event.

For more information, please visit the UC Risk Services website.

Photo/Video/Sound Recording Release

If you agree to the UC Merced Photo/Video/Recording Release, photos or videos of yourself may be used for the UC Merced website, print media, presentations, etc. Participating students under the age of 18 will need to have these forms signed by a parent or guardian.

Last updated September 5th, 2017