Complete information on RFPs at MIT can be found at https://vpf.mit.edu/request-a-reimbursement. (VPF links may need to be accessed twice to load the correct page. Please make sure you are signed in). Additionally, MIT provides a free, self-paced online training on RFPs in the Atlas Learning Center.
Step 1 - Determine if you should submit a travel report or an RFP
If you’re not looking for reimbursement for something travel related, skip to Step 2.
If you’re looking for reimbursement for something travel related, you may actually need to submit a travel report.
Most travel should be submitted using Concur. However, there are handful of situations where you may also use the RFP system:
- Local trips in the Cambridge and Greater Boston area
Ride sharing services and taxis should use the g/l account 421600 — Trucking and Automotive
- Local parking
- Entertainment involving local travel
For example, rentals and transportation for events like bowling, escape rooms, and non-overnight retreats
Step 2 - Locate the RFP system
Requesting reimbursement for yourself:
Go to https://atlas.mit.edu and click
My Reimbursements > Request a Reimbursement for Me
Requesting reimbursement for someone else:
Go to https://atlas.mit.edu and click
Manage Reimbursements > Reimbursement
If requesting reimbursement for someone else:
Who is MIT affiliated
Select MIT. Search for the payee’s name and then click the appropriate search result.
Who is not MIT affiliated
Select Non-MIT. You will be brought to a screen that says No results found: Continue. Click this and you can continue entering details in the next screen
Step 3 - Provide details about the purchase
1. Complete all asterisked fields. All of these are required—incomplete fields will prevent your RFP from being approved:
- Date of service: The date purchase was made
- Cost Object: The account being charged. If unsure, please ask. Do not leave blank. See below for specific rules for research accounts.
- Amount: The amount of the transaction, with taxes removed (except for certain business meetings). See below for rules regarding foreign currencies.
- Explanation: A short justification for what the purchase is and why it was purchased.
2. RFPs using the g/l for meetings and entertainment will additionally ask for these fields, also required:
- Agenda/Topic of Discussion
- Location of Meeting
- Number of MIT Students
- Number of MIT Employees
- Number of Other Attendees
3. Complete the answers in the
Explanation field of the form. To add another transaction, click on
If the person seeking reimbursement has not setup direct deposit or is not MIT affiliated, this section will show up above the Line Item section. You have the option to mail the check to a provided address, or to deliver the check to an MIT address. Fill in these details as desired.
Alcohol Purchases 🍻
All purchases of alcohol must be separated out, summed up, and given its own line using the g/l for Alcohol — 421205.
No need to create an entirely new RFP; simply use the Add Line button detailed above.
Charging research accounts with g/ls related to meetings, food, and events (421000, 421200, 421205, & 420166)
For expenses for a meeting (including food and beverages) to be allowable on a federal award, the meeting’s primary purpose must be the dissemination of technical information beyond MIT, and it must be necessary for successful performance of the award. Events like group dinners, for example, are not allowed on research and should be charged on a discretionary account. Here is a full list of G/Ls that are not allowable on research accounts (except for rare cases in which the sponsor allows for it).
MIT’s policy on this can also be found on the Research Administration Services’ website.
RFPs in a foreign currency
All RFPs must be entered in USD.
Purchases in a foreign currency must include historical exchange rate information, such as from xe.com, that shows the currency conversion for the date of purchase. Attaching a screenshot or other document displaying this information uploaded to the RFP is sufficient.
Examples of correctly completed RFPs:
Step 4 - Attach required receipts
Save and Continue at the bottom of the screen, where you will then be prompted to attach a receipt or a missing receipt affidavit if no receipt is available. Select a file with
Choose File, then confirm the selection with
Attach. Files larger than 2MB will not attach.
Step 5 - Send your RFP for approval
- On the following screen, input the first and last name for the department RFP approver to submit your RFP for approval.
Send when done.
Step 6 - If there was an issue with approving your RFP
If there was an issue with approving your RFP it will be sent back to you for correcting.
RFPs returned to you for correction will look like this in your email inbox:
Please click the link in this email to view the RFP to see the comments at the top of the page to see why it was returned and what needs to be corrected.
Step 7 - See if your RFP was paid or approved
See How do I check the status or location of my RFP? for details.
⚡ That’s it!
RFPs will generally be reviewed within 2-3 business days, after which they are sent to the central accounts payable office for final approval. Payees will receive an email when the RFP has been approved by the central office.