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How do I submit an RFP?

Learn how to complete Requests for Payment

Complete information on RFPs at MIT can be found at (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.

The RFP system can be a bit finicky. If you have direct deposit enabled, but the system tells you a check will be mailed, exit the tab and start over again.

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

If you do not see these options below, you can click on Edit in the top righthand corner of the Menu bar and search for these options (such as Reimbursement or Request a Reimbursement for Me).

Requesting reimbursement for yourself:

Go to and click My Reimbursements > Request a Reimbursement for Me

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Requesting reimbursement for someone else:

Go to and click Manage Reimbursements > Reimbursement

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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.

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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

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Step 3 - Provide details about the purchase

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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.
  • 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
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3. Complete the answers in the Explanation field of the form. To add another transaction, click on Add Line.

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RFPs require each transaction to be on its own individual line, even if the transaction shares a date or dollar amount with another from a different vendor. You may group transactions into one line if the transactions all share the same date of purchase, use the same g/l, have the same justification, and will be charged to the same cost object. All of these items must be shared to be grouped; otherwise, an RFP should be completed as in the examples below. However, multiple transactions should not be grouped on one line if they do not fit the above requirements. For these, use the Add Line button.

Mailing Address

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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.

Sometimes the Atlas system glitches out and shows this box even if the person is MIT affiliated and has direct deposit turned on. Close the tab and navigate back to this screen and this box should clear.

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, 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:

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Step 4 - Attach required receipts

Click on 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.

Receipts or missing receipt affidavits are required. Always requiring receipts with the dollar amount of the transaction, or completing missing receipt affidavits, is how MIT manages risk. Missing receipt affidavits must be signed by the payee regardless of dollar amount.
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If you don’t click Attach, or if the file is larger than 2MB, it will not be attached!

Step 5 - Send your RFP for approval

  1. Click Send to.
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  1. On the following screen, input the first and last name for the department RFP approver to submit your RFP for approval.
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Employees should send RFPs to the current approver for DMSE, Cadence Seeger. ( For events sponsored by the academic office, students should send their RFPs to someone from that office. In all other cases, they should send their RFPs to the approver named above.

Click 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:

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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.

Depending on how you check on your RFP, you may potentially prevent it from being approved. Using the instructions above prevents this.

⚡ 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.

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