Advances Expenses

Advances for travel and subsistence will be provided where an individual would otherwise be significantly financially disadvantaged by using the Expense Claim or other processes.

Travel advances

To avoid being significantly out of pocket, you can request funds in advance.

Before considering if an advance is required, you should always ensure that the University first pays for travel and accommodation directly.

You can request a travel advance if:

  • you will be travelling on business away from your normal place of work for at least one night;
  • you would otherwise expect to submit an expenses claim in excess of £300; and
  • it has not been possible for the University to pay directly.


Spend in a foreign currency is not in itself a valid reason for requesting an advance.


Type of advance

Advances may be paid in a number of ways including:

  1. Direct payment into the recipient's bank account. This is the preferred method.
  2. Pre-paid card – you may be issued with a Visa/Mastercard which can be used to make purchases or withdraw cash. All expenditure must be in line with this policy.
  3. Cash. This should only be requested if it is essential to carry cash (e.g. you are visiting a remote area and there are no local banking facilities). Please note that cash overseas is not covered by University insurance (up to £2,500 is covered in the UK).

Advances are usually limited to 75% of anticipated expenditure.


Reference should also be made to the Safety in Fieldwork Policy, Overseas Travel Policy, and insurance and risk assessment arrangements.


Reporting advances

Funds provided in advance should only be used for the purposes outlined in the advance request and must conform to the rules specified in this document.

  • All expenditure must be in line with this policy. Repayment will be required for any expenditure deemed inappropriate and not authorised.
  • Expenditure should be reported promptly after travel is completed and must be completed within three months of the activity concluding or return from travel.
  • All expenditure must be supported by evidence.
  • Any unspent advance must be repaid promptly.
  • Claimants are not eligible to apply for another advance if reporting or repayment is outstanding.

Contact us

 : Payment Services
       Finance Division
       University of Oxford
       23-38 Hythe Bridge Street
       Oxford OX1 2ET
 :  01865 (6) 16016
 :  Team contacts