Miscellaneous expenses: claimant guide

The University may reimburse other costs relevant to undertaking University business. 


Below is a summary of some other common expenses incurred by University staff. You should speak to your departmental finance team for further advice before spending.

Books and hard copy publications

Costs of books and hard copy publications relevant for research and other activities can be claimed where it is not possible for the department to purchase these directly. Departments may subscribe to publications that are considered necessary. Subscriptions should be in the name of the University, department or a post (e.g. ‘The Administrator’), paid for directly by the University, and delivered to a University address. Where it is necessary to provide a named individual then this is acceptable as long as the other conditions are met.


Departments can take out organisation subscriptions which should be in the name of the University i.e. a job title not a name.


Childcare costs

Additional costs, surplus to existing childcare costs, may be claimed whilst undertaking training or attending a conference, but not whilst in the performance of regular duties.

Communication costs

Business use of a personal device will only be refunded if an itemised bill is provided with the relevant costs identified. This includes overseas data bundles.


University devices must be paid for by the department and remain the property of the University. Phone hardware and associated costs will not be refunded via the expenses process.


Consumables - IT Accessories, Office and Lab Supplies

Occasionally, it will be most expedient to purchase low value computer accessories and office supplies directly (e.g. a charging cable while travelling) and reclaim via expenses.

Eyesight costs

Arrangements have been made with certain opticians in Oxford who can provide eye tests for users of display screen equipment. Most will submit an invoice i.e. a PO should be requested in advance. Otherwise relevant costs can be claimed in line with the Health and Safety Policy (approved opticians only).



Where employees seek reimbursement for eye tests and reasonable costs for glasses, rather than arranging for the University to pay directly, this reimbursement is taxable and must be claimed using the Taxable Benefits claim form. Your department will then notify the Payroll team whether they will pay the tax on your behalf.



From time to time it may be appropriate to give gifts. For example it may be culturally expected that an official gift is given to non-staff members, or departments may consider it appropriate to give a small gift to staff. Please note that any gift may be considered taxable.

The costs of gifts can only be claimed if they are:

  • not in return for service(s)
  • not money or vouchers
  • in line with the Gifts and Hospitality Policy
  • trivial
  • not regularly occurring


Members of the University must act, and be seen to act, at all times in a manner that is fair, impartial and without favouritism or bias. Reference should also be made to the Anti-Bribery Policy and the Gifts and Hospitality Policy.


Membership fees and professional subscriptions 

Fees for membership(s) relevant to your work can be claimed. Please note that if they are not on HMRC’s list of approved professional bodies membership is considered a taxable benefit and tax may be charged.


Departments can take out organisation subscriptions which must be in the name of the University i.e. a job title not a name.


Survey fees

The cost of survey fees relevant for research and other activities can be claimed where it is not possible for the department to purchase these directly.

Training and conferences

Where possible, training and conferences should be paid for in advance by the University. If this is not possible, costs can be claimed in agreement with your department. Training and conferences should be relevant to and support your role in the University.

What should not be claimed

  1. Clothing - where required, the University will issue appropriate uniforms or workwear including protective clothing.
  2. IT equipment must be purchased by your department, including:
    • hardware (e.g. monitors, laptops, tablets); and
    • software including
      • smartphone apps
      • cloud storage
    • other (e.g. operating systems, analytical programmes)

Please remember that all hardware or software remains the property of the University.

  1. Medical examinations - where the University requires individuals to undergo health checks or screening, it will make all necessary arrangements directly with the medical practitioner and pay directly all costs incurred.
  2. Credit card costs - penalty charges or late payment fees will not be refunded if you use your personal credit card.

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