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IDCP Travel Fund  August 4, 2017 – 06:06 pm
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International Development Consulting Project Travel Fund — Overview

The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise provides financial support to Columbia MBA students who complete international development consulting projects involving travel outside the United States during intersession periods. The International Development Consulting Project (IDCP) Travel Fund covers airfare costs incurred as part of the consulting project. Projects initiated by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public, and nonprofit organizations will be given preference over startup ventures and companies.

The IDCP Travel Fund provides partial support for air travel only: 80% of the air ticket cost for teams of three (3) and 60% for teams of four (4), up to a maximum of $1, 500 per student. "Business" and "First" class airline tickets will not be reimbursed. This is a strict maximum - for airfares where 80% of the ticket cost is greater than the maximum, the difference must be covered by the student or client. Air ticket costs and other out of pocket expenses should be considered when selecting the project. The IDCP Fund does not cover any other expenses including accommodation, food, visas, insurance, vaccinations, phone calls, taxis, and other materials costs. The equivalent value of a ticket purchased with frequent flyer miles or points can not be reimbursed.


To be considered for travel support, you must be enrolled in the Columbia MBA or EMBA program. Dual degree students must have commenced or completed courses at the Business School. Students may work individually or in teams. Teams may include non-Columbia MBA students, but those students will not be eligible for financial support. In addition, travel outside of the United States must take place during the Business School's intersession periods (including winter and spring break), as shown on the School's academic calendar.

The IDCP Travel Fund does not cover travel that occurs after the student has graduated, even if the project commenced while the team member was a student.

Pangea Management team members are ineligible for travel support unless approval from the Managing Director of the Tamer Center is given prior to project teams and clients being notified of staffing decisions.

It is recommended that student teams find a Columbia Business School faculty advisor for their project.

Students should not ask faculty or Academic Affairs to move exams or request exam makeups to accommodate extra-curricular activities including travel for projects. Projects are subject to the School's Honor Code and the School's Academic Policies.

Columbia University's International Travel Planning Policy requires all student team members to register international trips through the University’s global travel portal. The Columbia University Global Travel site also provides important travel alerts, logistics information, and other resources for international travelers. In addition, travel to high risk destinations should be vetted through the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise and may require approval from the Dean's Office at Columbia Business School. Travel may be cancelled in cases in which the project team’s safety is at imminent risk. The Dean’s Office retains the right to prevent student travel to any location deemed unsafe, and is able to do so up until the day of travel. In these cases, students will be reimbursed for all expenses incurred.

If your travel is prevented because you fail to obtain a visa, you will not be reimbursed for the ticket price. If there is uncertainty over obtaining a visa, students might wish to purchase a partially refundable or changeable ticket. Additionally, change fees for ticket prices can only be added to your reimbursement if it is caused by security, safety or personal health issues, and requires approval from the Tamer Center. Any student who is concerned about budgetary issues should carefully consider the region of travel when applying for projects.


Selection is based on the quality and relevance of project analysis and tasks to the MBA skill set, and available funding given the number of students requesting support. In addition, preference will be given to projects initiated or organized by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public and nonprofit organizations.

MBA project team leaders seeking support for their team should contact the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise as early as possible, and before making travel arrangements for the project. Prior to travel, students [including teams staffed on Pangea Advisors projects] must demonstrate progress and provide the following information (teams leaders should upload this information to the Projects Wiki):

  1. Project description: one page that contains an organization and/or client description, contact details for the project supervisor, project scope, analysis and deliverables;
  2. Team member resumes;
  3. Finalized Statement of Work or Detailed letter of engagement from the client and/or organizing institution: email correspondence with the client showing agreement on a "Statement of Work". This should contain project scope, work streams/workplan, deliverables, timeline with key dates and milestones and any other relevant details;
  4. Intended dates of travel and list of who will be traveling (see "Documentation" below); and
  5. Spreadsheet indicating the total budget for the trip for all team members who plan to travel. Categories may include: air travel, ground travel, accommodation, food, and other sources of funding provided by the client and/or other supporting organizations.

Student team leaders will be notified about the status of their application prior to traveling if the project has been selected for support with the IDCP Travel Fund.


After completion of travel, and in order to receive funds from the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise, the following is required by June 1 (no reimbursements for projects in the prior academic year will be processed after this deadline):


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