Travel Guidance

University-affiliated Travel

Consistent with UNC System guidance, Carolina is prohibiting University-affiliated travel outside of the State of North Carolina, unless the travel is approved in accordance with the following processes:

International

In accordance with UNC System Office guidance, University-affiliated travel outside the state of North Carolina has been prohibited since last year. Exceptions for international travel may be granted only by the Chancellor or Provost, as detailed on UNC Global’s website. Under the advisement of our infectious disease experts, Carolina has issued new guidance on the increased risks of travel.

Risk-benefit considerations currently call for an extremely restrictive UNC-Chapel Hill travel policy, for the reasons outlined below:

  • COVID-19 and recent variants reported in the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa are spreading rapidly with unpredictable morbidity and mortality;
  • Travelers who become ill with COVID-19 or another illness may not be able to access health care and certainly not the level of care available in North Carolina;
  • Dynamic quarantine rules and travel restrictions may limit or prevent return to the United States for travelers who fall ill, or who simply wish to return;
  • UNC-Chapel Hill travelers who require medical care may compete with in-country residents, unfortunately challenging equitable use of resources; and
  • While vaccines may prove sufficiently effective to allow travel in the future, the benefits and durability of the current vaccines are not known and should not be used to ensure resistance to COVID-19, especially where variants have been detected.

In addition to these considerations, limiting travel and interactions is one of the best ways to stop the spread of the virus between communities.

University travel will be approved only in truly exceptional cases. This will be re-evaluated routinely as the situation evolves.

Out-of-State

Faculty and Post-Doc Travel

All exceptions for university-affiliated travel by faculty and post-docs must be pre-approved by the provost with a favorable recommendation, depending on reporting lines, from the traveler’s 1) supervisor; 2) department chair, center or institute director, or other unit head (if different from supervisor); and 3) appropriate senior administrator (school dean or executive dean, vice chancellor, or vice provost).

Requests for exceptions should be sent via email by the petitioner directly to Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bob Blouin (provost@unc.edu) and should copy Debbi Clarke, Associate Provost for Strategy and Special Projects (debbi_clarke@unc.edu); and Emma Dehne, Executive Assistant to the Provost (emma.dehne@unc.edu).

In their message, petitioners should include:

  • The specific dates, routes/itineraries, and destinations of proposed travel;
  • The purpose of the proposed research and an explanation as to why the work can’t be fulfilled remotely via video conferencing or through other electronic means;
  • Whether the proposed travel is related to COVID-19 or other pressing public health matters;
  • A summary of how the trip will explicitly advance the mission of the university;
  • A description of travel risks and how the traveler proposes to mitigate those risks during the trip and upon return to campus;
  • A completed and signed faculty/post-doc assumption of risk and release of liability document; and
  • Acknowledgement that the appropriate senior administrator and other supervisors listed above have approved the travel exemption request. When a determination is made, the appropriate senior administrator will be copied on the provost’s response. Please be sure to gain these supervisory approvals before submitting your request.

Graduate Student Research Travel

All exceptions for university-affiliated travel by graduate students must be pre-approved by the provost with a favorable recommendation from the traveler’s 1) department chair or director of graduate studies; and 2) appropriate senior administrator (school dean or associate dean).

Requests for exceptions should be submitted via Rapid Admin Service Request (RASR) system. Applicants should select “The Graduate School” under the Group Selection tab and complete the “Graduate Student Request for Travel Restriction Exception” form.

If you are unable to access the RASR system, please contact Julie Montaigne at julie_montaigne@unc.edu.

The application form requires the following information:

  • The specific dates and destinations of proposed travel;
  • The purpose of the proposed research and an explanation as to why the work can’t be fulfilled remotely via video conferencing or through other electronic means;
  • Whether the proposed travel is related to COVID-19 or other pressing public health matters;
  • A summary of how the trip will explicitly advance the research mission of the university;
  • A description of travel risks and how the traveler proposes to mitigate those risks during the trip and upon return to campus;
  • Acknowledgement of the traveler’s Assumption of Risk & Release of Liability;
  • A signed Advisor Approval Form (to be attached); and
  • A copy of a proposed travel itinerary detailing the travel route (to be attached).

Applicants can follow the approval progress of their application in the RASR system under “My Forms.”

If you are an approver for this process, please visit The Graduate School website for more information.

Administrative Staff and Athletics Staff

All exceptions for University-affiliated travel by  administrative staff and athletics staff must be pre-approved by the chancellor with a favorable recommendation from the appropriate vice chancellor or the athletics director.

EHRA Non-Faculty and SHRA Staff Travel

All exceptions for university-affiliated travel outside the State of North Carolina by EHRA non-faculty and SHRA staff must be pre-approved by the chancellor with a favorable recommendation from the vice chancellor for human resources and equal opportunity and compliance.

Requests for exceptions for domestic travel should be sent via email by the petitioner directly to Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Compliance Becci Menghini (becci_menghini@unc.edu), and copy Katie Nolan, interim chief of staff, (kbnolan@unc.edu), and Sherene Jenkins, executive assistant (sherene_jenkins@unc.edu). Finally, as noted below, the traveler’s immediate supervisor or manager and the appropriate school dean or senior administrator should be copied on the request.

In their message, petitioners should include:

  • The specific dates, routes/itineraries, and destinations of proposed travel;
  • The purpose of the proposed research and an explanation as to why the work can’t be fulfilled remotely via video conferencing or through other electronic means;
  • Whether the proposed travel is related to COVID-19 or other pressing public health matters;
  • A summary of how the trip will explicitly advance the mission of the university;
  • A description of travel risks and how the traveler proposes to mitigate those risks during the trip and upon return to campus;
  • A completed and signed Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability document; and
  • Acknowledgement that the traveler’s immediate supervisor and appropriate school dean or senior administrator have approved the travel exemption request. When sending your request, please copy these individuals.

Students and Student Organizations

All exceptions for university-affiliated travel outside the state of North Carolina by undergraduate students and student organizations must be pre-approved by the provost with a favorable recommendation by the Office of Student Affairs.

Please note there are different instructions below for gaining approval for the following travelers: undergraduate students; student groups; and club sports. If you are unsure of your personal or group status, please contact Jessye Bongiovanni, Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, at jessye@unc.edu.

Undergraduate Students—including those seeking an exception for a credit- or non-credit bearing activity, e.g., internship, research, or service project; who receive University funding or other resources or support for the proposed travel, e.g., travel fellowship; or who utilize the UNC brand or logo as part of their proposed activity or program.

In order to submit a petition for an exception, the student must submit the following information via email to Bettina Shuford, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, at bcshufor@email.unc.edu.The specific dates and destinations of proposed travel;

  • The academic purpose of the proposed trip and an explanation as to why the activity can’t be conducted remotely via video conferencing or through other electronic means;
  • Whether the proposed travel is related to COVID-19 or other pressing public health matters;
  • A summary of how the trip specifically supports your progress toward degree;
  • A letter of support from a faculty advisor or mentor;
  • Approval by the dean of your school that you are submitting this request;
  • A description of travel risks and how you propose to mitigate those risks during the trip and upon return to campus;
  • A signed traveler’s Assumption of Risk & Release of Liability(to be attached);
  • A copy of proposed travel itinerary detailing the travel route (to be attached).

Student Groups—including all groups that are: registered student organizations (RSO); that receive University funding or other resources or support; or that utilize the UNC brand or logo as part of their activities or programs.

  • In order to submit a petition for an exception, the student group must submit the following information via email to Tammy Lambert, Assistant Director for Student Organizations, at lambert2@email.unc.edu.The specific dates and destinations of proposed travel;
  • The purpose of the proposed trip and an explanation as to why the activity can’t be conducted remotely via video conferencing or through other electronic means;
  • Whether the proposed travel is related to COVID-19 or other pressing public health matters;
  • A summary of how the trip will explicitly advance the mission of the university;
  • A description of travel risks and how travelers propose to mitigate those risks during the trip and upon return to campus;
  • Acknowledgement that all travelers, if the travel is approved, must sign the Assumption of Risk & Release of Liability;
  • A copy of proposed travel itinerary detailing the travel route (to be attached).

Club Sports—including all sport clubs that are: registered student organizations (RSO); that are affiliated with the Sport Clubs Council and Campus Recreation; that receive University funding or other resources or support; or that utilize the UNC brand or logo as part of their activities or programs.

In order to submit a petition for an exception, the club sport must submit the following information via email to Bill Goa, Director of Campus Recreation, at bgoa@email.unc.edu.The specific dates and destinations of proposed travel;

  • The purpose of the proposed trip and an explanation as to why the activity can’t be conducted remotely via video conferencing or through other electronic means;
  • Whether the proposed travel is related to COVID-19 or other pressing public health matters;
  • A summary of how the trip will explicitly advance the mission of the university;
  • A description of travel risks and how travelers propose to mitigate those risks during the trip and upon return to campus;
  • Acknowledgement that all travelers, if travel is approved, must sign the Assumption of Risk & Release of Liability;
  • A copy of proposed travel itinerary detailing the travel route (to be attached).

In-State Travel

Carolina permits University-affiliated travel within the State of North Carolina if the travel is in connection with a site or event that is consistent with the state’s guidance on large gatherings and the University’s standard travel authorizations.  If in-state travel does not fall within this framework, it must be approved by the processes described above.