The Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy is now open.  Our office hours are from: 9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Friday. Please refer to the COVID-19 Resource Guide for all matters related to the return to campus.  All visitors and vendors must fill out the Columbia University Health Screening Form.  We look forward to seeing you on campus.

Meals & Alcohol

Expenses for meals for an individual away on approved University business or among University personnel or peer groups (consisting of research collaboration or administrative meetings) should not exceed $25 for breakfast, $35 for lunch, and $75 for dinner, not including tips or tax.

Expenses for Business meals involving certain external parties for fundraising, recruitment or speaking engagements (hosted and paid for by a University employee and attended by business colleagues, donors, students, or prospective employees, which result in a business benefit to the University) should not exceed $150 per person, not including tips or tax. 

The following must be noted

  • All meals involving two or more individuals _document the Business purpose, Names of the attendees (if over 10 people, the number of attendees), and the Relationship (to the University) of the attendees.Note Attendees will be detailed in Concur 
  • Any alcohol purchased or included on a meal receipt_the expense must be segregated when reporting. Save all meal itemized receipts and submit them to your department or upload in Concur. 
  • All meals in excess of per meal thresholds must be segregated and will require Payee Jusitfication & SBO Approval for upload into Concur. 
  • Business Meals that require attendance by employee’s spouse, significant other & or dependents require Payee Justification and Financial Approver Acknowledgement that will be uploaded in Concur.Business Melas
  • Expenses incurred or conducted in a private home/residence will require Financial Approver Acknowledgement


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For general questions about ISERP programs, services, and events.